This is a topic that I have been trying to get posted for the past few weeks. It’s one that can and I’m sure will become heated. But just remember, we are one big community with a single thing in common, our appreciation of The Monkeemobile. Our goal has always been to get to the truth. We do not want to step on anyone’s toes but want to give credit where credit is do. So keep that thought in mind as we go through this topic of All the Cars.
At the old group, we ran a topic on just how many Monkeemobiles there are. We know that there are the two original Dean Jeffries built cars. Years later there was the car Dick Dean built that we refer to as the number three. All of these cars have unique features that tell them apart from one another. Since then, more information has become available and more cars are out there, so I’d like to revisit that post from the old Monkeemobile Group. Up-date it, throw in some thoughts and see what everyone else thinks or knows. I encourage those who own cars or know of cars or are currently building or are planning to build, to participate.
For as long as I have been involved in talking about the Monkeemobile on the internet, I have always referred to the car seen in the TV show as the #1 car. It is the one used in the opening of the show, in the episodes and the one we see in early publicity photos with the band. As a matter of fact, just about everyone referred to this car as the #1. As time has pasted and more research has been put into knowing more on the cars, we have learned that both cars were used in the show. The #2 was used only in season two and in just a few episodes. Otherwise, the #1 was used in all of season one and the rest of season two. Now, here is where things get tricky. When the #2 was being restored by Advanced Restoration, it was discovered that it, the #2, may have been the first car built. At that point, they started to refer to it as the #1 and this car as the stunt car. Their understanding of this came from original car color (silver/blue), title and paper work that came from the studio that stated that the car was already owned by the studio and recollections from DJ’s build partner, Dick Dean. Controversy over this started almost immediately. This also makes things confusing as one tries to understand the history of the cars. Would car #1 be the first car built or first car used on the show? Which ever way you put it; this is the car that we know as the main TV car or what prop collectors might refer to as the “hero” car. In the new book on Jeffries, he refers to Monkeemobile #1 as originally having the GMC 6-71 supercharger installed but later removed because it proved to have too much power for the casual driving needed for the show. He does not say anything about first built or being delivered to the studio first or the original body colors. But in an interview with Pontiac Enthusiast magazine in 1997, he states that the first car built was the one used on the TV show. The current issue of Pontiac Enthusiast calls the car with the installed blower the “red“car. It’s original color. This would be new info as I had always thought that both cars were a silver/blue. A very quick way to distinguish this car is the chrome belt cover. It has tight grouped ribs. This car is now owned by a private collector in New Your state
This is the car that was used mainly as an exhibition car. With info from above, we know that it was used in season two as well. The most recognized use of this car is in the episode, “Monkees Race Again”. According to the resent article in Pontiac Enthusiast magazine, documentation that came with the sale of this car states it was used first on the TV show I Dream of Jeannie, was titled to the studio and was the first Monkeemobile built. The original body color for this car, Silver/Blue. In his book, Jeffries states that Monkeemobile #2 retained the supercharger and referred to it as the “Wheelie car”. But yet again, we hit a bump. In the 1997 interview with Jeffries, he states that the first car built had the solid mounted rear and added weights to do wheel stands. It has always been my understanding that the first car built was the one with all the power and that both cars had dummy superchargers. Pontiac Enthusiast states that the “Jennie” car is dummied. We know this from pictures of the restoration. So for now it comes to this. Ether way you look at it, there were only two original cars built and both are “real” Monkeemobiles. This car is now owned and much enjoyed by our good friend, Mel.
With so much more to look at with the two original cars, we can certainly dive deeper into the subject and I will post that into a new thread. For now, that’s look into the rest of the cars.
The different belt covers and blower lines of the vintage #1 and the vintage #2
With so much more to look at with the two original cars, we can certainly dive deeper into the subject and I will post that into a new thread.
For now, that’s look into the rest of the cars.
