In mathematics, multiplicity is the concept of counting without specifying exceptions. The most common example given of that concept is “double roots counted twice.” To simplify our statement, let’s just say that multiplicity is about something appearing a number of times.
This could be true of many things but lately we’ve noticed that there have been more examples of certain custom TV cars than were originally built. We’ve found the most recent example is the great Pontiac TV car from the late 60’s TV show “The Monkeys.”
A quick search of eBay pulled up a “buy it now” auction for a tribute car of the late Dean Jeffries musical creation. The seller describes the car as, “A stunning tribute to that iconic custom classic Pontiac GTO, The Monkeemobile”
By now everyone is familiar with the basic story of the Monkeemobile. Dean Jeffries was given two base 389 4-barrel 1966 GTO convertibles with automatic-transmissions to be converted into Monkeemobiles as part of a huge promotional opportunity for Pontiac.
Of the two cars that were contracted to be built, one would be the main TV car and the other would be used as a promotional show car. After the television show ended, both cars were offered back to Dean Jeffries for $1,000 each. Jeffries had right of first refusal and he declined to purchase the cars because he felt he could build new ones cheaper.
The one referred to as car #1 followed the Monkees on tour only to be left in Australia in 1968. It later resurfaced in Puerto Rico as a hotel courtesy car. It was sold at government auction in 1992 for $5,000 when the hotel went out of business. Reports are that this car is in the collection of a private owner in Northern New Jersey.
The promotional car, or car #2, was purchased by famed car designer George Barris. In 2006 the car went through a major restoration. Even though it became a 100 point show car, many changes and upgrades were made. In January 2008, Barris, auctioned the car through Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, $360,000. It now resides in the hands of a private collector in southeastern Michigan.
According to the estate of Dean Jeffries, “Jeffries and George Barris have had a personal and professional rivalry for four decades. This rivalry is based on Barris taking credit for custom cars that Jeffries has built.
One example is one of the two Monkeemobiles that Jeffries built. George Barris bought one of these. After buying the car he went to the people who make toys and models and hustled them into taking Jeffries name off the boxes and putting his name on it instead. The facts inside the boxes were also changed to saying that Barris built the car. George has also listed the car on his webpage as a custom car by Barris.”
Here’s where the story enters the multiplicity stage. Barris had Dick Dean make a copy of the car that Barris had owned. There were some variations but it was a copy of Monkeemobile #2. A second copy or tribute car was built by a longtime associate of Dean Jeffries this car contains many parts removed from the #2 car during its restoration and belongs to a private collector in Florida. This is the one that is offered for sale on ebay.
Another replica was built for the Monkees 45th Anniversary tour which took place from May 12, 2011 to July 23, 2011. There are numerous other replicas that have been created over the years with distinctive visual differences unique to each car. It is important to note that none of these copies were made by the original cars’ creator, Dean Jeffries. Like we said… Multiplicity.
Back to the car for sale on eBay.
The seller describes the history of the car as this: “Dean only built two Monkeemobiles, but as a precaution pulled a set of molds off one of those two original cars. In later years, the builder of this car Eric Sharp, a long time associate of Dean’s, purchased those molds. And this Monkeemobile was born!”
The seller goes on to explain that “there have been other replicas, but by virtue of those original molds pulled directly from Dean’s hand built car, this is probably one of the finest recreations to date.”
While the original versions were based off of a Pontiac GTO chassis, this tribute car made by Eric Sharp used a 1965 Malibu as the donor car and the vehicle is registered as such. The rest of the description states, “It sports a hot 350 Olds V8 and TH 350 automatic transmission, which came from Dean’s shop.
As an added bonus Eric purchased and incorporated in this car many parts from the #2 show car which were removed during it’s restoration. These include the Cragar rims, dash parts and gauges. The odometer now shows 11,449 miles, only four thousand of which, were put on since the gauge cluster was installed in this build. This car, as did the two originals, has that legendary non functional 671 blower and fully functional side exhaust pipes, with cut outs to a rear exhaust system. Wait tip you hear those side pipes roar!”
If you are wondering what the going price for a copy of a copy is going for, this one can be yours for the buy it now price of $60,000. You can view the auction by clicking here.