This is a very nicely restored 1955 Safari owned by Larry & Tange Krause. Pictures were taken at the 2006 POCI National Convention in Ontario, CA.
Larry and his Safari
Below is a close-up of the lift gate handle and center rib. This particular center rib is called a "Knuckle buster", the nickname given an early production center rib that was used on some '55 Safari's and Nomads.
The "knuckle buster" center rib carries the raised ridge under the handle from above and below the handle. On the late production ribs, the section under the handled was modified (flattened) to allow more room for your hand to lower and raise the gate without banging your knuckles on the rib contour.
Bob Johnson had an "NOS" Knuckle buster center rib on the tailgate of his 1956 Safari. According to Bob,
"Urban legend has it, some parts dealer/supplier found a stash of NOS knuckle busters left over from the change-out in production. Others simply claim the knuckle buster was the first center rib to be reproduced because it was so rare....but these are just "legends"...I've never been able to substantiate either story. Not too many folks even want the knucklebuster these days, but it's an interesting bit of trivia."
Reproduction ribs are not of the "knuckle buster" type so these are probably restored original ribs. Assuming these were the original ribs on the car, one could deduce that this is an early production 1955 Safari.
Very nice and rare! Watch those knuckles Larry & Tange!