Remembering James Dean and the curse of Little Bastard [w/video]

James DeanToday, Friday, September 30, 2011, marks the 56th anniversary of the death of American icon James Dean. Far less significantly but also noteworthy, it rather obviously marks the same anniversary of the passing of Little Bastard, the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that Dean was driving west on U.S. Route 466 (now known as State Route 46) in Cholame, California, on his way to a race in Salinas.

Dean's death was caused, not by speeding as some believe, but by a fellow motorist who veered into Dean's path. Dean's last words, as quoted by his mechanic and passenger that day, Rolf W├╝therich, were, "That guy's gotta stop... He'll see us." He didn't see them, he did not stop, and the head-on collision led to Dean's death about 10 minutes later.

While the legend of James Dean had already been firmly established even before his untimely death, the curse of Little Bastard, the name bestowed upon the Porsche Spyder by Dean himself, was just getting started. While details and the exact series of events are clouded in uncertainty, there's no arguing that the wreck of Little Bastard was sold after the tragic accident and many of its parts were subsequently used in other vehicles... in some cases, with confirmed fatal consequences.

Was the car that killed James Dean really cursed? We're not ones to cast judgment on such issues of mythical folklore, but the details surrounding Little Bastard are nothing if not an interesting story. We suggest you read more here, here and here, or watch the video we've pasted after the break that discusses the actor's life and the curse of Little Bastard.

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