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The Curse of 550

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October is a traditionally spooky month given the Halloween season, and here at CocoMats, we do love ourselves a good scare. We have a few treats in our back pocket for the blog throughout the month, so stay tuned. For today, we’re discussing one of the most famous cursed cars of all time, James Dean’s “Little Bastard” Porsche 550 Spyder.

Let’s be honest, the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “550 Spyder” is James Dean. He introduced the vehicle to Alec Guinness on September 25, 1955, and Guinness told him that it looked sinister and gave him an ominous warning: If Dean got behind the wheel of that Porsche, he would be dead within the week.

On September 30, 1955, James Dean was killed in a fatal car accident behind the wheel of his Porsche 550.

The eeriness does not stop with that devilish prediction. Dean had the number “130” painted on the car that some – including Guinness – say was too close to the number 13, which is widely consider unlucky or cursed itself. He also had the name “Little Bastard” painted on the hood and the rear, which has been taken as a message that the car was disagreeable and temperamental.

Dean was an experienced race driver and competed professionally in between films. He was traveling at roughly 85 miles per hour when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle that could not see the low-profile Porsche when making a wide left turn. His passenger and the driver of the other vehicle survived, but Dean was died instantly at the young age of 24.

But that’s not where the carnage stopped with Little Bastard. Parts from the car were salvaged and used in two other vehicles, each of which suffered catastrophic crashes, and one of which killed the driver. George Barris bought the wrecked Porsche and was the one who sold the parts that were involved in other accidents. He also claims that two thieves were injured when trying to steal parts from the car and that Little Bastard mysteriously vanished in 1960. Many of his claims have been called into question but never debunked. Whatever the truth may be, this is a truly interesting and sinister story from automotive history. Stay tuned, dear readers, for more vehicular mayhem and spooky sightings as October gets into full swing.

-Trey Fennell



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