Was James Dean’s Car Little Bastard Really Cursed?

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This cursed car seemed to bring forth lots of misfortune to late actor icon James Dean. It seems that James Dean was on the cusp of stardom – when he was killed. James Dean’s life was tragically cut short, due to a car accident he was in back on September 30, 1955.

He was driving his infamous Porsche Spyder 550 given the name “The Little Bastard”. He was driving Little Bastard to a race when he collided with an automobile driven by a 19 year old pupil. Dean was pronounced dead at the scene.

James Dean
Image: The Daily Beast

He was only 24 years old and made the following films before his demise: East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). James also appeared in one other production series on television known as Family Theatre. James played John in episode 1 back in 1951. 

His image and likeness has been used in multiple productions and he was the inspiration for the Eagles song simply titled “James Dean” written by the late Don Henley and Glenn Frey. 

Quite strangely, this is what happened to people who were somehow involved with the Little Bastard car:

  • A mechanic was injured when he was working on the car.
  • A driver was killed when he crashed a car that had spare parts from Little Bastard.
  • A truck driver was killed when he was transporting Little Bastard.
  • The car was stored in a museum, but it caught fire and was destroyed.

Some people believe that Little Bastard was indeed cursed. Others believe that it’s just a coincidence and the things that happened were merely a stroke of bad luck. What are the odds though? All of it is kind of weird to say the least. Maybe this car harnessed some kind of demonic energy force of some kind?

Whatever did happen, Little Bastard is a fascinating piece of Hollywood history. It’s a memorial of the woeful death of a youthful actor who had great potential and died far too early.

30 Sep 1955, California, USA — James Dean at a gas station with his silver Porsche 550 Spyder he named Little Bastard, just hours before his fatal crash. — Image by © Corbis

It all began when James Dean bought Little Bastard back on September 17, 1955. He’d later decided to customize some of the features of the car, including a roll pen, a racing seat, and a special exhaust system. As fate would have it, he would end up with this death machine that affected a number of lives around it..

After Dean’s death, Little Bastard continued to be cursed it seems. A handyperson was injured when he was working on the car. A motorist was killed when he crashed. 

Remarkably, one of the car’s parts was used from Little Bastard. Also, a truck driver was killed when he was transporting Little Bastard around. Little Bastard was ultimately stored in a gallery, but it caught fire and was later destroyed.

Image: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

People still believe today that the car is responsible for the deaths and injuries of those who crossed paths with this car. Others believe that the curse of Little Bastard is nothing more than nonsense. 

This is kind of like the Stephen King novel “Christine” which followed a possessed malevolent 1958 Plymouth Fury, that killed and seemed jealous of others around it. Later, that story was adapted into a movie directed by the late John Carpenter back in 1983. It’s a mystery why this car seemed to be a lighting rod for destruction but James Dean lived on the wild side and will forever be remembered as a true rebel. He was regarded as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement.

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