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Old 03-27-2009, 01:11 PM   #21
Stu D Baker
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Originally Posted by whamoman View Post
In 1969 I left Wichita Kansas for California. Not having any idea what I was going to do when i got there. I had some experience working for a time with Starbird in Wichita but I knew California was where I would really get professional experience. I first went to Barris' shop and asked for a job. I won't go into what happened but I left there determined never to offer my services to George Barris again as long as I lived, and I never have. I went directly from there to Dean Jeffries and went to work for him the next day. I have great memories of those days with Dean. I never understood what a time in history I was experiencing. Dean introduced me to Steve McQueen and Jim Garner at Ascot Race Park where Dean pitted his Porsche powered 'Kyote' dune buggy next to Steve. Every Tuesday night I had that event to look forward to. I met so many legends through Dean, every day different celebrities would just come strolling through the shop. I was blown away and Dean could care less! I learned a great deal from Dean during the time I spent with him. I was in my early 20's and wanted to learn everything I could from him. He called me the 'Babbling Brook' because I was constantly asking him questions. I loved working with him. I had the opportunity to be involved in some amazing projects during my time with him.
I just wanted to share a little bit of history and say 'thanks Dean for giving me one of the greatest experiences of my career.
You were fortunate to have had that experience with Dean. Thanks for sharing. Stu
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Originally Posted by McKee View Post
How about a list of the cars that Jeffries built ( including pics ) and a list of the cars that Barris built,......a list of the cars that Barris "claims" that he built might be too long!
HINES built more cars than both of em
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #23
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

No matter what you think of the guy, Barris has done a lot of great things for our hobby. He took innovative photographs of custom cars and documented how to do custom work in magazines. He held and competed at shows to spread the word of customizing to thousands of people - us. His shop was the springboard for a lot of people that we all admire, including Jeffries. So take it easy on old George, he isn't all bad.

Oh yeah, also wanted to add that Jeffries is a badass... my dad informed me of the whole Barris/Jeffries debacle when I was a kid while watching the Monkees.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #24
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I seem to remember Dean Jefferies name on the MPC Monkey Mobile Model Box.. But I also remember Seeing the Monkey Mobile, Or one of those with a Barris Badge..

I dont Know either one ..
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I have known about Jeffries talents since purchasing a copy of a '64 Hot Rod magazine featuring the Mantaray on the cover, the same shot I believe that is used on the cover of his book. Most everyone knows he also built the Monkeemobiles in '66 but did you know he did the custom paint and bodywork on the '64 Dodge Chargers, the first Funny Cars, now featured in the current issue (May) of Hot Rod Magazine?

As far as Barris getting credit for what came out of his shop...well that is only natural. Raymond Lowey has always got the credit for designing the '53 Studebaker Coupe but he didn't. His design firm did but designer employee Bob Bourke was the guy with the pen in his hand. As far as raw talent goes Jeffries has the most in my opinion. But no venom should should be spewed at Barris either. He is definitely the guy who put customs in the non automotive media and increased interest worldwide.

I met Jeffries and Barris at Amelia Island a few weeks ago. I got Jeffries to sign his book and my copy of Hot Rod. Both are super nice guys and enjoying the spotlight, especially Jeffries who has not had nearly his due.

I wish I had the ability to post a picture of my ''64 Dodge Charger. I believe it is some of his best work. But then I guess I would.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #26
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I had one encounter with Barris.

In the fall of 1963, I had been contracted to tow the SC210 "Dobie Gillis Car" back to Barris' shop following its midwestern car show tour. This was the former Chrisman '34 Ford with '40 Ford hood/competition coupe from the 50's which George had remade into a showcar and which has been recently restored to original. On the way to LA, I had a flat tire on the trailer and had to buy a new tire for 25 bucks.

So I arrived at the Riverside Drive shop, George showed me where to back it in (right next to the original Lincoln Futura). I unhooked the trailer and went inside to find George to get the $25 he owed me for the tire. I didn't exactly ask, I said to him, " I had a flat on the way out and had to buy a tire for $25". He looked at me for a second, turned his back to me and walked away! I took that as "tough cookies, kid". Being only nineteen at the time, I was too intimidated by the man to do anything other than leave without my $25 (which was big bucks to a nineteen year old in those days).

