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Curse Of James Deans Car

Updated on June 14, 2011


James Dean became a legend when he died in a road accident, but few know about the curse on his car.

Dean was already an accomplished actor when he began race car driving. While filming ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, he bought a Porsche 550 Spyder – the car that would end his life.

Dean nicknamed the car "Little Bastard".

A week before Dean was killed, British actor Alec Guinness remarked that the car looked evil, and if Dean continued to drive it, he’d be dead within a week.

His warning proved to be true.

On September 30, 1955 – Dean was driving to a race-meet along with a friend, when a Ford traveling in the opposite direction crossed into Dean’s lane and the two vehicles hit head on.

Dean was pronounced dead at Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital.

After the fatal crash, a mechanic working on the wrecked vehicle had both his legs broken when the engine fell on him. But the accident meant he wasn’t there when fire damaged the motor workshop.

A doctor eventually bought the engine and installed it in his racing car. He died in a race soon after.

Another person had the drive-shaft of Dean’s car installed and also died in a race.

Two of the car’s tires were sold to a man in New York. His car crashed when both tires blew out at the same time.

James Dean's Porsche after the accident.
James Dean's Porsche after the accident.
James Dean Memorial in California. Dean was killed near this tree.
James Dean Memorial in California. Dean was killed near this tree.

Eventually the shell of the car was repaired and sold for display.

In Sacramento, California, it fell from its stand and broke the hip of a teenage fan.

In Oregon, the truck on which it was being carried smashed through the front of a shop. And in 1959, four-years after Dean’s death, it once again slipped from its steel supports and broke into eleven-pieces.

The car has since disappeared.

James Dean is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount Indiana.

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