James Dean’s Cursed Little Bastard

Little Bastard and James Dean
James Dean and his car Little Bastard

Photo credit: survincity.com

On September 30, 1955 James Dean met a tragic end at the Highways 41 and Highway 46 junction near Cholame, California. A little after 5 pm, he slammed into a 2950 Ford Tuder that was trying to turn away from the intersection. While his mechanic, who was in the passenger seat, survived despite being ejected from the car, the 24-year-old actor died on the scene due to a broken neck.

While many continue blaming the negligence of the Ford’s owner Donald Turnupseed, the years that followed James Dean’s death hint towards another culprit: Little Bastard.

Little Bastard’s Brief History with James Dean

James Dean and his Porsche 550 Spyder

Photo credit: theoutlierman.com

While filming ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, James Dean got a Porsche 550 Spyder. A car racing enthusiast, the Hollywood star decided to customize his latest possession. After George Barris worked on it, the car featured tartan seats, two red stripes, and the number ‘130’ plastered all over. It was later christened ‘Little Bastard’ by James’ language coach, a name the actor liked and later had painted on the car.

James truly loved the vehicle, flaunting it around wherever he went. However, not many shared his passion for it. Alec Guinness, the actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy, met with James outside a restaurant once and confessed that he felt that the car has a “sinister” appearance.

Alec then warned him, “If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.” And seven days later, James was killed in that very car.

So Why’s Little Bastard Cursed?

James Dean's death and Little Bastard

Photo credit: bestride.com

James Dean may be the only celebrity whose life the car claimed, but he isn’t the only one. Several people who came in contact with it have either been killed or maimed. It all started when George Barris bought whatever was left of his masterpiece at an auction for $2,500. Soon after it was shipped, the car slipped off its trailer and broke his leg.

George then sold the engine and drivetrain to Troy McHenry and William Eschrid, a decision one would later regret. While racing against each other in cars containing these parts, Troy lost his life after his car went out of control and smashed into a tree. As for William, he was seriously injured since his car locked up and rolled over as he took a turn.

If you thought that these tragedies were caused by faulty car parts, there are more incidents that may change your mind.

  • George Barris sold two brand new tires from Little Bastard. Their owner barely survived when they blew out simultaneously, causing him to run off the road.
  • Two thieves decided to steal Little Bastard (sans the sold parts) from Barris. One of the thieves had his arms torn open while trying to steal the steering wheel while the other was injured while removing the bloodstained driver’s seat.
  • After Barris lent the car to a California Highway Patrol exhibition, the garage housing Little Bastard’s chassis caught on fire and burned to the ground. The car suffered no damage! Unfazed by the fire, CHP tried holding another exhibition featuring the car at a local high school. However, the car fell off its display and severely injured a nearby student.
  • While transporting Little Bastard, a truck driver lost control of his truck and fell out. He was crushed by the car when it fell off the back.

It wasn’t long before Little Bastard disappeared or was completely hidden to prevent it from claiming more lives. News of it resurfacing last year did make paranormal enthusiasts itch to find out about its curse. However, let damaged cars lie and think of your loved ones before taking such a step.