At the old Pan Pacific Auditorium during set-up for the "Winternationals" show in Jan of '65, I watched him drive the just-completed "Villa Riviera" into the middle of the show, plug in a buffer and start compounding the car right in the show. That's right, slinging excess rubbing compound in the direction of other nearby showcars. Just complete arrogance and self-absorption.

And thanks to Denise's recent coverage of her group's trip to Jeffries' shop, I learned just what a great guy Dean is.....the exact opposite of that other guy. Style-wise, Dean's Porsche was just about the most tasteful custom of the mid-50's, going counter to every trend of that time (which he repeated with the Mantaray a decade later).
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #27
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Originally Posted by Gotgas View Post
No matter what you think of the guy, Barris has done a lot of great things for our hobby. He took innovative photographs of custom cars and documented how to do custom work in magazines. He held and competed at shows to spread the word of customizing to thousands of people - us. His shop was the springboard for a lot of people that we all admire, including Jeffries. So take it easy on old George, he isn't all bad.

I agree. It's a shame that all his efforts to make sure that people will remember him, have often only served to diminish his reputation. He HAS done so many great things in his career that if he just kept to the real facts, he would still be a superstar. There's just no need to embellish.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:13 PM   #28
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Originally Posted by texasred View Post
HINES built more cars than both of em
Who built the MOST cars is UNIMPORTANT.


I'd take the MantaRay or that little 356 ANY DAY over any of Hine's or G. Barris' customs.
...and that's not a comment on their abilities, just style.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Originally Posted by Tom davison View Post
And thanks to Denise's recent coverage of her group's trip to Jeffries' shop, I learned just what a great guy Dean is.....the exact opposite of that other guy. Style-wise, Dean's Porsche was just about the most tasteful custom of the mid-50's, going counter to every trend of that time (which he repeated with the Mantaray a decade later).
That is certainly a day I will never forget....

I've been interested in Dean Jeffries and his work for a while now...
About a month before our trip to the 2009 Grand National Roadster Show, I met a guy from the Omaha area named Jerry Wymore. I had contacted him to look at a '32 chassis he had for sale. A couple weeks before that, I mentioned a stop at Dean's shop, to the group I was going to California with (Denise, Megan, TJ, and Lisa). Well, Jerry happens to be friends with Dean and we talked some about their history and some of Dean's work. That made me want to meet him even more! I said something to Jerry about visiting Dean and he just told me to try calling his shop. It was as simple as looking his shop and number up on the web and giving him a call.
I called him on a Friday morning and left a message. He called back that afternoon and was more than happy to have us stop by and visit. What a great guy! He told me to just call ahead and he'd have the gate open for us.

Fast forward to our visit on the Friday during the GNRS. We stopped at Dean's shop and he was there by himself. He had just received his advance copy of the book about him and was starting to read through it... how cool. He showed us around his office and shop and told some stories about what he's done. We were all amazed by the variety of cars, trucks, race cars, etc. that he's built -- a true craftsman!

Dean had also recently set up a dial-up internet connection at his shop and had a laptop sitting there. Denise helped him get on the internet and we showed him the recent Jalopy Journal entries about him and cars he had built (Mantaray and Porsche). We also printed off the articles for him to read at a later time, assuming he wasn't going to use the internet much . He seemed rather surprised that there was information out there on the web about him and that people were really that interested in his history. Pretty humble guy
While they were at it, Denise set up a HAMB account for Dean, but I see he hasn't used it at all... although I'm not surprised. The whole internet thing seemed a bit overwhelming to him. He said a few times that he works with his hands and builds things, that's what he always has done.

Here are a few photos from our visit that day:
(I've posted them a few times, but this seems like the perfect place to have them)









He thumbed through his new book to and showed us some of the photos, etc.


He actually built a number of Indy cars




Dean was heavily involved with the original GT40s and recently put this roadster together. I believe most of the parts he used were left over from when the originals were built in the '60s!




Another car he built


Dean explained to us -- When you have your photo taken by a car, you should never stand in front of it. The car should be the center of attention... so we took photos just that way

(photo credit: Denise)




Sorry if that was a bit long-winded. I just wanted to add a little more about Dean.
He's built and done way more than I ever imagined... sort of an 'un-sung hero'. It's great to see a book about him!





