Autonomous vehicles have surely made their presence known within recent years, with an industry-wide presence that nearly every automotive manufacturer has helped to cultivate. But the idea of intelligent autonomy isn’t necessarily new — further reinforced by Goodyear’s restored Golden Sahara II — a 1950-era legend that helped to illustrate the future of the automotive industry.
The Golden Sahara II was originally conceptualized by Goodyear and Hollywood car customizer, George Barris, who based the vehicle off the 1953 Lincoln Capri hardtop. After gifting the retro platform with jet-age styling, iconic ‘50s bodywork, and innovative remote control technologies, Barris turned to Goodyear for a set of one-of-a-kind Neothane tires. These translucent rollers were made from synthetic rubber, allowing for illumination from the inside of the wheel, and were fitted alongside state-of-the-art crystal hubcaps that had built-in turn signals. A sensor-based automatic braking system, aircraft-inspired control layout, and an early version of modern object sensory systems brought the car to an insanely cumbersome $75,000 build price — indicative of the futuristic technology that was implemented into the one-off show car.