Bruce Baldwin Mohs


   

MOHS SEAPLANE CORPORATION - Madison, Wisconsin 1948 (1967)-1977 
MOHS, "The Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan"Mohs Safarikars"Mohs Safarikar Dual-Cowl Phaeton Metal Top Convertible"The Mohs Model F Funster: 2 page non-color sheet, 12x8. Front of sheet has three-quarter frontal view of car and view of wheel and hubcap, with discussion. Reverse side has two photographs showing exterior and "full size door opening with integral opening skylight", with discussion and prices. Comes with: a) "Mohs Silver Anniversary: 1948-1973": 12 page non-color folder, 4x9. Cover has three photographs showing Bruce Baldwin Mohs, Designer, Jeannette Hight Mohs, Commercial Artist, and Mohs' shopping center, with discussion. Folder opens to 11x17 layout with eighteen photographs showing Mohs vehicles from 1948 to 1973, with discussion. Back cover has photograph of Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan. Folded for mailing.

Year:  1977  MOHS, "The Mohs Model F Funster": 2 (single-side printed) page non-color sheet, 11x9. White sheet, with black lettering, has two photographs showing Model F Mohs Funster, driven by Bruce Eric Mohs (son) and Bruce Baldwin Mohs, with discussion.

International ConvertiKit pickup truck conversion

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1972-75 Mohs SafariKar
See the sights, then spend the nights in one of the strangest dual-cowl phaetons ever produced.

The automotive designs of Bruce Mohs came to life under the auspices of the Mohs Seaplane Corporation of Madison, Wisconsin. Though he had developed lightweight motorcycle/bicycles (even a motorcycle sidecar that was a working miniature boat), the first of his radical automotive designs to go into production was the Ostentatienne Opera Sedan. Using an International Harvester truck chassis and a V-8 engine modified to Mohs' specifications, this first Mohs car was a one-door (that's right, one door, located at the rear of the vehicle) four-seat coupe. Styling was a rather bizarre mix, with an imposing grille and radiator combination that shows evidence of inspiration from Rolls-Royce.

Numerous unusual features such as full-length steel safety side rails, 20-inch wheels, sealed-beam taillights and a skylight-style roof characterized the Ostentatienne, which was to be offered in Model A and Model B versions (304-cu.in V-8 Model A; 549-cu.in. V-8 Model B). Luxury? With standard equipment that included a refrigerator, a 2-way radio that had a pair of base stations for home or office, a gold-inlaid Walnut instrument panel, velvet upholstery, Ming Dynasty carpeting, special safety bucket seats, a 110-volt converter, a butane furnace, and a multi-fuel-capable induction system, it had few, if any, rivals that could offer as much. These heavy cars (5,740 and 6,100 pounds for Model A and B respectively) carried equally heavy price tags -- $19,600 and $25,600.

Mohs expanded his automotive line with the 1973 introduction of the SafariKar, a vehicle that he created as a quiet, luxury off-road vehicle for the hunt. At least this metal-top convertible had two doors mounted on the sides of the body, but these were of a unique outward-sliding style rather than hinged. Seating capacity was for eight passengers, with three bucket seats up front, a three-person bench in the rear and jump seats mounted for "temporary use in parades etc." as the brochure stated. Much like the cheap children's cartoon toys of the 1980s, the SafariKar levered, folded and transformed into sleeping quarters for two adults and two children in the rear seating area, with the second windshield (this was after all a dual-cowl phaeton) becoming a tray table above the vanity found in the second cowl.

And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, the exterior was flat black, finished off in Naugahyde! "They also appreciate the more conservative features," notes the brochure. "The Mohs body construction method utilizing cast Tenzalloy bulkheads, heavy-gauge aluminum sheet, polyurethane foam and Naugahyde covering is not only quiet in the extreme, but low in maintenance since there is no paint on the exterior of the car. You merely wet, wipe and dry for cleaning. No waxing. No polishing." The brochure made no mention as to how your local body shop might be expected to repair this in the event of collision damage! Optional features included four-wheel drive, a 2-way radio, stereo, television and butane furnace.

Like the Opera Sedan, the Safari Kar was built on an International chassis with an International 392-cu.in. drivetrain. Output was stated to be "Adequate." Only a few of the SafariKars are believed to have been built between 1972-75, offered at $14,500 each. Heady money in those days for a really heady car!


 

   

For more information please read:

Bruce Baldwin Mohs - The Amazing Mr. Mohs

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - A History of Coachbuilding

George Arthur Oliver - Cars and Coachbuilding: One Hundred Years of Road Vehicle Development

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

James J. Schild - Fleetwood: the Company and the Coachcraft

John R. Velliky - Dodge Brothers/Budd Co. Historical Photo Album

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 1

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 2

Stephen Newbury -  Car Design Yearbook 3

Dennis Adler - The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the 20th Century

C. Edson Armi - The Art of American Car Design: The Profession and Personalities

C. Edson Armi - American Car Design Now

Penny Sparke - A Century of Car Design

John Tipler - The World's Great Automobile Stylists

Ivan Margolius - Automobiles by Architects

Jonathan Bell - Concept Car Design

Erminie Shaeffer Hafer - A century of vehicle craftsmanship

Ronald Barker & Anthony Harding - Automobile Design: Twelve Great Designers and Their Work

John McLelland - Bodies beautiful: A history of car styling and craftsmanship

Frederic A. Sharf - Future Retro: Drawings From The Great Age Of American Automobiles

Paul Carroll Wilson - Chrome Dreams: Automobile Styling Since 1893

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Nick Georgano - Art of the American Automobile: The Greatest Stylists and Their Work

Matt Delorenzo - Modern Chrysler Concept Cars: The Designs That Saved the Company

Thom Taylor - How to Draw Cars Like a Pro

Tony Lewin & Ryan Borroff - How To Design Cars Like a Pro

Frederick E. Hoadley - Automobile Design Techniques and Design Modeling: the Men, the Methods, the Materials

Doug DuBosque - Draw Cars

Jonathan Wood - Concept Cars

D. Nesbitt - 50 Years Of American Auto Design

David Gartman - Auto Opium: A Social History of American Automobile Design

Lennart W. Haajanen & Karl Ludvigsen - Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles

L. J. K Setright - The designers: Great automobiles and the men who made them

Goro Tamai - The Leading Edge: Aerodynamic Design of Ultra-Streamlined Land Vehicles

Brian Peacock & Waldemar Karwowski - Automotive Ergonomics

Bob Thomas - Confessions of an Automotive Stylist

Brooke Hodge & C. Edson Armi - Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays

Gordon M. Buehrig - Rolling sculpture: A designer and his work

Henry L. Dominguez - Edsel Ford and E.T. Gregorie: The Remarkable Design Team...

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl (Design Heroes Series)

Stephen Bayley - Harley Earl and the Dream Machine

Serge Bellu - 500 Fantastic Cars: A Century of the World Concept Cars

Raymond Loewy - Industrial Design

Raymond Loewy - Never Leave Well Enough Alone

Philippe Tretiack - Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design

Angela Schoenberger - Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design

Laura Cordin - Raymond Loewy

 


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