Malcolm
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:32 PM   #30
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Cool post Malcolm, thanks. I sure wish he'd use that Hamb account.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #31
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

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Tough...


If we want these cars to be taken seriously, we need to take their History seriously.

And that means at least to be accurate about who built them.


As far as Barris...
I wasn't there either, but there seems to be an awful lot of smoke for there to be no fire.
Wasn't Barris guilty of putting his badge on some of the Ayale Bros. creations? Seems there is a trail of this type of screwing around! But hey,it makes good reading for all of us.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:04 PM   #32
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Dean Jeffries and his Mantaray have always impressed me, started with buying that issue of Hot Rod back in 1964. Finally got to stand next to it in the Petersen back in 2002, still looked fresh 38 years later. I have to find the photo of the Maserati team at Indy that supplied the chassis for that car.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #33
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I think the true measure is that Dean Jefferies works mainly alone in his shop building his own stuff with no motives.
George Barris always has a motive.
All that being said, Barris' shop was the center of everything"cool" in the day. Jefferies, Watson, Dean, Hines, Conway, Von Dutch, and many others hung out at Barris cause that is where the action was.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:01 PM   #34
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Didn't Dick Dean work for Jefferies once upon a time?
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:09 PM   #35
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Dean also did a lot of stunt work for movies. This stolen from a Motor Trend interview:

MTC: Okay, change of subject. You also did stunt work?
Jeffries: They'd hire me to build cars, then sometimes they'd have me drive, too. I worked on "The Blues Brothers"--we must've smashed a couple hundred cars on that one. I also once jumped a five-ton truck down in Florida for "Honky Tonk Freeway." I ended up breaking my back when I landed, and I couldn't move my legs to stop the truck--I was going over 100 mph. So I just reached up with my arm and pushed my leg onto the brake and skidded to a stop. Afterward, I didn't tell nobody. And I was real scared of doctors after this big-time movie star had died during a back operation. So I just told my wife to drive me home to the shop. I took a piece of aluminum, wrapped it around some sheepskin around my waist, and sucked it tight to hold my back straight. I also built this thing to let me hang upside down and stretch out my back; I did that three or four times a day. It worked okay. Only problem is, today when I get up out of a chair it isn't quite right. But, hell, when you're this old you don't wanna get up anyway [laughs].
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:22 PM   #36
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Bought my copy a few weeks ago, haven't got to reading it as of yet. Look forward though, after reading Ryan post. Thank You !
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:24 PM   #37
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

Perhaps pertinent to the "who did what" topic, is that usually when a person is employed by a company or individual to do a job, that company or individual owns all rights to that work. There should however (IMO), be no reason not to give credit where it's due.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:50 PM   #38
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I will be getting this book. Hopefully it will help me understand who did what. It seems that so many of the early legends moved around to different shops and collaborated with so many different people that who built/designed what is rather murky.. Dick Dean and Dean Jeffries,Barris brothers, Bruce Myers, Herb Grasse. and so many others are intertwined in so many different ventures it is hard to know what to believe. What I do know is that they all played a part in the history of our hobby and it is a better one because of it..
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:49 PM   #39
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I think it was 9 or ten years ago at the Grand National, still in the Cow Palace, and we ran across Mr. Jeffries - he had just hopped under/over the display ropes to do something with the Mantaray late in the evening. My wife and I had a really nice, though way too short talk with him, and wanted a picture with the car. He was happy to oblige, and just as mentioned earlier, he wanted to stand behind the car. I wasn't bothered a bit, but before I could snap the pic, Barris walked by, and something was said. We were sure there was going to be a fight, but there wasn't - definitely words flew - pretty much a toe to toe deal, and I never did get that shot. Mr Jeffries was definitely riled up. Not taking sides, but Ryan got my attention and brought back some memories with his post, and now I am DEFINITELY going to have to get the book!! I will have to see if I can find the pics from that show, seems I took a pic of them 'talking'. :-)
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:58 AM   #40
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Default Re: Barris Vs. Jeffries

I'll never get tired of looking at the Mantaray.
It's timeless.
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