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Were Elmer Fudd a Millionaire, His Chariot of Choice Would Likely Have Been the Naugahyde-Covered Mohs SafariKar

Posted July 20, 2022 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic cars SafariKar

Buick once built a concept car—the 1950 El Kineño—specifically with big-game hunting in mind. Plenty of coach builders around the world have offered their own takes on similar mobile platforms for rich guys from which to shoot things without leaving padded luxury behind. But only one carmaker to our knowledge has ever designed and built a vehicle for sale to the general public with that specific purpose, and one extensively restored example of the Mohs Safarikar, nowadays more suited to concours duty than to hunting, will soon cross the block.

Admittedly, calling Mohs a carmaker is a bit of a stretch. Yes, catalogs listed Mohs among the likes of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors for upwards of a dozen years, and yes, Bruce Baldwin Mohs did produce cars from his facility in Madison, Wisconsin, which normally serviced seaplanes. Then again, between the two models Mohs offered, only four examples left the factory during that timespan, and it's doubtful more than two of those four actually found paying customers.

Those two cars were certainly something else, though. The first, the Ostentatienne, debuted in 1967 with one goal in mind: to make Liberace look about as bland as low-sodium Saltine crackers. Actually, he wanted it to be as safe as it was ostentatious, so he built it atop an International truck chassis and designed it with steel rails running along each side of the car so that anything less substantial than a steam locomotive would bounce right off it. Walter Jerome had a similar idea at the heart of his Sir Vival, but unlike Jerome, Mohs placed the beams inside the car, rendering traditional doors impossible. Instead, Mohs included a single narrow hatch at the rear of the car and an aisle down the center through which the driver and passengers would find their seats.

A few years later Mohs decided to build another car using several elements cribbed from the Ostentatienne. The International chassis — specifically from a four-wheel-drive 1969 Travelall powered by a 392-cu.in. V-8 — remained, as did a unique door configuration and the close-enough-to-a-Rolls-but-different-enough-to-keep-from-getting-sued grille. The SafariKar, however, had an entirely different purpose: Mohs now envisioned a car designed from the ground up for African game hunting, with the owner's driver and spotter seated up front and the owner seated in back. With the convertible hardtop stowed under the decklid, the owner could then stand from his seat, rest his rifle on the padded rollbar, and fire directly from the car.

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Re: Were Elmer Fudd a Millionaire, His Chariot of Choice Would Likely Have Been the Naugahyde-Covered Mohs SafariKar

07/20/2022 5:47 PM

It's almost as ugly as today's Buicks.

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