Custom Car Builders

June 18, 2015

The Golden Sahara Model

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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Japanese Yoshihiro Hobara is on a quest to build a series of his all time favorite famous Barris Kustoms Shop created Custom cars in scale 1/25. For this article we concentrate on the model he created of the Golden Sahara I.


The Golden Sahara model: One of the wildest Custom creations to ever come from the Barris Custom Shop. The Golden Sahara was base on George Barris his personal 1953 Lincoln that was in a wreck. The idea for the Custom was sold to Dayton, Ohio based Jim Skonzakes and the Barris Shop went to work. No panel was left alone, and the end result was a stunning futuristic automobile that would shock the custom car crowd for many years to come. Yoshihiro based his model on the Lindberg 1953 Ford Hard Top kit, which was not to far off from the Lincoln the Barris Shop had started with. So that was the easy part. Fortunately for Yoshihiro, the built on the Golden Sahara was captured with some photos which where used in the Barris Technique book Volume 3. Those along with several feature of the Golden Sahara in the magazines from the mid 1950’s and more recent publications were used to research the car. And help recreate the car in 1/25 scale.

CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-01Early stage of the built show the 1953 Ford body already shaped to look like the Golden Sahara. A lot of cutting, shaping and adding shaped pieces of sheet plastic as well as body parts from the parts-box have been added to get the body this far.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-02Long rear fenders were mostly shaped from sheet plastic and left over body parts from other kit. A parts box spare tire cover was reshaped and blended into the trunk. Headlights openings where created from left over parts combined with sheet and strip styrene and blended into the body.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-03A modified hood was created with the front of the opening acting as a scoop. A peak was added on the front fenders just above the reshaped wheel opening, and parts-box bullets were added to the front.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-04The whole front end needed to be reshaped from the 1953 Ford. Spare box headlights were added and a new grille opening cut in the shaped sheet styrene front.

CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-05Check, check and double check with the detailed photos to make sure all the shapes are right… TEs fitting of the wrap around windshield. Inspiration also came from period music.



CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-06Body shape is ready for the first coats of heavy primer.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-07It is always great to put the first coats of primer on a model, especially when it is so complex as the Golden Sahara. Not you can see the full lines of the body without looking at all the shaded of plastic and filler. Its also the stage where you realize there is still a long way to go. Much shaping and sanding still to be done.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-08Most of the primer has been sanded away and the body shape is getting very close and is now getting really smooth as well. Now its time to work on the details. Interior, taillights. The front bench comes from the parts-box, and still needs typical Golden Sahara details. The rear bench is all scratch-built.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-09The taillights were crafted from left over clear red plastic. The lower sections of the taillights come from the parts-boxThedash was mostly scratch built from sheet styrene.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-10With the windshield installed it is really to start look really good.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-11Close up of the early stages of the dash board. Pencil marks show where the tuck and roll needs to be. The TV comes from the partsbox and is set into a scratch build surround.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-12Close up of the early stages of the rear bench. A lot of work already has been done, but much more work is needed.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-19Nearly finished interior, and the body is back in primer again.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-13Interior is now also in primer. Still lots of sanding to be done.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-14Final test fittings before the car is taken part again for paint… yeah!



CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-16White painted body parts, and the first test fitting of all the parts after paint… very exciting.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-17Windshield installed… and a reminder of how it wall started. The Lindberg 1953 Ford Victoria.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-18Time for the details. The hubcaps, fortunately only two where needed due to the skirts in the back.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-20Tada… the finished mode. Detail paint has been added and gold foil has been added for a lot of the trim sections.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-21The interior was painted to match the real car’s interior created by the Carson Top Shop.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-22Gold paint, gold bare metal foil and adhesive backed chrome strips make up the large Golden Sahara Fender skirts.





CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-26The only after market part used on the car are the three Barris Crests done in brass by the Model Car Garage and detail painted by Yoshihiro.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-27Displayed on the Jack Stewart Ford book. Yoshihiro used several photo and information from the Jim Skonzakes chapter on the Golden Sahara for his model.


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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)

One Comment

  1. Oh WOW that car is amazing, well done man.


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