In the Works

January 2, 2015

Golden Sahara Recreation

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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Lawrence W Grobe aka Voodoo Larry is recreating the Iconic Custom Car the Golden Sahara, and giving it his own twist.

The Golden Sahara was originally build by the Barris Kustom Shop for owner Jim Skonzakes from Dayton Ohio. Based on the wrecked personal 1952 Lincoln of George Barris every panel and more were changed on the car. When the car debuted in 1954 it caused a sensation. The car was featured in many magazines and showed all around the US. Not totally happy with the looks and the quality Jim Skonzakes redesigned the car in 1956 with the help of a team of craftsman at the Delphos Machine and Tool shop in Dayton Ohio. People like Henry Meyer, Joe Roth and Bob Metz played a large roll in the second version of the Golden Sahara. The Golden Sahara II featured a bubble top, double finned rear fenders, a first automotive pearl paint job, gold details, and a large selection of electronic features that were unheard of when the car was finished in 1957. Jim Skonzakes (aka Jim Street) toured the car on the show circuit and at car dealerships around the US for over a decade. Jim still owns the Golden Sahara today, but it has been in storage for several decades.

CCC-Golden-Sahara-IThe first version of the Golden Sahara build by the Barris Kustom Shop from a 1952 Lincoln.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-IIThe Golden Sahara II redesigned by Jim Skonzakes.


Lawrence W. Grobe, owner of Voodoo Larry Kustoms in Elk Grove Village, Illinois has been thinking about recreating the famous Golden Sahara for about 25 year. When Larry bought a Kaiser for his girlfriend Collette’s birthday he also got a crappy parts car to go with it. After thinking about it for some time Larry figured the parts car Kaiser would be the perfect candidate to start his golden Sahara “Recreation” project with. And that is what we see here. Larry has been working on this project for a little while, but so far he told very few people about it. But now the project is out in the open. Larry will not exactly clone one of the Golden Sahara versions, but rather use the best components of both and mix in a few of his own ideas. But overall the look will be very much Golden Sahara.

CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-01-wThe parts car Kaiser that larry based his recreation of the Golden Sahara on. 


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-02-wLowered and ready to be cut apart.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-04-wWith the top removed and converting from a four door to a two door process started.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-05-wReshaping the belt-line to create the needed dip.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-06-wTrunk removed to reposition the front and rear section.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-07-wMuch longer trunk.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-08-wRear quarters taking shape, but the scoop/fin is still missing.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-09-wOutlining the scoop/fin using bend tubing.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-12-wStarting the look good.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-14-wFront fenders marked for reshaping.


CCC-Golden-Sahara-Clone-19-wCut off front section of the frame and test fitting a wrap around windshield.


We will be following Larry’s progress on this very interesting project. We have created a CCC-Forum-Post and will be adding new photos of the project when ever Larry is sharing them. So check back frequently for more updates.

To see more on the original Golden Sahara check out these Articles on the Custom Car Chronicle or order the Jack Stewart Ford book which has a 14+ page section on the Golden Sahara.






Kustom Kar Books Golden Sahara




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About the Author

Rik Hoving
Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)



  1. I just heard about this yesterday, very exiting news. Thanks for the pics Rik.

  2. This will be amazing to watch.

  3. Looking forward to watching this one come together. I think the Golden Sahara is one of the few kustoms that looks great in any of its versions…going to be neat to see what Larry does with this. It’s about time someone built a copy/clone since we can’t see the original anytime soon.

  4. I’m very excited about Larry’s new project. It is going to be real kool watching such a wild kustom being driven around town.

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