Replica #1 / Car #3
This car was built by Dean Jeffries partner, Dick Dean. We believe it was built sometime in the 90’s. Dick stated that this car was built from a 1966 LeMans rather then the GTO. Basically the same body style. The car was built for George Barris to be used on the east coast for promotional purposes. The car is part of Andy Perillo’s Show Buster Stars & Cars. Andy is Barris’s east coast representative.
( Up-date 04-20-09. Please note: I am getting word that this may not be a Dick Dean built car )
Replica #2 / Car #4
A picture of this car showed up in a May 2004 issue of Custom
Rodder magazine in an article about Dick Dean. At first glance, it appeared to be the #2 car
with all the Barris added yellow. Upon closer inspection, we noticed things
that made it different. The belt cover appears to have one small rib spacing
with the rest being wide. Unlike the #2 which has all wide. The door logo seems closer to the #1 which
fills the door. But this logo has the word “Mobile” under it, unlike any of the
other cars. It also appears to have red line tires. We referred to this car as
the mystery car. We now believe that this may be a second built Dick Dean car.
Possibly built sometime in the early 2000’s, maybe 2002. It is also thought
that this car could be a 4 speed car. In some ways, this is still much of a
Belt cover comparison between the mystery car and the #2
Replica #3 / Car #5
This is the Jay Ohrberg car. As far as I know, the only evidence we have of this car are the photos from his web site of the car being built. It looks to be a steel car built from a GTO. An interesting picture form Jay’s site shows the #2 in some stage of body work. I am not sure when this picture was taken or why it is on the site grouped with the other pictures but it appears to be taken at Barris’s shop. Possibly being reworked after all the Monkee Fuzz was installed? Other photos from Jay’s site also show the #2 car. When we contacted Jay some time ago, he said that his car was done and that he was considering building another. We asked for a picture of the finished car and he said he would check his files. To date, I don’t think I have ever seen a picture of this car finished. It would be great to see as the build looks to be right on.
The #2 car. Note the red paint on the cowl and at the door edge
Replica #4 / Car #6
I first became aware of this car when I was going through
myspace looking for Monkee stuff. The
car is being built by Anthony Taffuri , known as limodoctor on our board, and
his team from Mamaroneck, NY. It has now become the first replica car that we
have the privilege of getting to see built as it happens. Keep checking the
thread, “My Monkeemobile Build” for up-dates.
Replica #5 / Car #7
This car seemed to come out of no where. When pictures appeared on the internet, it was discovered that they were taken at a car show in San Francisco’s Cow Palace, January 2008. It quickly became known simply as the Cow Palace car. The car appeared to be in a rough state. With the crack team at the old group, we found out the car was fiberglass and was being built with parts from the original #2. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the rear seat from the #2 that was signed by George Barris and auctioned on ebay. The left front grill is also signed by Barris. What made this car very interesting to us was the fact that original parts were being used to build it. It makes this car unique and a bit of a hybrid. After the car show in 2008, nothing more was seen from this car or at least made its way to the group. Then in March, a post appeared on the message board, “New Monkeemobile in Town” by an old group member, Monkee Dreamer. It showed pictures of a Monkeemobile sitting in front of Dean’s shop. Again I thought, wow another car! When I was able to check out the car in larger pictures, I quickly thought that it looked like the Cow Palace car. It had the same stance, same belt cover, same blower appearance and same tires. Although this car looked to be completely finished. I contacted Monkee Dreamer and sure enough, this is the finished Cow Palace car. Now a beautiful vehicle. The owners name is Michael and it has been a 36 year dream of his to own a Monkeemobile. This car now resides about an hour north of Orlando, FL. Michael is anxious to talk about his car and I know we are just as anxious to hear about it.
The finished Cow Palace car
Last but not least
There’s word that a new build may be about to happen in the home state of the #2, Michigan. Nothing much to report as of yet, but I am hoping that if it’s true, the builder will share all the details with the board.
This is all I have for now. I do ask, if anyone has additional information or more details on any of these known or any unknown cars, that they will share that info with our community. I look forward to responses’.