2012 Detroit Autorama: Dean Jeffries and His Mantaray

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One of the stars of this year’s Autorama was Dean Jeffries classic ’60s bubbletop, Mantaray, accompanied at the show by Jeffries himself. Dean is getting up their in years and is a little bit hard of hearing, but it was a real treat to meet him. Jeffries, who has made some genuinely iconic vehicles, was never the self-promoter that George Barris and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth were and he’s still a modest and soft-spoken man. He told me that the Mantaray, which looks to be in terrific shape, has never been restored, though when I asked him if it’s still in running condition, he said that it probably hasn’t run since 1968. Oddly shaped vehicles like the Mantaray were made for 3D. We’ll be running some stereo photos of the Mantaray once I get through processing about 800 image pairs that I shot at the show, but in the meantime, here’s some 3D video of the car and Jeffries signing autographs. Dean wasn’t the only custom car legend at the Autorama. Chuck Miller, who built the Red Baron and the Ridler winning C-Cab Fire Truck, was also there, signing copies of Tony Swan’s book about him and his fab shop, Styline Customs and selling reissued plastic model kits of his cars.

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