Tag Archives: Porsche history

James Dean dies in Porsche 550 Spyder

  • History
  • Celebrity Car
  • James Dean Car Crash Accident
  • Porsche 550 Spyder

James Dean

James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955)

James Dean was killed on September 30, 1955 in a new Porsche 550 Spyder. James Dean had starred in just three films: Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant before he died at age 24. ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ cemented his reputation- appealing to american teenagers, in his portrayal of youth angst in an era when that was not fashionable. In the years since his death, Dean has become an icon beloved by millions of fans and a pop culture legend. His early death in a fast car adds to the tragic James Dean Story.

James Dean Porsche 550 Spyder 130

James Dean in addition to his acting took up competitive race car driving.While James Dean was filming Rebel Without a Cause, he acquired a Porsche 550 Spyder. The car which would become part of the legend was one of only 90 Porsche Sypders, it was numbered 130, had a tartan seat design along with two red stripes at the rear. The car was called “Little Bastard”.

James Dean Porsche 550 Spyder 130

James Dean in his Porsche 550 Spyder 130

A week before his was killed James Dean met the British actor Alec Guinness who commented car appeared “sinister” and said to Dean : “If you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week.” Words that would prove to be prophetic.

On September 30, 1955, Dean was driving to a race along with Rolf Wütherich (a auto mechanic) They were traveling in the new Porsche Spyder. At 3:30PM, Dean was caught speeding and recieved a speeding ticket in Kern County for traveling 65 in a 55 mph zone.

James Dean Porsche 550 Spyder car after crash

James Dean Porsche 550 Spyder car after crash

As Dean drove west on on what was to become State Route 46 in Cholame, California, Donald Turnupseed a student in a 1950 Ford Tudor, approached in the opposite direction. The Ford driver attempted to turn onto State Route 41 at a fork in the road. The driver crossed into Dean’s lane and the two cars collided nearly head on. Dean survived immediately after the crash but was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:59PM after reaching Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital. His last words, according to Wütherich who was ejected from the car, but survived with a broken jaw were: “That guy’s gotta stop… He’ll see us.”

James Dean memorial

James Dean memorial

James Dean Memorial in Cholame, California. Dean was killed in his Porsche nearly 900 yards east of this tree. It is engraved with the date and times of Dean’s birth and death, and features a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery’s Book- The Little Prince: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.

The memorial pictured above was erected in Cholame, California in 1977. The sculpture is made of concrete and stainless steel and wraps around a tree in front of the Cholame US post office. The sculpture was the brainchild of Seita Ohnishi of Japan. In September, 2005, the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 in Cholame renamed the James Dean Memorial Highway on the 50th anniversary of his death. Dean is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana.

James Dean’s Crash – The Truth? VIDEO

Janis Joplin Porsche 356 convertible

  • Porsche 356
  • Historical Porsche Models
  • Porsche and Woman
  • Janis Joplin Porsche 356 Covertible

Janis Joplin expressed her opinions through her music and her 1965 Porsche 356 convertible that Dave Richards painted for her. Her car represented symbols that both defined her as an individual and the period in which she lived in. When looking at the car, one is mesmerized be the bright colors and the great details that can be seen. Dave Richards used vivid colors like yellow, orange, pink and turquoise. The car’s hood has varieties of butterflies and small blue flowers (might be Forget-Me-Nots flowers).In the middle front, there are two faces, one looking to the right and the other to the left. In the middle of the two faces, there is an eye looking straight ahead. It is a gods-eye symbol that the band has identified. Also there”tms a missing chrome line on the left side of the car. Janis identified herself very much with her astrological sign. It might be a woman”tms body with veins running through it or thin rivers of blood. On the left side of the car, there are little brown shapes. Janis Joplin Porsche 356 represents that idea too.  Finally, the one symbol that represents Janis Joplin is the sun with the Capricorn sign in the back of the car with the letter J on top. However there is a missing mirror on the right side of the car.

Several replicas of Janis’ beloved 356 have been built over the years. The original (itself restored several times) sits in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

Video with Janis Joplin Porsche 356 convertible:

Janis Joplin  Porsche 356 convertible photo gallery: