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Dick Dean Retirement Party 2005

 

Dick Dean
Retirement Party 2005
pictures by
Jack Lawford

 

   We had heard the story before.... Dick Dean is retiring .... “HA” we thought.... fat chance... and the first time we were
right..... but this time is for real ... Dick is handing over the reigns of his shop to his son Keith, who has worked by his side
for many years. Once we knew it was “for real” we knew we had to go ....  so on Friday we hopped a plane for L.A. and on
Saturday morning made our way to Hemet, California... a small desert town near Palm Springs......

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It was fitting that when we arrived we saw Dick sitting on the “King of Kustomizers” throne meeting his public ! The “throne” was being raffled off and Jack was really hoping he would be the lucky winner so he could have this wonderful piece in his shop.... but luck was not with him and someone else will be enjoying this piece of history.... Oh Well...... such is life !

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  High on the wall of the shop is this great sign

 
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Outside on the streets there was a constant flow of “Kustoms” both those from days gone by and the works of many young rodders who have taken up the Kustom cause....

 
 
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and many old signs from Dicks past....

 
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It was great to see so many people turn out to show their love and appreciation of all that Dick Dean has meant to our hobby.

 
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This retirement party also served as a “garage sale” of sorts.... Dick has accumulated sooooo much over his career and he really just doesn’t need all of this so he had a lot of good stuff for sale......

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I have a feeling that if we had driven down instead of flying that this might have ended up following us home...    
 
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There were even some Mercs that Dick had been working on in the shop which Keith will be finishing up... we hope he sends us the finished pictures...

 
 
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Dick even has one of the first of good friend George Barris’s new Bicycles on display....

 
 
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Holy Bat Boat Robin.....  We’re not sure what this piece is for or if it’s an “oldie but goodie” left from a bygone era... but it sure is kewl !

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Dicks shop has something neat hiding in every corner.... a combination of his fabulous work from film projects to his cool customs..... 

 
 
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What a great place to just wander and look into every nook and cranny... never know what you’ll find 

 

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You’ll all remember Herbie in the Love Bug.... Dick was the man who made it all come about...

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 Besides spending some time with Dick .... one of the really great things about just knocking around in this shop was the feeling you got as you looked from corner to corner..... shelf to shelf and saw all of the treasure ..... each item was a part of some grand idea in Dicks talented mind.... an idea for a car ... an idea for a prop .... some had served their useful purpose for a project and then were set aside to wait for another project .... some never made it because a better idea came along.... but all of these parts and pieces tell a wonderful story of a very talented man..... there’s probably a story in each of these pictures that we will never know..... but can only wonder about.

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This awesome 49 Merc built and owned by Carol and Rick Erickson of Extreme Kustoms by Erickson won the only award of the party... Dick Deans Pick.... Very Nice Car..

 
 
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This cool looking 51 Merc belonged to a young rodder who was just thrilled to find a grill for his car in Dick’s garage sale items....

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And this is the office where so much creativity flowed from the mind to the paper and ultimately onto the projects of Dick Dean....

   
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Dicks family took his Buick wagon and turned it into a saga of Dicks works.....

 

 
   
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We saw some great old friends at the party who we haven’t seen for a while. George Barris has been a great friend of Dicks for many years and it was good to see him at the party..

 
 
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We used to see Larry Watson quite often when we lived in California but haven’t seen him for a while so it was great to have a chance to visit.... Larry is one of our hobby’s best known painters Larry has a new shop in Victorville now and we hope to be able to stop in and visit him next time we’re down.

 
 
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Some of Dicks closest friends and legends of the world of Rods & Customs had a great time .... Rich & Penny Pichette, founders of West Coast Kustoms, George Barris, Larry Watson, and Big Daddy Roth... son of Big Daddy Ed Roth, “Bones” Jim Nootboom, and Carol and Rick Erickson of Extreme Kustoms were all there.....

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It was a GREAT Day ..... although we’re sad to see an end come to Dicks creations... we know he’ll be busy enjoying new hobbies and spending time with Jeannie..... and if Keith needs a hand now and then we’re sure Dick will be ready to jump right in ! It was so good to see Dick .... he had a lot of friends stopping by all day as the cool kustoms kept rolling in to pay him tribute !  We hope Dick and Jeannie have a wonderful retirement and that they’ll keep us posted on what’s going on at the Dean house.... We’re also looking forward to seeing what Keith has going in the future.... there were some pretty neat projects in progress that we’d love to keep track of.....  If any of you has a message for Dick please send to us and we’ll forward it on for you .... 


 

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