You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Dean Jeffries, 80; customized cars for Hollywood

In addition to the “Monkeemobile” (above), Mr. Jeffries created the “Black Beauty” for “The Green Hornet.”

NBC Television

In addition to the “Monkeemobile” (above), Mr. Jeffries created the “Black Beauty” for “The Green Hornet.”

LOS ANGELES — A celebrated car customizer who painted James Dean’s Porsche and made the ‘‘Monkeemobile’’ for ‘‘The Monkees’’ TV show has died. Dean Jeffries was 80.

His son, Kevin, told the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Jeffries died in his sleep on Saturday at his Hollywood home.

Continue reading below

In 1955, Mr. Jeffries custom painted Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder.

Dean died in a wreck less than a month later.

Mr. Jeffries also painted many Indianapolis 500 cars.

For television, he created the ‘‘Black Beauty’’ for the 1960s show ‘‘The Green Hornet’’ and built the Monkee- mobile in just 10 days.

He also built movie vehicles, including a moon buggy for the James Bond film ­‘‘Diamonds Are Forever.’’

Mr. Jeffries also was a stunt driver and stunt producer on films such as ‘‘The Blues Brothers’’ and ‘‘The Fugitive.’’

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of