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Dean Jeffries
Birth: Feb. 25, 1933
Osage
Mitchell County
Iowa, USA
Death: May 5, 2013
Studio City
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Legendary Custom Car Designer and Builder. Born Edward Dean Jeffies, he dreamed of attending art school, but his family could not afford the tuition. His father, a car mechanic, tried to teach him the trade, but he preferred drawing and hated the grease and dirt of mechanical work. During the Korean War, while stationed with the Army in Germany, he saw fellow soldiers and locals custom painting their motorcycles and cars, and upon returning to California, he began pinstriping cars with the legendary Kenneth 'Von Dutch' Howard. Later, he landed a job as George Barris's in-house pinstriper where one of his early projects was striping and painting James Dean's infamous Porsche 550 Spyder with the nickname "Little Bastard". Jeffries pinstriping led to custom painting, and then to custom fabrication. In the 1960s, he built the 1932 Ford three-window coupe that the Beach Boys used on the cover of their 'Little Deuce Coupe' album. Among other notable cars he went on to design and build were the "Monkeemobile", the original Green Hornet's "Black Beauty", the "Mantaray" from 'Bikini Beach' (1963), James Bonds' "MoonBuggy" from 'Diamonds Are Forever' (1971) and the "Landmaster" built for the movie 'Damnation Alley' (1977). Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Martin, Harry Belafonte, James Garner and Jay Leno were among clients whose vehicles he customized. Later in his career, Jeffries was involved in motion picture production, not only constructing vehicles, but also as a stunt driver and stunt producer. Some of the movies he was involved in include "What's Up Doc?" (1972), "The Blues Brothers" (1980), "Honky Tonk Freeway" (1981), "Romancing The Stone" (1984) "Roger Rabbit" (1988) and "Die Hard: With a Vengeance" (1995). While working on the Warner Bros. lot he met and later married Rosalee "Row" Berman, who was an executive and associate producer for the studio. Jeffries died in his sleep at home of natural causes. (bio by: Louis du Mort) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Rosalee Jeffries (1941 - 2008)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Lincoln Terrace section, Map # H89, Lot 5185, Garden Crypt 1
GPS (lat/lon): 34.14333, -118.31885
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Lisa Albanese
Record added: Apr 06, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 127526633
Dean Jeffries
Added by: Louis du Mort
 
Dean Jeffries
Added by: Louis du Mort
 
Dean Jeffries
Added by: Lisa Albanese
 
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- Janis Coleman
 Added: May. 5, 2017
I loved the creative work on the cars you built.
- van bacon
 Added: Mar. 19, 2017

- I am but a common mike
 Added: May. 5, 2016
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Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 24 votes)
 

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