Most know the tragic tale of Hollywood legend James Dean and his untimely death behind the wheel of his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder back in 1955. Since that time, numerous stories about the car being cursed continue to fascinate—along with the mystery of where the Porsche ended up when it disappeared somewhere between Florida and California during transport in the early 1960s. It seems someone has come forward claiming to know exactly where the car has been hidden all of these years.
The person who has come forward claims that he was just six years old when his father and others hid the James Dean Porsche behind a false wall in a building somewhere in Whatcom County, Washington, which is nearly in Canada. This person is withholding the location of the stolen and prized car until documents are produced that guarantee him a portion of the reward–which is a healthy million dollars put up by the Volo Automotive museum in Illinois and possibly others. If this person is indeed telling the honest truth, should he receive a reward or just be a decent person and return the famous vehicle to its rightful place in the world? The ethics involved are a bit thick, because of the many angles in the case. Should the family of a brazen thief stand to gain financially from an illegal act or should the car simply be returned to Dean’s relatives, who are very much alive?
The star was behind the wheel of his cherished 550 Spyder in Salinas, California on September 30th, 1955 when a young college student in a Ford Custom Tudor veered into Dean’s lane and a head-on collision ensued. Dean was pronounced dead within hours and because of his youth and stardom, it was much like the shock of the Paul Walker Porsche crash we all remember so vividly today. Dean was born and raised in Fairmount, Indiana—where I happen to be from.
It is not everyday I get the opportunity to touch on something so familiar to me and share that perspective. Each year on the last weekend in September thousands flock to the annual ‘James Dean Days’ festival in Fairmount to walk through the gallery and museum dedicated to him and view the artifacts of his early years. There is also a rather large classic car show in the town that weekend and a much-loved ‘James Dean look alike’ contest held in good fun and love for the local. The otherwise uneventful farm town is transformed into a carnival for three full days and the children and die-hard Dean fans liken it very much to the anticipation of Christmas holiday.
Even though the star will always be larger than life–folks from Fairmount live among Dean’s relatives and treat them as normal friends. Fun fact: Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, is also from Fairmount and we have a huge sign off the highway depicting the funny fat kitty cat as well as James Dean.
In the few years following the death of James Dean, the Porsche wreckage was utilized to promote highway safety and taken around the country as a visual aid of the serious dangers of high speed–a vivid reminder that it can happen to anyone. Dark stories began to emerge that unexplained accidents befell some who came in contact with the car. This presents the larger question: Did people steal the Dean Porsche in hopes of profit or perhaps a sort-of Batman attempt to prevent further paranormal events that had become associated with the vehicle? Indulge in the link above and let the surreal mysteries sink in!
James Byron Dean
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals