Dave Deal

Dave Deal passed away on Tuesday. If you don’t recall him by name, you probably know his work. He was perhaps most famous for his Deal’s Wheels caricature model car kits made by Revell in the early ’70s and reissued many times since. He drew the Viking character on the ArmorAll bottles. If you were a sports car fan a few decades ago you might remember his cartoons in MG Mitten accessory ads in the magazines. More recently, he was instrumental in character development and showing the animators how to express emotions in the vehicles appearing in the Cars movie. He also did illustrations for toy companies. Here’s one he made for a Maisto (when it went by the name of M.C. Toys) package about fifteen years ago. I met him at Zee Toys in the 1980s when he was working on a variety of freelance projects there. He will be missed.

13 thoughts on “Dave Deal

  1. That just flat out sucks!!!
    People like Dave Deal should go on forever.
    I first became aware of BIGDEAL artwork as a kid growing up in El Cajon, a suburb in San Diego CA.
    He did all cartooning for a company called Jackman Racing Wheels. If you’ve ever had a bug or had anything to do with the desert back in the 70’s and 80’s, you knew about Jackman Racing and knew about Dave BIGDEAL artwork.
    I was introduced to Mr. Deal working on the Modifiers project for the company X-Concepts in 2001-2002, better known for their product Tech Deck finger skateboards.
    If you get a chance, do some reading up on Dave Deal, he wasn’t just a terrific artist.
    The world has definitely lost a wonderful artist and person.

  2. Dave Deal gone..It can’t be. Maybe he just went to Mexico in his VW..again.
    I have know Dave since the 70’s and been to his house, what a character.
    I was always thrilled to go home with art work from my visits.
    Did you ever hear how he ran his airplane into a garbage truck?
    His car images were the SPIRIT of the vehicle.
    Just can’t get comfortable with losing friends like this.
    Wayne

  3. No Wayne, I never heard the story of the plane and garbage truck.
    He was definitely one heck of a character.
    It was actually Dave Deal and Thom Taylor’s artwork that inspired me do become an automotive artist. They bring cars to life and give them character no one else could.
    Thanks for your story Wayne!

  4. I am also a great fan of Dave Deal. I have many of his art pieces framed and in my home. I also have all his wonderful books on ancient history. I have heard of his adventures in Baja in the last 40 years…I think he really may be down visiting with Jim Smith …that would be great. I can picture them now….looking for a good place to land…..

  5. Wow what a shock. I’ve known Dave since I was in High School in Julian. I spent many hour at his home there. He taught me to drive in his old FJ in Pine Hills.
    The airplane incident happened outsude Rosarito when he was landing and ran into a garbage truck which earned Dave induction into the Polish Racing Drivings Association. I was with him when he rented a u-haul trailer to bring the 180 back to Fallbrook. So many memories and so many late night conversations. My life is better for having known you Dave.

  6. Here is what REALLY happened in Baja. David was in a taxi mode…with his wind
    high enough to go OVER the Garbage truck. What he failed to see was the big hole in the road…and he dipped down and boom. I think he was always very proud of his Polish Racing Award….

    Diane

  7. Boy am I out of it! and Now Bummed beyond words. What a loss to the hot rod and illustration worlds. I had recently bought the reissue RIF RAF spitfire model and was thinking about the old MG Mitten catalogs I used to get. I had a big sticker of the Porsche in the round sunset. My first 2 cars were 57 chevys and I still remember the “NO mad” art. Another great “car drawer” gone -but never forgoten

  8. I knew Dave when I was the Music Teacher in the Julian schools. He played trumpet in some of our productions. He was fun to be around. I’d love to be able to buy something he did as a momento of times spent together there in Julian.

    • Larry, thanks for the memory. You can probably still find Deal’s Wheels plastic model kits from Revell at hobby shops or online. His zzzzzzz28 and TransUm Tirebird caricature models of Camaro and Firebird cars still look good!

  9. Dave was my friend. I still have trouble with his passing. He knew my voice when I phoned him, and he spent time at my shop home, and I spent not enough time at his house. We shared a love for the old airplanes.

    He did a number of cartoons for me, when I had the shop in Victorville, CA. I miss you Dave. But, we will meet again in heaven. Thank you for being you.

    frankie freeman

  10. This is sad to hear. I’m a fan of Mr. Deal’s model kits which I loved as a youngster. Now I’m trying to recollect all of the series and have had luck w/many of them, but lacking a few. Forgive me if this resounds as rude or selfish in the light of this unfortunate news, but consider it tribute. Can anyone direct me?

  11. Thank you for this site.
    I have read the comments from the others on this page. One stands out. That one is Dave Allen ( Big ) Deal Biggest fan by far, his sister Diane Tollefson. I have known David and his sister for 46 yrs they are both caricatures.
    I love them both
    Mike

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