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The Golden Sahara II

On Monday, we featured a Barris Kustom titled The Golden Sahara.  When we began researching the car, it looked wildly familiar to us.  Car nuts like us know a famous builder’s creation when they see one.  You know how we love to spot classic cars in movies, and the more unusual or rare, the better.

This past weekend, we happened upon an old Jerry Lewis movie from 1960, Cinderfella.  Billed as a guy’s take on Cinderella, Jerry Lewis plays a modern-day enslaved stepson of a cold-hearted, wicked stepmother.

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True to the original Cinderella story, when the clock strikes midnight at the ball, Cinderfella has to leave, and fast, before the spell is broken.  While we had seen this movie before, it had been a while, and this time we did a double take as we saw him make a break for it, because this was the ride that was waiting for him at the foot of the stairs…


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Look familiar?  We thought so too.  It’s a dead ringer for the Golden Sahara, and for good reason.  This is the second version of the car, renamed the Golden Sahara II.  Notice the split fins and the illuminated tires – yes, they actually light up!  Practical?  No.  Captivating?  Yes!  Now that’s what we call a scene-stealing carlet!

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The original version of the Golden Sahara was built by Barris for Jim Skonzakes, a.k.a. Jim Street.  Jim had even bigger ideas for his custom, and decided to kick things up a notch with the second version of the car.


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Jim took the car to all kinds of auto shows, and as legend has it, used to hide the remote control in his sleeve so as to make viewers think that the car responded to his verbal commands.



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We loved these photos of the car on display at a show, floating on a cloud of fluff.

It even appeared on the TV show I’ve Got a Secret on June 25, 1962.  The five minute spot is absolutely worth the view, as Jim uses his remote control to drive the car onstage, walking alongside it as he moves it into position in front of the cameras and the audience.


Rumor has it that the driver of the car in the film is actually the owner, Jim Street, wearing gold face paint.

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We couldn’t quite confirm that, so we decided to find a photo of Jim instead and let you compare the two.  The driver and Jim have quite a resemblance, don’t you think?


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Without fully realizing it until this week, the Golden Sahara II has been a part of our lives for years now.  When we bought our house, we decided that one of our first purchases would be something that made our house feel like a home…


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… and this piece of art is what we picked (#seriousvintagecarnerds).  We had no idea all this time that the car in the photo above was the Golden Sahara II.  We just thought it was an incredibly cool concept car that thought no longer existed – or at least, we hoped it existed somewhere.


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The estimated value of the first version of the Golden Sahara was $25,000, and the value of the Golden Sahara II jumped to $75,000, over $500,000 in today’s dollars!  If I had a spare half-million today, I’d certainly have a Golden Sahara II built for myself.  I just have one question… does it come with the Goldfinger-esque girl on the back?  I’m sure she’d come in handy at car shows, no?


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