• Monkeemobile front 3/4

  • Monkeemobile front 3/4

  • Monkeemobile interior

  • Monkeemobile signed dash

  • Monkeemobile rear

  • Monkeemobile side

  • Monkeemobile front

  • Monkeemobile engine bay

  • Monkeemobile trumpet exhaust

  • Monkeemobile door graphic

Vehicle customization has played a huge role in car culture in the US, and Dean Jeffries was perhaps one of the most well-known builders, painters and customizers of his time.

Hemmings is reporting that Jeffries died on Sunday at the age of 80. He leaves behind a legacy in the automotive world that includes a paint job on the very first Shelby Cobra ever made, the Ford used on the cover of the 1963 Beach Boys Little Deuce Coupe album, a custom GTO for The Monkees called The Monkeemobile and even some paint work on James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder. A signature Jeffries' custom car called the Mantaray was on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in LA for a time.

Outside of customization, Jeffries also worked as a stunt driver in films like The Blues Brothers, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Die Hard With a Vengeance. Scroll down for a couple videos showing some of the cars that will ensure that Jeffries' name will forever be enshrined in the automotive community.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      RIP Dean.
      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dean, rest in peace. Your creations, outrageous and fun are a part of a time when we were all young and wanted to have fun in the sun. We should all have such a legacy, but are glad you were part of our car crazy culture.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whassup? No credit for the tip, Autoblog...?
      Steven Reiss
      • 2 Years Ago
      Agreed........Dean Jeffries was a craftsman and visionary, a pioneer in the same league as George Barris. I think he also was responsible for the Black Beauty on "The Green Hornet" TV show....... The Monkeemobile is part of many then-kids' youth that give us great memories today........ When Ducman69 accomplishes 10% of what Dean did, I'll give his opinion some serious attention and consideration. For now, though, let's all just appreciate the quality of Dean's work and remember him as part of the 1960s and 70s.....
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry to see my friend of 40 years have to go to "Car Heaven". Now he can be with Roselee his wife who went before him a few years ago. He really missed her !! Google "Dean Jeffries" and you'll see how talented a guy he was. I worked with Dean on many Movie and TV productions. I'll miss you Deano, Chuck Waters
      • 1 Year Ago
      I met Deano briefly, about two years ago, and was lucky enough to have him give me an afternoon's tour of his legendary shop/studio/museum/personal world--for it was all of that and more. The man knew his specialty, and his accomplishments formidably speak for themselves, and for Dean, now that he's gone. The Monkeemobile was completed in 10 days, that alone is remarkable. Sure, it does look kind of 'out there,' but as someone else notes here, it was an attention-getter, a gimmick to enhance the humorous aspects of a '60s sitcom about a zany American Band loosely patterned after the Beatles (live-action, by the way, not animated). Dean impressed me as a kind and genuine individual, unprepossessing and without any trace of the taint of modern-day celebrity which so often spoils those who've succeeded in entertainment-related fields. Many of his vehicles were on hand at the shop that afternoon, and I'm still gob-smacked by my recollection--there's no other term for them but amazing. The Manta Ray truly was a product of the man's genius for automotive design. It was such a pleasant and quietly memorable afternoon. I hope you and your lady have an equally joyful cruise through forever, Deano. You've surely earned it.