The Junk Yard Dog: 1948 Saber 60

When this little car showed up at the museum Wednesday, it got a lot of attention. Retired Lt. Colonel Paul Jones built it from the ground up using parts from a junkyard for less than $250. For example, the frame is from a 1936 Willys Overland with a 1934 Terraplane front suspension, a 1939 Ford Flathead V8 and 1948 Crosley brakes. It is very driveable and has covered 163,000 miles.

The interior is nicely laid out with a dash from a 1941 Studebaker.

The hood and trunk are both made from 1941 Studebaker hoods. The doors fold down like a Piper Super Cub. It’s hard to tell, but the paint has “sparkles”  in it, like many plastic and vinyl products of the time. The finish is not like the metal flake paints that were introduced in the 1950s.

Here’s the Ford 60 flathead V8. It turns, but we haven’t tried to start it yet.

Lt. Colonel Paul Jones has built several vehicles, and he’s driven all of them many miles.  This is one of two Star Streak motorhomes he built. It is on display at the California Automobile Museum. It has over 100,000 miles on it. The other Star Streak is on display at the Motorhome Recreational Vehicle and Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.

The bumpers used parts of bumpers from Kaiser, Mercury, and Buick. This strange little car has been well maintained over the years and driven many miles, including across the country. Lt. Colonel Paul Jones was not a professional stylist but he was an engineer and had some very inventive ideas and created his vehicles from unusual bits and pieces.


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  1. 68 custom

    mind blown! LT Colonel was a talented dude! I think his motor home is the coolest!

  2. DRV

    Are those wheel covers from the baby carriage? They look familiar, like a JC Whitney wheel cover for customs.

    • David Frank David Frank Member

      Baby Carriage wheel covers would be hysterical! They are painted in the same sparkly paint as the body. Museum visitors love the motorhome. Like the Saber, it also has 100,000 miles on it. Did you notice the place to stash the awning on the left side?

    • jebster

      Hubcaps look like from a British Berkeley. Google that one.

      • DRV

        Or a Diamler p250 wheel cover..

  3. JW

    Awesome, I’m jealous of people with such talent. I have the vision in my head but moving that vision to my hands is a no winner for me.

  4. Coventrycat

    A handmade car that doesn’t look like someone on acid made – I love both of them!


    Huge amount of talent. Very impressive. More history on this gentleman and his vehicles are in order. Not only were these custom builds they were pretty durable racking up an amazing high amount of miles. Some of the best home made builds I have seen. The camper is remarkable!

  6. Van

    The RV is interesting, I’m guessing an Eldorado is under all that gold.

  7. R.hernandez

    WOW!…i think this guy could have saved
    AMC!!!…Awesome looking vehicles and
    They look durable!

  8. Joe Haska

    I can’t add anything to the other comments, they are so right. Thanks for featuring these vehicles, They really are cool, and historic and creative!

  9. JamestownMike

    Reminds me of that Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time!

  10. JamestownMike

    VERY TALENTED! He should of been an automobile designer…….wait, he was……..for himself!

  11. Pa Tina

    21 Gun Salute to the Lt.Colonel!

  12. Bobsmyuncle

    I find these cars remarkable.

    Imagine the custom tools, problem solving doo dads, and general puttering his contrivance led too over the course of his life.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    They are terrific. Thanks very much. There has been a colorful history of people designing and building their own cars, some are simply outrageous and others very close to reality. When I lived in Southern California many would appear at car shows. Amazing.

  14. Rube Goldberg Member

    Kind of a civilized rat rod. The hood and trunk look like from the same type of car. While the Saber is certainly out there, considering where the styles of motorhomes went, before the “ultimate behemoths” came out, this could have fit right in. Pretty cool.

  15. GP Member

    I think he watched to cartoon- THE JETSONS, he should of been on the staff. Very talented man.

  16. chad

    jetsons 4sure. The design vibe is what folks (esp in SoCal) of the late 50s really got (artdeco – empire state bldg, aerodynamics of a coke bottle in 90s a Tarus, etc) so just look @ these 2 elicits that 50s vibe.

    I like the ‘motorcoach as it would fit in a typical home’s garage (length / hight).
    Will hafta ck out the third (“the 2nd Srar Streak”).

    Thanks for the post, write up, links, etc!

  17. Leman

    Is either one of these for sale? If so how much? Where are they located?

  18. Joe

    this guy is brilliant!!

  19. 88V8

    Only in California could a car with no roof be driven 163,000 miles.
    What amazes me is that he engineered these wonderful cars, and also had time to put so many miles on them.
    And how good that is – so often, cars are created or restored, and then become garage queens, hardly driven.
    What a unique talent.

  20. Rube Goldberg Member

    It seems somebody doesn’t know how to strap a car on a flatbed. I’d never go around a tire like that. Around a front suspension part, but not like that.

    • Alan (Michigan) Member

      That kind of strapping is common to guys used to carrying freight on flatbed trailers. Proper attachments form a net or basket around the tire, or attach to heavy frame or suspension components. I’ve seen it before, always makes me shudder!

  21. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Rube…I noticed that too! Nothing like a support strap on a round, rolling thing like a tire. I didn’t notice any well-composed photos of the car in its entirety…all the angles make it hard to take in the design elements as a whole.

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