Dean ‘Deano’ Jeffries passed away


One of history’s preeminent automotive sculptors and engineers passed away at home on Sunday, May 5, 2013.  Dean Jeffries, also known as “Deano” began pinstriping cars with the legendary Von Dutch in Lynwood, California, in the early 1950s.

Dean Jeffries was born on February 25, 1933. His pinstriping lead to custom painting, and then to custom fabrication. Jeffries started his craft in Lynwood before moving to Sunset Blvd, then to his long-time shop on Cahuenga Blvd in North Hollywood.Jeffries fabricated some of the most innovative custom cars and hot rods of all time.  He painted the infamous words “Little Bastard” on the tail section of actor James Deans Porsche. Other stars that would visit his shop included Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen, James Garner and Jay Leno.

Jeffries first major success was in the 1964 Grand National Roadster Show with his asymmetrically styled Mantaray, which featured a Maserati Grand Prix chassis and a Cobra engine. Other cars from the Jeffries stable include the “Monkeemobile”, the original Green Hornet’s “Black Beauty”, James Bonds’ “MoonBuggy” from Diamonds Are Forever, and the 35 foot long 12 wheel “Landmaster” built for the movie Damnation Alley.

Jeffries was also enamored with the Indianapolis 500, where he crewed for many years for the legendary AJ Foyt.  Jeffries also painted many of the Indy 500 entries, and in fact one year painted 22 of the 33 starters in the field.

Later in his career, Jeffries was involved in motion picture production, not only from a vehicle construction standpoint, but also as a stunt driver and stunt producer.  Some of the movies he was involved in included “What’s Up Doc?”, “The Blues Brothers”, “Honky Tonk Freeway”, “Roger Rabbit”, “Romancing The Stone” and “Die Hard: With Vengeance”.

In his semi-retired years, Jeffries could occasionally be found as a special guest at car shows across the country, but his passion was to be at his shop five days a week restoring his personal car collection and meeting with old friends.

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Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

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