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  Click To Enlarge The Dick Dean Beauties…
Click To Enlarge

While on contract for Barris Kustom Industries , Dick Dean was asked to re-create the Black Beauty. George Barris was keen to use the replicas in auto shows and at other public functions. Dean got to work and converted two cars in a single weekend. Both are presented here.

It should be noted that these Black Beautys were, at least initially, glorified shells. The interiors were unfinished and looked rough... hence the decision to go with heavily tinted windows. In fact, one car even had its engine removed to comply with local safety codes while on display.

Click To Enlarge Dean/ Barris #1 – A 1965 Imperial Crown. This specific replica sold recently at the Bonhams & Butterfields auction of The Barris Car Collection (14th May 2005). This car was recently restored by Keith Dean (Dick Dean's son) and modified to resemble the #1 Black Beauty.

Dean/ Barris #2 – A 1965 Imperial Crown. The second of the cars served duty in several museums, including Cars of The Stars Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Its final stop was the Klassix Auto Museum in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 2003, Klassix liquidated their entire collection and this replica was sold at auction.

Click To Enlarge Dick Dean Meets Bob Butts...

This replica, said to have been built by Dick Dean from a Bob Butts kit, belongs to Dan Rodriguez. It is one of several kits believed to have been produced from a set of molds created a few years earlier, presumably from the "Bob Butts #1 car".

Click To Enlarge
 Dan's Black Beauty on the road!

The idea behind these 'kits' was to allow anyone with a '64-'66 Imperial to build their own 'Black Beauty' with relative ease. They proved quite popular with pro and novice customizers alike! Dan Rodriguez is often seen showing his fine car around the northeastern United States.

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 ** BZZZZZZZZ ** Do you know of a 1966 Black Beauty replica (fan-built or otherwise) that you would like to see featured here?

Please e-mail Karl some photos, with a brief description and history of the car. We'll be happy to post your contribution right here for other fans to enjoy!
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Web site maintained by Karl Kirchner.