The Monkeemobile, Made Famous in 1960s Comedy Series The Monkees, To Appear at Charlotte AutoFair Sept. 9-11
Hey, hey, it’s the Monkeemobile! Fans of the 1960s comedy series The Monkees, or the enduring sounds of the pop-rock band by the same name, will be treated to an iconic piece of television history when the Charlotte AutoFair returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway Sept. 9-11, as the show’s famed “Monkeemobile” will be among the showcase pavilion attractions.
Designed and built by legendary car designer and fabricator, Dean Jeffries, the customized 1966 Pontiac GTO came complete with a cartoonishly flared front and rear end; unique side exhaust; a tour-car styled, convertible top; an eye-catching 6-71 supercharged engine; and was finished off with a rear parachute. It was one of only two vehicles used to film and promote the show during its two-season run. While the The Monkees on-air fame fizzled out after 58 episodes, the car – much like the music of the band on which the show was based – lived on. Model Products Corporation, with whom Jeffries was contracted while designing the one-of-a-kind creation, went on to sell more than seven million copies of The Monkeemobile.
After the show wrapped, the “TV car,” which fans can see at the Charlotte AutoFair, followed The Monkees on tour only to be left in Australia in 1968. In what remains a mystery even today, the car later resurfaced in Puerto Rico as a hotel courtesy car. In 1992, after the hotel went out of business, the Pontiac sold at a government auction for $5,000. In the years that followed, after some restoration work, it was used by the Ertl Company to model 1:18 scale die-cast toy replicas and appeared on The Monkees 1997 TV reunion show, “Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees.” In 2001, the Monkeemobile appeared at the Petersen Automotive Museum as part of the “Cars & Guitars Of Rock N Roll” display. It is on loan to the Charlotte AutoFair from its owner, a private collector from New Jersey.
The Charlotte AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway throughout the three-day show. Hours for the Sept. 9-11 Charlotte AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
Single-day tickets are $10 on Thursday and $15 on Friday and Saturday for adults. A three-day weekend pass is available for just $35. Admission is FREE for children 12 and under with an adult. To buy tickets, AutoFair attendees can shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, purchase at the gate or call 800-455-FANS (3267).