Just days from the sixtieth anniversary of James Dean’s death on September 30th, 1955, a man has revealed himself to the Volo Museum in Illinois. He has information on where James Dean’s cursed Porsche is hidden.

This is about the Porsche 550 that took Dean’s life and … maybe others…

September 1955, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Actor James Dean gives a thumbs-up sign from his Porsche 550 Spyder, the , while parked on Vine Street in Hollywood. Dean, who had taken up racing the year before, owned the car only nine days when he lost his life in a fatal highway accident while driving the Porsche to a Salinas race. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

At the dawn of his short but intense movie-star career, James Dean wanted his Porsche to be unique. He got George Barris, celebrity car maker, to customize his Porsche: it got tartan seats, two red stripes over the rear wheels and the number ‘130′ plastered on its doors, hood and engine cover. Dean called it the “Little Bastard.”

The car is famous not just for James Dean’s death upon ramming a Ford Tudor in an intersection. The Ford driver was a college student named Turnupseed who walked away mostly uninjured. Dean’s passenger, Porsche mechanic Rolf Wütherich was injured but survived. Dean was dead.

After the accident, the carnage didn’t stop.

  • The Porsche rolled off the back of a truck and crushed the legs of a mechanic standing nearby
  • After a used-car dealer sold its parts to buyers all over the country, the strange incidents multiplied: The car’s engine, transmission and tires were all transplanted into cars subsequently involved in deadly crashes.
  • The engine and drivetrain was sold to Troy McHenry and William Eschrid. While the two were racing one another in cars that had parts from the “Little Bastard,” McHenry lost control and hit a tree, killing him instantly. Eschrid was seriously injured when his car suddenly locked up and rolled over while going into a turn.
  • Barris had kept the car in his possession (without the sold parts) and it caught the attention of two thieves. One of the thieves arms was torn open trying to steal the steering wheel while the other was injured trying to remove the bloodstained tartan seat.
  • Wütherich, the guilt-ridden engineer, tried to commit suicide twice during the 1960s – and in 1967, he stabbed his wife 14 times with a kitchen knife in a failed murder/suicide. And then he died in a drunk-driving accident in 1981.
  • A truck carrying the Spyder’s chassis to a highway-safety exhibition skidded off the road, killing its driver. The remains of the car vanished from the scene of that accident and haven’t been seen since.


According to ABC7 Chicago, the Volo Museum located in Volo, Illinois, claims they have received a credible tip as to the whereabouts of the long-lost Porsche 550 Spyder, whose tales of curses are not just stories, they’re downright terrifying.

Long rumored to be cursed, the Auto Museum made a reward offering  $1 million for the wreckage in 2005. Following an episode of “Brad Meltzer’s Lost History” that aired last winter, the museum says they were contacted by a man with something to say.

“He said he was 6 years old at the time, and was present as his father and some other men put the wreckage behind a false wall in a building in Whatcom County, Washington,” said Brian Grams, director of the Volo Auto Museum.

A reporter from ABC 7 in Chicago says the guy knows exclusive details about the car and passed a polygraph test.   But the guy ain’t telling the whereabouts of the car until he sees the cash.  The museum is trying to establish clear legal ownership of the car before granting any rewards.

We’ll keep you updated.

Below we offer you a mystical print from famed automotive artist Nicola Wood…