ONE OF THE MOST DRAMATIC, AND ICONIC, Barris Kustoms of all-time is "THE GOLDEN SAHARA" .
In our Annual Sunday Morning Session at the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, on July 26, 2009, my friends GEORGE BARRIS, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and myself, talked about some fabulous cars - both old & new- that George, his brother Sam, and their shop had created through the years.
ONE OF MY PERSONAL, ULTIMATE-FAVORITES IS "The Golden Sahara", so for the first time, I asked George to give me the full story on this legendary, bonafide "Dream Car", "Concept Car", that was built from a wrecked Lincoln Capri Hardtop. Well, as usual, George didn't disappoint me !
George not only filled John, and myself, in on how the accident with the Lincoln happened (see the accident pic below), he talked about the "fishy" side of "The Golden Sahara", and, how it had a starring role in the 1960 Jerry Lewis hit movie "Cinderfella"!
IT'S LOTS OF FUN when George, John, and I sit down to talk cars, and this is one Interview I know you'll want to hear more than once ! JK
BE SURE TO SEE the expanded section of photos & info on BOTH versions of the "Golden Sahara" at the great KUSTOMRAMA Site ! Here's the Link that will take you there: http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=The_Golden_Sahara
DURING THE COURSE OF OUR INTERVIEW, John mentioned having a video of the "Golden Sahara" in action on TV, and I added the fact that when I attended the Pasadena Playhouse in California, GARY LEWIS - Jerry's son - was a classmate of mine and a good friend.
Shortly after we left the Playhouse, Gary, and his group The Playboys, began recording for Liberty Records and, in 1965, their very first record, "This Diamond Ring", was a #1 Smash Hit ! Then I started my career in broadcasting, and ended up playing Gary's records on my radio shows!
(Above: A gathering of Rock 'n Roll Legends in St. Louis, April 18, 1966 ! L-R: Billy Joe Royal ("Down In The Boondocks", Jim Brown (WIL Radio), Bob Kuban ("The Cheater"), Jonnie King & Gary Lewis. This photo is from my personal collection.)
[NOTE: All photos on this page courtesy of their original owners/copyright holders.]
YOU CAN SEE "THE GOLDEN SAHARA II" IN ACTION IN THIS SPECIAL PRESENTATION ON YOUTUBE !! Here's the Video that John was talking about: The show was "I've Got A Secret", it was June 25th, 1962...watch as Host Gary Moore has The GS's owner, Jim Street, puts the GSII through it's paces !
Just go to this link and enter "GOLDEN SAHARA" II by George Barris": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n72FLMtSs4U
THE "GOLDEN SAHARA II" UPDATE: After decades of being hidden-away by it's owner, Jim Street, in Dayton, Ohio, this ultra-famous Barris Kustom was sold by Mecum Auctions on Saturday, May 19th, 2018, at their Indianapolis, Indiana, auction.
The "GH II" sold for $350,000.00, and the HOF Legends Site was honored by Mecum as they used this Interview with George, and his story about BOTH versions of the "Golden Sahara", in their Info & History of the car given to bidders, and featured in their online presentation. (My personal thanks to the Mecum Crew for using the HOFL Site as a part of their great story...an honor for sure.)
ALSO, Norm Grabowski's "Kookie Kar", which had been purchased by Street in 1959 for $3,000.00, was sold at this Mecum Auction for $440,000.00. You can hear Norm's Interview that we did July 27th, 2007, that explains how Norm, and the Warner Bros. TV Show "77 Sunset Strip", began their association with the help of legendary customizer, Neil Emory. Just CLICK-ON-HERE and it will take you to that Interview !
TO SEE "THE GEORGE BARRIS TRIBUTE PAGE" featuring Interviews with George, John D'Agostino, and, myself, talking about TWELVE of George & Sam's greatest kustoms just Click-On-Right Here !
(Above: That's George & myself, in 104 degree heat, at the 2006 KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, Kansas...yes, it WAS hot !!)
MY SPECIAL THANKS TO the Barris Family for their Info, help, and support ! They are carrying on the Legend & Legacy of one of the GREATEST the R&C Industry has ever known ! Be sure to visit their historic, all-inclusive Website: http://www.barris.com/
"The Art Of George Barris", By Brett Barris and Douglas Nasson. Last Gasp, Pub.
This is a phenomenal look at the life of George, as well as his brother Sam. Brett spent years putting this book together...and it's a fitting homage to George's entire history !
To read my full Review on this fascinating "work of art" by Brett & Doug, simply Click-On-Here and it will take you right to the "Hot Off The Press" Section !
CKD HAS DONE IT AGAIN ! In Issue #84 (October, 2017), they have put together a super-fantastic history of BOTH the Original Barris "Golden Sahara", AND, Voodoo Larry's out-of-this-world Tribute to the original with his "VOODOO SAHARA"...which George had endorsed and wanted to see finished.
Check-Out Pages 36-to-47 for this remarkable, exclusive pairing, as documented & researched by Anna Marco & Brett Barris, and, Dan Podobinski. Need I say: This issue is a definite keeper, so grab your copy before they're all gone ! JK
(ALSO, look for CKD "Exclusive" #2 in this issue: Anna Marco's feature story on Keith Dean's meticulously-built '38 LaSalle ! Keith told me about this at the 2016 KKOA Leadsled in Salina and showed me few pix of the early build, but the finished version will truly make you drool if you love Keith's craftsmanship, and La Salle's as much as I do ! )