The Original Luxury Overlander is the Incredibly Rare Mohs Safarikar and Just Found on EBay | EngineBiscuit
Mohs Safarikar. Fewer cars can really respond to current trends in the automotive market, like that mix of serious 4 × 4 power from International Harvester mixed with ultra-lux from Rolls-Royce. Too bad the Mohs Safarikar came out about 50 years too soon, and due to its high cost and lack of a viable market, only three were made. One of them is now for sale on eBay.
The Mohs Safarikar is crazy rare
Although the Safarikar only had three prototypes made, only two of the three still exist, making it even rarer than rare. The Safarikar may sound ridiculous, but… in fact, yes, it is ridiculous.
This bizarre car was designed for the super-rich to hunt big game in Africa. If the idea of wealthy Americans going hunting for African game wasn’t creaky enough, to do so in this silly-looking thing is downright appalling. On the way…
The Safarikar was available between $ 19,600 and $ 25,600 in 1972. It was a large amount of money at the time. Along with the high cost and super specific purpose, this wacky car also looked quite, er, interesting. It turns out that people back then didn’t care about the hyper-specific, expensive and ugly car, hence the production count of only three.
So where does the Mohs Safarikar come from?
According to Silodrome, these 4 × 4 square sedans were built using an International Harvester Travelall 4 × 4 chassis with a bespoke “double-hood faeton” body designed for off-road travel in Africa.
The Safarikar’s odd appearance and name are due solely to the man behind the odd set of wheels, Bruce Mohs. Not only was he the man behind this car, but he was also a specialty mechanical accessories manufacturer for Hollywood. His work can be found in some of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and others of the time.
Once we understand this part of the Mohs Safarikar, the design aesthetic makes a bit more sense. In addition to being a props builder, he was also a restaurateur, hotelier, photographer and, you guessed it, big game hunter. Even still, this enigmatic individual has done more, but we are here for the Safarikar.
Calling Bruce Mohs eccentric would be a bit too easy, though he obviously didn’t mind the nickname. As he puts it, “concentric people go around in circles; they never go off in a tangent and do anything. Many concentric people will just do their 8 to 5 job and come home and sit in front of the TV tube and open a can of beer and go to bed and do the same the next day. I think everyone should have a bit of eccentricity.
It’s a hunting vehicle that few people have seen
This crazy vehicle is more like driving a warlord or exotic prince than something made in America.
The chassis of the International Harvester was covered in an all-aluminum body. So far, not too strange. However, this aluminum body is completely covered with black Naugahyde, a type of synthetic and water resistant material. The idea was to give shooters a stable place to sit their rifles for accuracy without damaging the exterior of the car.
The Savanah’s punching power was provided by Harvester’s 392 cubic inch (6.4 liter) V8 paired with the company’s 3-speed automatic transmission. The interior consisted of Mohs’ ‘double hood phaeton’, which meant two separate seating areas. The term was borrowed from WWII cars, but used quite liberally here.
These two areas were meant to separate the driver and guide, who sat in the front, and the hunters sat in the back with their guns and alcohol. The rear seat would even fold up to provide sleeping places when needed. This insane vehicle was an overlander long before this concept really captured the hearts of off-roaders.
Steve McQueen participated in the Safarikar
If it was cool and adventurous in the 1970s, we could just assume Steve McQueen was involved. In fact, the three bucket seats in the front of the Safarikar were designed by McQueen and his off-road racing team. These were designed for tracking cars for his racing adventures in the SoCal Desert.
Everything about this car is completely over the top. The pictures alone show that Mohs wasn’t kidding. This safari machine was a crashed Land Rover and Rolls-Royce together. There is not much else to say. It’s completely absurd and also damn cool.
As of this writing, this example is for sale on eBay with a “Buy It Now” price of $ 197,000. While that sounds like a lot, this same car was previously priced over $ 300,000 not too long ago. Maybe this is a good deal?
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