April 25, 1945 - January 13, 2011
On Thursday morning, January 13th, I received a call from Doug Johnson, Jeff's friend and colleague. He started by saying that he has some bad news. I knew right away that something had happen to our friend, Jeff. The news was crushing - Jeff had passed away over night doing one of the things he loved most, restoring cars to pristine condition.
Jeff and I first met in June, 2005 after I contacted him (via the NorCal Shelby Friends of the Club site) while looking for someone to restore 6S289. I knew from the first time I met Jeff, I had come to the right person for the job. I saw him again at SAAC-30 in July 2005 at California Speedway. About one month after SAAC-30, we delivered 6S289 to Jeff's shop, Golden West in Hayward, CA. This began an 18 month long project of watching Jeff take a car that had sat for 28 years and painstakingly and meticulously with the ability of a true craftsman and an artist bring 6S289 back.
Jeff had the ability to restore a car to a thing of beauty, and yet he knew the importance of not over restoring a car. Last year (2010), we attended the VMOA / NorCal Shelby car show together. Jeff and Doug in the Cobra and me in 6S289 cruising to the show side by side was a lot of fun. At the car show, 6S289 got the first place award in its class. When I showed Jeff the plaque, a big smile came over his face with his usual great laugh. He got even happier when I slid out the second plaque from behind the first to show him that we were awarded Best Paint out of all of the beautiful cars in attendance.
My friend, Jeff will be truly missed by me and by so many others who own, work on, drive and simply admire these classic cars.
Jeff's fun-loving sense of humor and ever-present smile was contagious. You could not help but have a good time when you were with Jeff, be it at the shop or at a car show.
Another thing that Jeff loved immensely was his family. He leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Cathy, his daughter, Stacy, his son-in-law, Paul, and his beloved grandkids, Matthew, Leah and Grace. In addition, Jeff is survived by his mother, Ilse and his brother, Michael.
Jeff's employer, The Eden Area ROP in Hayward, has set up The Jeff Dunn Memorial Scholarship for those who would like to make tax-deductible donations to continue Jeff's legacy.
Photos of Jeff working his artistry on 6S289
The last photo I shot of Jeff at SAAC-35 in August, 2010. He is behind 6S2377, but he is looking at 6S289.
BEST PAINT Award from VMOA / NorCal Shelby 2010 car show. You deserve it, Jeff !