steven h 1972 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Coupe

Monkeymobile and the Michigan connection

I enjoyed reading your recent story on the 1966 Monkeemobile. Few people know the story behind the development of the car. Recall the time was 1966 and television was hot for cars to promote the shows, Batmobile, Monstermobile, etc. Dean Jeffries was contacted by the production company of the Monkees to design a special car for the show. Dean was under contract to MPC model corporation in Troy, MI. Dean mentioned the idea to George Toteff CEO of MPC.

George was a pioneer in the plastic model business having started AMT and then MPC. If you were a kid growing up in the late 50's and early 60's, you knew all about AMT 3 in 1 models.

George was well connected in the Detroit auto circles and he mentioned the idea to a friend working for the promotional department at GM Pontiac division. Pontiac liked the idea and agreed to send (2) 1966 GTO convertibles to Dean to build the television cars. George Toteff at MPC was given the exclusive rights to build and sell the plastic model kit for the Monkeemobile. The model has sold over 7 million copies and is reported to be the best selling model in history.

George Toteff lived in Northern Michigan until his death in 2011. His son Mark still lives in the Northern Michigan area. Before his death, I had the pleasure to spend a week with George and the family on a vacation cruise and enjoyed all the car stories.

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