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See A Thing for Cars for the complete article:
The Curse of James Dean's Porche 550 Spyder
The Legend of the Cursed Car
After Dean’s accident, many fans refused to believe their idol was dead. An urban legend emerged, stating Dean was alive, but terribly disfigured. Also, there were soon more than just a few stories circulating concerning the jinxed car, the haunted Porsche, in other words: the Little Bastard. Let us recount here the “mainstream” urban legend.
Car designer George Barris bought the wreck for $2,500. On delivery, the Porsche slipped off its trailer and broke the legs of a mechanic. A doctor from Beverly Hills, Troy McHenry, bought the engine of the Little Bastard and put it in his own Porsche. The first time he took the car out, the vehicle spun out of control and crashed into a tree. He was killed on the spot.
Another physician, William Eschrid, bought the transmission of Dean’s Porsche. He went racing – some say against McHenry – and, going in a curve, the car rolled over. He was seriously injured.
Barris sold two tires of the wreck, which were unharmed in the accident, to an unnamed New Yorker. The tires blew up simultaneously, causing the car to go off the road. It was not reported what happened with the driver.
Two young thieves were injured while they attempted to steal parts of Little Bastard. Barris decided to store the cursed car safely away, but the bad luck kept coming from the hunk of twisted metal. In 1959, a fire broke out in the Fresno garage where Dean’s Porsche had been stored.
In that year, the Dean mania was still intense and so the California State Highway Patrol thought of transporting the mangled vehicle to local high schools and show teenagers the dangers of high speed driving. Little Bastard was put on exhibit in Sacramento, fell from its display and broke the hip of a teenager. On the way to Salinas, the flatbed truck with the Spyder on it lost control and the driver was crushed by the Porsche.
Little Bastard still was very popular and George Barris took the cursed car on a tour to the other states. On the anniversary of James Dean’s death, September 30, a fifteen year old boy was standing about twelve to fifteen feet away from the exhibit. As if broken by spectral hands, three bolts snapped. The car plowed forward and crushed both of the boy’s legs.
In 1960, Barris decided to have Little Bastard shipped back home to California. In Florida, the Porsche was loaded into a boxcar, the door carefully sealed. When the train arrived in Los Angeles, the seal was still intact… but Little Bastard was missing. Private detectives went after the car of James Dean, but they could not find it. The Little Bastard mysteriously vanished and has not been seen since…
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
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