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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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  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 7 years ago from Australia

    Hey melody - glad you liked the story and thanks for the link back.

  • melody23 profile image

    melody23 7 years ago from Los Angeles

    The Spyder was also the only car not completely destroyed when the garage in which it was stored burned down.

    Good job - I'm adding a link from my Dean hub.

  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 8 years ago from Australia

    Glad you liked it A.M :)

  • profile image

    A.M. Gwynn 8 years ago

    How very interesting. I had never heard this story in such detail. I had only known of one of those incidents. Very interesting indeed. Thank you for this information.

  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 8 years ago from Australia

    Thanks for the comment Joy - glad you liked the story. :)

  • Joy At Home profile image

    Joy At Home 8 years ago from United States

    However tragic it is, this is a wonderful story, due to its chill factor. Long before I read Christine, I lived with a car that a friend and I joked must be a cousin to Christine. But she was nice.

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    Wow this is some eerie story - I love it! Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, reminds me of King's Christine :D

  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 8 years ago from Australia

    It's a sad story - and yes that is where the memorial is located.

    Thanks for dropping by - and for taking the time to leave a comment. :)

  • bgamall profile image

    Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    I stopped by the memorial more than once. My wife and I lived in Coalinga and my kids wanted to go to Morro Bay and Cambria. We saw the memorial just past the intersection of Roads 41 and 46, right?

    When I was a kid my parents went from Coalinga to Morro Bay alot but we never stopped then.

  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 8 years ago from Australia

    Thanks for dropping by KCC - glad you liked it. :)

  • KCC Big Country profile image

    Karen Curtis 8 years ago from Central Texas

    Very interesting hub, thanks for sharing!

  • MarkHall profile image

    Mark Halliday 8 years ago from Australia

    Thank you all for the comments. Perhaps this is how Stephen King got the idea for the novel Christine.

  • AEvans profile image

    Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

    Now that is eerie , I wonder who would put a curse on a car? My cars are always happy and have been sad when they left me. Does that make sense? You have some very interesting hubs. :)

  • AlexK2009 profile image

    AlexK2009 8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

    Interesting. Sometimes machines DO seem to have a life of their own. Computers are especially bad in this regard. But I have yet to know of a computer that directly killed anyone, though on SF novel I read had programs that detected unauthorised access or software and electrocuted the user. There is no truth in the rumour certain had and software manufacturers are treating this as a priority project.

  • Ivorwen profile image

    Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

    What a tale!

  • shamelabboush profile image

    shamelabboush 8 years ago

    Sorry for Dean and for all the people injured.