Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:28

On The Lighter Side: The Curse Of James Dean's Car The 'Little Bastard': Fact, Fiction, Or Horrible Coincidence

Written by John Puckett, Motorious


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Is the hype behind James Dean’s seemingly cursed Porsche 550 Spyder real or is it all just made up based on odd circumstances? You decide.

Nearly everyone is familiar with the name James Dean. This charismatic actor captured the eye of the world with his on screen performances and intrigued the car community with his love of fast cars.


Unfortunately, one of Dean’s most memorable moments came in the form of tragedy on September 30th, 1955 when his Porsche slammed into another car going 85-mph. As tragic as it is, if that were the end of the story, it could be chalked up to just a very bad accident that prematurely took the life of a beloved young actor. However, there is more to the story of Dean’s Little Bastard.


James Dean Porsche Spyder 517322886 800px


Wrapping up the movie ‘Giants,” Dean purchased the car on September 21,1955 in anticipation for his return to SCCA motorsports. The plan was to drive the car to Salinas, California for the car’s introductory race.


This was done with the purpose of getting used to the way the car handled and to break-in the engine but obviously things did not go as planned.


After the accident, the car was declared a total loss and made its way to a salvage yard where another Southern California racer, William Eschrich, purchased the entire car for parts.


The engine was put into a Lotus IX and some suspension parts were sold to Troy Lee McHenry for use in his Porsche race car. Both men crashed...

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