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Starting my restoration project - 56 Carrera

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Old 06-01-2007, 10:56 PM   #1
JackW
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Default Starting my restoration project - 56 Carrera

I'm finally starting on my long delayed restoration project - it's the 1956 Dean Jeffries Kustom Karrera that I've owned since 1971. This is the original "Outlaw 356 Porsche" and has appeared in at least a dozen magazines and books as well as winning numerous trophies at car shows in California during the late fifties.

It was built by Dean Jeffries in 1957 and appeared on the cover of Rod & Custom magazine in October of 1959. Its a beautiful piece of craftsmanship as Dean extended the front fenders and frenched in the headlights and driving lights to accentuate the curves of the 356 body. In the rear he made a set of functional roof vents (like the 300SL Gullwing), a custom scoop and grill for the rear decklid and some custom tail lights. The car has a 1500cc 4-cam Carrera engine and fully customized interior. It was originally finished in a silver pearlescent paint job and later sprayed metalflake gold.

I bought the car in 1971 when I was 19 years old and have taken good care of it ever since. It had suffered a collision with a pickup truck about a year before I bought it so some of the bodywork that was done in 1972 is going to be redone to a much higher standard in this restoration. I've been lucky enough to find a true old world craftsman whose previous Porsche 356 restorations look fabulous.

I've got the car at the media blasters right now getting the paint removed top and bottom - should be done next week.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:02 PM   #2
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oh....thats just special.

You are not only someone I respect for holding it that long in the ups and downs of life, but you have impeccable taste.

Awesome
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:42 PM   #3
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I can't take much credit for the taste - although I've always felt it was the perfect combination of California lead sled/hot rod/sports car all wrapped into one. I've had to defend it at many Porsche club outings back in the seventies (radical custom Porsches were just not done - especially Carreras) but the wheel has turned and its being appreciated for its history. I restored it once before in 1973 - I'll do a much better job this time around.

All of the credit for this car goes to Dean Jeffries - it was his personal car - not one he did for a customer - and he was trying to break into a different field than just being known as a painter when he built this car. The way he modified the lines of the car is just amazing - it really is a thing of beauty. He later went on to build the Mantaray, the Kyote dune buggy, the Monkeemobile, The Green Hornet car, the Landmaster in "Damnation Alley" and a bunch of other movie cars. He painted James Deans 550 Spyder before he built this Porsche and was friends with Von Dutch, James Dean, Steve Mcqueen, Lance Reventlow, Carroll Shelby and AJ Foyt. He's still with us at his shop on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood and there are four of his cars in the Petersen Museum in LA. The guy is an absolute master and I admire the hell out of him. He isn't as well known as some of his contemporaries but he's got a great talent. I used to build models of some of his cars when I was a kid - with this kind of background it wasn't hard for me to hold on to the car for all these years.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
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Very cool project. I can't wait to see the finished product. Good luck with it.
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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Way too Koooool !!!!

Can't wait to see it all restored to it's 1950's glory!

~JoAnne
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:44 PM   #6
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that's beautiful
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:11 AM   #7
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Stripping is complete - on to the next stage of the project...
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:09 PM   #8
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Very Kool..

Nice to see someone hold on to thier project/dream thrugh the ups and downs of life.. oh, least we forget the other projects that come and go ahead of "the one".

I've got a buddy who has just started the frame off re-restoration of his 67 Corvette conv.. he's owned 32 years! Did the mecahnical back in the early 80's, drove it a little then moth-balled it.

I've got a 58A Outlaw that I've owned since 87, can't wait to someday begin that restoration. Threads like this one keep the flame going!!

Good luck!

Paul
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Very cool! I remember Dean Jeffries' shop growing up in his neighborhood. Do keep us posted as the project progresses!
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:55 PM   #10
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Well, I figured Jack had good taste when I saw the Carerra, but a fellow Defender 90 owner to boot? This guy is a GOD!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:07 PM   #11
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Just to annoy you further - did you notice the three little letters on the front fender of the D-90? It's a 300 TDI.

Plus I have a 1966 109" diesel Land Rover station wagon, a 1967 88" Land Rover pickup and a 1978 Boler travel trailer in the collection in the driveway.

After years of experimentation I've found that the proper combination of Porsches and Land Rovers can pretty much cover all of your automotive needs.

Not much happening on the restoration - just been removing paint from the places missed by the media blasting, working out a few dents (with my very limited bodywork skills) and cutting out the battery compartment floor. I've primered the wheel wells and will spray the underside of the pan this week. I had the front and rear deck lid hinges re-chromed and I'm pulling the sheet metal off the 4-cam engine so I can get it chromed. I think the body shop is ready for the car - he was getting a couple of other projects out of the way before I can get my car up there.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:59 AM   #12
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Just curious, why was James Dean's 550 painted by Jeffries- wasn't it a pretty new car when he crashed it?

This is a very interesting project- can you contact the PCA to see if they will run an article on this in Pano? Very interesting story!

Good luck with it!
-Andrew
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:45 PM   #13
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Dean Jeffries painted the number "130" on the doors and hood and "Little Bastard" on the tail (and posssibly the red stripes on top of the rear fenders) for James Dean prior to him taking it to the first race he was supposed to enter with the Spyder. He was on his way to the race when he had the accident. George Barris likes to claim he painted the car but it was definitely Jeffries who painted it. Jeffires was working in Barris's shop at the time so George's memory isn't totally wrong but he is known to not be completely accurate on some of his claims of who did what. In his defense it was over fifty years ago.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Great project Jack, Keep the updates coming.

BTW I have a 300 Tdi 110
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:33 PM   #15
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Started disassembling the engine to get the sheet metal chromed - yes it was chromed back in the fifties as part of the custom work. I still need the 4 pieces of sheet metal that seal between the engine and the perimeter of the engine compartmnet (the sheet metal tray around the motor). Lots of work to do here...
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Last edited by JackW; 01-24-2011 at 10:55 PM.
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