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The Heebie-Jeebies

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Halloween is quickly approaching and while children pick the perfect costumes, homes become scary trick-or-treat destinations, and the trees’ leaves turn to shimmering shades of fall, a darker scarier side looms just below the surface. Most of us have experienced that heart-pounding, let’s get out of here moment where logic and reason give way to pure fear. One summer, in the early 80’s on our way from White Plains to the Hamptons, my best friend and I decided it would be fun to see 112 Ocean Ave in Amityville, Long Island. The novel The Amityville Horror had only been out a few years and we were filled with curiosity to see where the Lutz family had lived. As soon as our car turned onto the street, we both felt scared to death. Whether the fear was of the haunting, or the murders that took place at that location, we turned the car around and never looked back.

But what if the source of the horror is the car you are driving? James Dean’s career as an actor and racer was cut tragically short on September 30, 1955, when his Porsche 550 Spyder named “Little Bastard” was involved in a catastrophic collision on the way to a race meeting in Salinas, CA. A week before the fatal crash Dean met British actor Alec Guinness in Los Angeles. Guinness had an ominous feeling on seeing the Porsche and would later write in his diary: ‘The sports car looked sinister to me . . . exhausted, hungry, feeling a little ill-tempered in spite of Dean’s kindness, I heard myself saying in a voice I could hardly recognize as my own: ‘Please never get in it. . .  if you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week.’” More truer words were never spoken. Despite being declared a total loss by the insurance company, the Porsche was sold on and would continue to cause carnage wherever it–or even parts of it–went. For the past 60 years, “Little Bastard’s” whereabouts have remained unknown. The promise of a million-dollar reward by an Illinois Auto Museum hasn’t been enough to unearth any part of that Porsche 550 Spyder.

Whether you drive your car to a scary location or climb into a car that gives you the heebie-jeebies, remember sometimes that spine-tingling sensation is there for a reason, and honor it with action: get the heck out of dodge!


Beck 550 Spyder with Coco Floor Mats

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