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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: This one was built for African hunting safaris

Pick of the Day: This one was built for African hunting safaris

1975 Mohs Safarikar was one of many creations of Bruce Baldwin Mohs

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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.

1975 Mohs Safarikar
1975 Mohs Safarikar interior

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. 

1975 Mohs Safarikar

“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.”

1975 Mohs Safarikar

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. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

4 COMMENTS

  1. One of those trucks were on display at the imperial palace in Vegas back in the early nineties and the doors sliding out like that were to push off attacking rino’s according to the display at the palace

  2. What a memory jerker! When I was with the Imperial Palace Auto Collection we had one of these Mohs Safarikars on display. The creator told us that the reason the doors move out horizontally from the sides was to not only making getting in and out of the vehicle more convenient, but should a wild animal begin to charge the vehicle, the doors could be deployed to fend off wild tigers, angry lions and hungry elephants!

    • “When I was with the Imperial Palace” now that’s a stretch! And nothing for nothing but, Ralph Engelstad’s original Imperial Palace Antique & Classic Auto Collection owned 2 of the Safarikar’s.

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