HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Dean Jeffries-built dune buggy

Pick of the Day: Dean Jeffries-built dune buggy

This 1961 Kyote II has VW chassis, Corvair engine


Edward “Dean” Jeffries is an icon in the collector car hobby. Neighbor to Indy racer Troy Ruttman. Painter of J.C. Agajanian’s racing cars, and so many others. He also lettered the words “Little Bastard” on James Dean’s Porsche. 

Fabricator and welder. Hollywood stunt man. Builder of the Monkeemobile and many other such customs. 

But you might have forgotten that he also produced Kyote dune buggies, and one of them, a 1961 Kyote II, is the Pick of the Day. The buggy is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by its private owner, who is asking $7,500 for the vehicle.

According to the advertisement, the buggy is based on a 1961 Volkswagen chassis but powered by the air-cooled, turbocharged 6-cylinder engine from a Chevrolet Corvair. 

“The historic Kyote II dune buggies were designed and built by the legendary pinstriper, custom painter and fabricator Edward “Dean” Jeffries at the Jeffries Studio of Style on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, CA sometime after 1969,” the seller reports.

“According to Simon Allen, Kyote Facebook site administrator, only about 150 Kyote II models with their little doors were produced; few are still on the road.”

The seller notes that the buggy is being sold because of “age and health.”

The seller says the Corvair engine was rebuilt in 2017. The buggy recently got a rebuilt 4-speed manual transmission and new electrical wiring, new turn signal switch, shocks, horn, wiper switch, vinyl upholstery, carpets, seat belts and fender-mounted rear-view mirrors.

The buggy has removable tops — front and rear — a roller throttle pedal, tachometer, as well as some “airplane gauges,” driver’s-wide wiper “and for your off-road travel, adjustable front end and dual emergency brake handles to feather rear brakes.” 

The seller notes that the paint is non-factory, “substantially smooth mahogany brown but appears to have been applied at different times with different shades.” There’s also a vertical crack in the windshield.

Though the car “runs and drives strong on the highway, “it also comes set up for towing with a tow bar and portable magnetic tail lamps.”

The Jeffries-built buggy is located in Kelseyville, California. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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