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First Coast Gears: Celebrating the Monkeemobile

4:21 PM, Feb 29, 2012   |    comments
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The passing of Davy Jones today has us fondly remembering The Monkees.  Not because of the show but because of the Monkeemobile.

SLIDESHOW: Davy Jones, the Monkees and the Monkeemobile

California car customizer George Barris was on a roll back in the 60s.  He's most famous for the Batmobile but the Monkeemobile that he and Dean Jeffries worked on was pure genius.  It was based on a 1966 Pontiac GTO.

It perfectly blended American muscle with the outrageous campiness of the TV show and threw in a little bit of California-beach buggy attitude for good measure. 

USA Today got a hold of Barris who told reporter Chris Woodyard that he was able to buy back one of the Monkeemobiles from the studio after the show was finished.  He later sold it to a Michigan collector.

Barris told USA Today, ""I had to whack the top off, modify the front end and give it more a "V" look."  It had to have "a hot looking engine," which pops out of the hood."

For car nuts, there were several differences between the two Monkeemobiles made for the show.  The door logos were different and there were variations in the sizes and the styling of the fan belt cover and blower, according to Wikipedia.

A third Monkeemobile - known as the Dick Dean Replica - was built from a 1966 LeMans instead of the GTO, according to Monkeemobile Garage. The Web page has an excellent photo spread of all three cars.

For those of us old enough to remember; it was about the muscle, the music and a wonderful interpretation of "The Goat*."

*The GTO became known in the youth market as "The Goat" but the nickname was never used in any advertising, according to Wikipedia.

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