Dean Jeffries: 50 Fabulous Years in Hot Rods, Racing & Film

Overview

An unassuming craftsman, legendary car builder Dean Jeffries has always preferred to let his creations speak for themselves. This book provides a rare, close-up look at the man, and the life, behind the Mantaray, the Monkeemobile, the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, and James Bond’s moon buggy, among countless others.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Jeffries, bestselling Motorbooks author Tom Cotter gives readers the inside story on how, with little more than ...

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Overview

An unassuming craftsman, legendary car builder Dean Jeffries has always preferred to let his creations speak for themselves. This book provides a rare, close-up look at the man, and the life, behind the Mantaray, the Monkeemobile, the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, and James Bond’s moon buggy, among countless others.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Jeffries, bestselling Motorbooks author Tom Cotter gives readers the inside story on how, with little more than determination, raw talent, and a high school education, Jeffries became such an extraordinary figure in the automotive world. Cotter details the multiple careers Jeffries mastered at once, from custom painting and pinstriping to metal shaping and design. The book offers Jeffries’ own account of the circumstances behind the famous TV and movie cars that followed, as well as the relationships he enjoyed with personalities as varied as A. J. Foyt, Steve McQueen, James Dean, Bruce Lee, Parnelli Jones, and Elvis Presley. Cotter also chronicles Jeffries’ work on well-known hot rods, sports cars, and Indy racers—including the 21 starting cars Jeffries painted in a single Indianapolis 500. Featuring more than 200 images from Jeffries’ own archive, here finally is a book that truly brings to life the man behind the legend.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This new 192-page book by Tom Cotter gives a reasonably balanced view of Jeffries’ varied and interesting life around cars, illustrated with fantastic photos from Jeffries own collection. It’s a classic American success story, and another great addition to your Motorbooks collection.” - Custom Car

“This book sat on my table for a few days before I picked it up but once I did it stayed in my hands until I had finished it! I liked this book a lot.” - legendarycollectorcars.com

“As Cotter notes more than once in the book, Jeffries tended not to put himself in the spotlight, preferring instead to let his work speak for itself and for his talents — pinstriping, painting, metalworking. Yet the cars that he built — the Monkeemobile, the Mantaray, the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty — often overshadowed the builder. And yes, Cotter does address the issues Jeffries has with George Barris and explains how Barris had taken credit for many of the cars Jeffries built.” - Daniel Strohl, Hemmings

From the Publisher
“This new 192-page book by Tom Cotter gives a reasonably balanced view of Jeffries’ varied and interesting life around cars, illustrated with fantastic photos from Jeffries own collection. It’s a classic American success story, and another great addition to your Motorbooks collection.” - Custom Car

“This book sat on my table for a few days before I picked it up but once I did it stayed in my hands until I had finished it! I liked this book a lot.” - legendarycollectorcars.com

“As Cotter notes more than once in the book, Jeffries tended not to put himself in the spotlight, preferring instead to let his work speak for itself and for his talents — pinstriping, painting, metalworking. Yet the cars that he built — the Monkeemobile, the Mantaray, the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty — often overshadowed the builder. And yes, Cotter does address the issues Jeffries has with George Barris and explains how Barris had taken credit for many of the cars Jeffries built.” - Daniel Strohl, Hemmings

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760333464
  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Publication date: 3/15/2009
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


A regular contributor to Road & Track, Tom Cotter is the author of two bestselling automotive-rescue books, The Cobra in the Barn and The Hemi in the Barn. He also is the co-author of an award-winning history of the legendary race team Holman-Moody. Before focusing on writing, Cotter built one of the most successful PR agencies in motorsports, with a client list that included NASCAR, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Dodge, Pontiac, BMW, and SPEED channel. He currently serves as co-chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and lives in Davidson, North Carolina.

Winner of International Automotive Media Bronze Award 2010

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Table of Contents

Contents

 

Acknowledgments

Foreword by Bruce Meyer

Introduction

PART I           THE MAN

            A Car Crazy Kid

            The Barris Years

            Hitched at High Speed

            Hollywood-Bound

            Shop of the Stars

            Barris vs. Jeffries

            A Lasting Legacy

            Row

            Ladders

 

PART II          THE MACHINES

            The Mantaray

            The Kyotes

            The Falcon Python

            John Mecom’s Deano Toronado

            The Murderous Porsche

            The Coyote Gullwing Coupe

            The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty

            The Monkeemobile

            The Landmaster

            Dean’s Radical Rolling Shop

 

PART III        THE MOTORSPORT

            The Indianapolis 500

            AJ & Jeffries

            The GT40

 

PART IV        THE MOVIES

            Death Race 2000 (1975)

            Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

            Mother, Jugs and Speed (1976)

            Romancing the Stone (1984)

            Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

            Stunts by Jeffries

 

Epilogue

Bibliography

Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 9, 2012

    Highly Recommended! Cool!

    Great information and photos. A must have for any car crazy person.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great book for a specialized audience!

    The research I was conducting on this person was fully accomplished as a result of reading this book. It's not a best seller type book, but I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in So. California hotrod culture of the 50's.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    Dean Jeffries finally gets the book recognition he deserves.

    I found it all to be very informative and eye-opening history of Mr. Jeffries. Very historical and informative. Thank you Mr. Jeffries for your talents and skills.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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