In the classic car world, there are certain vehicles that have a near mythical reputation, with the Golden Sahara being among them. The magnificent motor is one of most excessive vehicles to ever created, and it was recently reported that the Sahara is going to be auctioned in America. While the UK has its fair share of beautiful cars, the Golden Sahara is worth talking about because of the kind of technology that went with it.
Originally, the car started out as the personal 1953 Lincoln Capri of custom creator George Barris, who made a name for himself designing vehicles like the 1966 Batmobile. Barris damaged the Lincoln, but it ended up being an ideal customisation project. Commissioned by a man named Jim Street, the Golden Sahara would become a masterpiece for Barris. The result was a car that had a brilliant gold paint job, interior cocktail bar, television and lavish upholstery. There was even a fridge put in for good measure. All of it was topped off with interior gold-plated trim for a machine that was built for extravagance.
The Golden Sahara earned many accolades, including being on the cover of Motor Trend Magazine in 1955. More than one model was built, with a second being used for the 1962 film Cinderfella. The Golden Sahara II stood out from its predecessor for its pearlescent white paint that was made out of crushed fish scales. The design featured multiple driving controls and autonomous braking.
Then, as suddenly as the Golden Sahara arrived, it vanished. Street placed the car within his private collection, only bringing it out for special occasions. Despite the Sahara not being seen regularly, it didn’t stop fans from paying tribute to it. For example, custom designer Larry Grobe of Voodoo Larry Customs built a car called the Voodoo Sahara.
In late 2017, Streets passed away, meaning his collection is being put up for auction at the Mecum Spring Classic in Indianapolis in May. The Golden Sahara could be considered the crown jewel of the collection. Although it’s not been seen for decades, the car is still in good shape. According to a source who saw the car before Street passed, the Sahara had been stored with its tyres off the ground and tightly covered. The preservation method proved to be effective, though it’s expected the Sahara will be restored to its full glory by the time of the auction.
There’s no doubt that customised classic cars are some of the most beautiful vehicles around, and the Golden Sahara’s re-emergence is sure to be a major talking point for car enthusiasts all over the world.