The outlaw Porsche that started it all
There are many icons from the Golden Age of hot-rodding. One of these was Dean Jeffries, a talented custom painter and car builder from Los Angeles. In 1957, Jeffries was renting space from another legendary customiser, George Barris, and working as a contract painter where his resume included painting such notable Barris classics as the A La Kart, the R&C Dream Truck, and the Aztec. Jeffries was also friends with many Hollywood screen legends including James Dean who enlisted Jeffries to paint the numbers, on his fateful 550 Spyder.
Dean Jeffries acquired this Carrera in 1957. Wanting to be known as more than a painter. He removed the bumpers, extended the nose, added frenched headlights, a rear scoop with custom grille, handmade taillights, and roof vents. Dean was one of the pioneers of modern painting techniques, including the use of pearl and metal flake; the car was painted in pearlescent silver and used aircraft clear as a topcoat. He also applied silver leaf to the dashboard, built turned aluminum panels for the door jambs and engine compartment, and chromed the sheet metal on the engine.
Bonhams recently sold this 1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS, customized by Dean Jeffries, at their Quail Lodge sale, for just under $450,000. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.