It is hard to imagine that mass production of automobiles has been around for over 100 years, but that’s just a fact. But mass-produced cars are so…boring. Sure, you can take a car and modify it to your heart’s content, but at the end of the day you are still left to the mercy of the designers and engineers who put it together. But a truly unique car is one built by hand, something that nobody else can or has built. There are very few of these cars in the world…and one of them just emerged from a very long slumber.
Hemmings Auto Blog has the story of the “Bohman Special,” a one-off aluminum-bodied sports car that was lost and discarded for decades until a young college kid came across it in the backyard of a house he was renting.
That college kid was Tom Sawyer, who unbeknownst to him had bought a unique car built by famous hot rodder Chris Bohman. Sitting atop a Ford chassis and featuring a hand-rolled aluminum body, the Bohamn Special was built for the 1950’s movie “Johnny Dark” before being sold.
It disappeared for 15 years before Sawyer found it in the backyard of the house he was renting, and bought it for $300. Under the hood was an old Buick 322 cubic-inch Nailhead V8 backed by a four-speed manual transmission.
For the next almost 50 years Sawyer rebuilt the car as he saw fit, using it as a daily driver and a promotion piece for his business while never truly knowing what he had (he always thought it was an old Allard).
When he retired in 2009 and tried to sell it, he couldn’t find any information on the car, so he turned to a well-known collector in Salt Lake City who told him what he had; the one-off Bohman Special. Since then, Sawyer has sought to restore the Bohman to the condition it was in Johnny Dark, having unknowingly kept a piece of hot rod history alive for all these years.