Grandpa's Old Ford Garage
The Automotive Art of Dean Weller
33015 W. 83rd Street
De Soto, Kansas 66018

Archive Page only 
Dean passed away July 2021

Wagner's Classic Cars
55 Model T Fords cross Kansas in 2009

Antique Ford Signs
1928 Model T Gargae in DeSoto, Kansas
1918 Model T Garage where Dean Weller turns old automobile parts and sheet metal into works of art.

Archive Only: Dean Weller, 95, of De Soto passed away on July 2, 2021. A funeral service will be held at De Soto Baptist Church at 2PM in Friday July 9, 2021. The visitation will precede the service at 1PM. Burial will follow the service at De Soto Cemetery. Dean's final ride will be a Model T Pickup Truck. At least a dozen Model A's & T's are expected for the procession to the cemetery and it will pass by Dean's old garage.

While touring De Soto, Kansas, a few years ago, I stumbled across an interesting old building with some wonderful old Ford signs. "Grandpa's Garage & Body Shop" was painted on the window. 

I stopped at the garage to photograph the building, then peeked in the windows and discovered that the garage was filled with rows of beautiful old cars.

While peering through the windows and trying to take some photos through the glass, a nice lady came up to me and invited me to go into the garage with her. She was Delores Weller, and she introduced me to the man responsible for this surprising collection, her husband of (then) 61 years, Dean Weller.

They started showing me the beautiful antique cars crowded into the 1918 Model A Ford garage, and I was stunned to learn that Dean hadn't just restored the cars. In large part he created them. 

Yes, a few of the vehicles have "just" been lovingly preserved by Dean Weller, but others have been significantly modified, and some were nearly made from scratch. Two of the three old Cadillacs were purchased new by the Wellers.

Dean retired many years ago and he has been creating nearly a vehicle a year, including some of the most beautiful cars that I have ever seen. Though he creating these vehicles just for himself, Dean Weller is truly a Kansas Grassroots Artist.

He briefly showed be around the ground floor where I saw nearly 20 vehicles (there are more in the basement), plus his crowded work area in the back where he is currently working on the body for his next project He has even built his own paint booth.

The "drawing board" next to Dean's current project shows some of his drawings and research. He has books containing the sketches, photos and designs for his previous projects. 

Dean meticulously sketches each part as he disassembles, repairs, modifies and reassembles the engines and other components. His sketches look like draftsmen's drawings. A skill that he probably acquired during his career as a home building.

Dean Weller tries to accommodate automobile enthusiast clubs that contact him about tours.

So drive by to look at Dean Weller's lovely old Ford garage, and look in the front windows at this automotive art. Maybe you will get lucky and Dean or Delores will invite you in.

2014 update: Dean says he has run out of floor space and will not be starting any new projects. He completed 27 cars in 32 years.

2016 updates: Mr. and Mrs. Dean Weller celebrated their 70th Wedding anniversary on Sunday, September 20, 2016. Dean Weller also celebrated his 90th Birthday with a party at Miller Park in DeSoto where his friends brought their classic cars.

2019 updates: We regret to report that Delores Weller passed away March 13, 2019 at the age of 89. The sign on the window says "For Sale Antique Cars - open Tuesday morning or call for appointment (913) 585-3326."

Antique fords on display in DeSoto, Kansas
The yellow 1929 boat tail sportster in front started as a Model A Ford. The front is still close to the original, but
the long boat tail is the modified hood from a 1947 Chevy truck.

replica 1912 Mercer Raceabout
This replica 1912 Mercer Raceabout is Dean's most recent work. It was built on the frame and drive train of a
1930 Pontiac. Except for the lights, he made everything you see. He even fabricated the brass radiator housing
based on photos of the original Mercer racers

1912 Mercer
Dash and controls for the 1912 Mercer. Weller adapted the brass gauge housings from oxyacetylene welding
tanks, and the brass in the steering wheel column was originally a stair rail. Only 20 original vehicles
are in still existence and they bring over one million dollars at auction.

Dean Weller
Dean Weller - automotive artist -  in 2007. He makes being in your 80s seem young.

Dean Weller's 1930 Speedster
This 1930 Speedster is "Fast 4 Grandpa"

Studebaker Commander 8
Studebaker Commander 8

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