People have modified or even custom-built vehicles to use on hunting trips, from big-game hunting in India to the pursuit of wild pigs and other critters in Texas. The Pick of the Day is such a vehicle.
The vehicle is one of three built (and one of only two known to survive), a 1975 Mohrs Safarikar created by Bruce Baldwin Mohs, an inventor in Madison, Wisconsin, notes the St. Louis dealer advertising the unusual creation on ClassicCars.com.
The dealer says that Mohs was “an inventor, entrepreneur, engineer, big-game hunter, and all-around celebrator of the eccentric.” Among his inventions were “the instant milkshake (and) the reflective trim strip used on highway barriers” He also built seaplanes, mechanical props for such Hollywood filmmakers as Alfred Hitchcock, and some very strange cars.
His first, we’re informed, was the Ostentatienne Opera Sedan in 1968.
Of Mohs’ Opera Sedan, the dealer notes, “This bizarre creation was based on an International truck chassis, with a 304 cubic-inch V8 from the same source,” the dealer reports.“In lieu of conventional side doors, it featured a single rear-entry door that opened like a flying saucer. It also had 20-inch wheels with nitrogen-filled whitewall tires, a butane furnace, refrigerator, two-way radio, and more.”
Five years later, Mohs did his trio of Safarikars.
“As its name suggests, Mohs envisioned the Safarikar as a rugged machine capable of tackling the rigors of African Safaris, but with the luxury, exclusivity, and quality of a Rolls-Royce,” the advertisement points out. “That was the idea, anyway.”
The Safarikar was built around the chassis, suspension and 392cid V8 powertrain from an International Travelall. He added “tungsten-alloy bulkheads, aluminum panels and steel outriggers,” as well as a Rolls-Royce-style radiator shell, heavy-duty bumpers, and a multi-piece folding hardtop above the dual-cowl phaeton-style vehicle.
The doors were horizontally opening slide-out structures so occupants, sitting three-abreast in a Naugahyde-covered bucket seats, could better spot game while in motion. By the way, the dealer notes that the seats were developed and patented by Solar Automotive, actor Steve McQueen’s studio, and were designed for vehicles racing in the Baja 1000. The rear seat converts to a sleeping platform, and the interior has room for someone to stand up and shoot.
The dealer says this Safarikar was thought not to have survived until 2009, when someone saw it mentioned in an AACA forum, started searching and found it “quietly decaying in a Georgia parking lot.”
The owner was found, a deal was struck and a 4-year restoration process was begun.
“It retains the correct piston-style A/C compressor and features power brakes and power steering,” the dealer notes. “The big V8 runs well, sending power to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission.”
Since being restored, the car has been displayed at Amelia Island and has won an AACA National and Grand National honors.
“Delightfully off-center, totally outlandish, and with a face only a mother could love, the Mohs Safarikar provides a fascinating glimpse into the fertile mind of Bruce Mohs.”
The 1975 Mohs Safarikar is offered for $349,500.