The James Dean Porsche Curse

The James Dean Porsche Curse

In this article we will be taking a look at one of Hollywood’s most infamous supernatural tales – the James Dean Porsche curse. Was his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder doomed to take his life, and did it’s wrecked remains somehow manage to hold onto this paranormal curse?

Let’s take a closer look…

James Dean – The Little Bastard

A Hollywood icon that stood out from the crowd due to his rebelious nature…and his short and tragic life.

Dean was not exactly the most popular actor on the circuit – many of his fellow actors complained about his unexplainable mood swings and disruptive actions when on set. These actions eventually led to him being nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’ by his Hollywood peers.

Dean didn’t seem to mind, and even went as far as naming his Porsche 550 Spyder ‘Little Bastard’…and painting the name across the car’s bodywork.

Bad Vibes

Many famous Hollywood heads pointed out that there was something ‘wrong’ with this flashy car, right from the start…

Numerous actors, who were invited to try out the car, would not go anywhere near it. They complained about a dark aura that seemed to come off the car – something just wasn’t right with it.

james dean spyder curse

Bond girl Ursula Andress is said to have refused to ever sit in it, even though he kept on inviting her to try it out. Alec Guinness apparently told Dean, straight to his face that “If you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week.”

He was right – within a week Dean was dead, and his beloved car was nothing more than a tangled mess of metal.

The Crash

James Dean was well known for having a deep love of fast cars. Warner Bros. film studios actually went as far as banning him from driving ANYTHING when he was filming the movie Giant.

People close to the young actor also claimed that he had an unhealthy fascination with the occult and supernatural. He apparently told numerous friends that he was destined to die young.

On September the 30th, 1955, Dean and his mechanic headed out towards Salinas to drive the Spyder in a number of races. Police reports actually show that Dean managed to pick up a ticket for speeding at one point in the journey.

Shortly after receiving the ticket, Dean crashed his beloved car at an intersection…

He was killed instantly, at the age of 24.

james dean cursed car

The James Dean Spyder Curse

After the infamous crash, an unknown buyer purchased the doomed car and began selling various parts off it – like some sort of macabre Hollywood auction.

A pair of rich doctors decided to purchase various bits off the car, and add them to their own racing cars. Thirteen months after Dean died, the doctors raced their newly improved cars…

Only one doctor came out of the race alive.

There are also reports suggesting that the State Highway Patrol used the wreckage of Dean’s car on a tour around the country – to warn youngsters about the dangers of driving too fast.

During this tour, numerous members of the public complained about feeling dizzy and sick, whenever they got too close the wreckage.

Another urban legend states that a garage that held the car’s wreckage for a few weeks…burned to the ground. The only thing to survive the fire was the wreckage of the Porsche 550 Spyder.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the James Dean Porsche curse, please leave them in the comment section below.

23 comments on “The James Dean Porsche Curse

  1. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the article. I really enjoyed reading it even though it was about a tragic death. It is very interesting to find out that Warner Bros actually banned James Dean from driving during the production of one of the movies. I would never have thought that. 

    Do you have any clue how Warner Bros reacted to his death?

    1. Not really Los, but I can imagine they were quite worried about what was going to happen to the work they had done with him. It’s a very interesting question actually – I’ll look into it and add it to the article! 🙂

  2. This is a very good mystery, I have heard about the James Dean Porsche curse before, and many friends told me like it was the car of the devil himself. And he didn’t want somebody else drive with it, so everybody who tries it, will die.

    That could also explain the fact this car survives everything, and even a big fire couldn’t destroy it since it has inhuman powers.

    My question to you is, do you believe/think it could be the car of the devil?

  3. Hmmm, this is an interesting story.  I’ve never really known or heard much about this as James Dean was a bit before my time because he died before I was born.  I did know there was a tragic end to his life, but I didn’t really know any of the details.  An interesting question would be whether all those supposed “bad vibes” comments were actually made beforehand or whether they were sort of “made up” after the accident?

    1. Could well have been Mary – we all know how urban legends start, a whisper here and there, then a topic that snowballs out of control and into rumours! Good point. 

  4. Hey Chris, great post. I have to ask though, do you believe in certain items being cursed or bewitched to the point of ending someone’s life? Also, I have to say that your article was a good read, I always like learning something new especially when I read about stuff like this. I never knew how James Dean died and I also find it eerie how Alec Guinness told him that he was going to die if he drove that car. Scary stuff, good job!

    1. Certain things being Bewitched? 

      Well, yes, I feel that there are some items out there that are cursed or even possessed. There are many cases on this website that involve these sorts of items. 

      Cheers for reading R.J.

  5. Spooky stuff! I’ve read somewhere that when there is a tragic event, involving death, that the tormented soul can sometimes get trapped in metal.  Usually someone is talking about a house, and sometimes the soul of the departed will be attracted to metal, like in an old metal encasement window.

    When the house is sold, what is the first thing the buy does? They start to renovate.  When the metal is disturbed, or removed, it stirs the soul, and hauntings occur.

    So it makes sense that the bad ju ju would move over to the next buyer of any car or car part.  And when you start a car, especially a race car, there are vibrations, that could shake the soul.

    Do you know if there were any other death associated with this movie?

    1. That’s a really interesting angle there James – I didn’t really think about the link between metal and trapped souls (thanks for adding it to the article!). 

      No, I’m not really sure if there were any other deaths associated with the movie mate, but I haven’t heard of any off-hand. 

  6. Thanks for sharing this, was interesting to get a different version on how the events happened. I think I heard about James Dean and that he was dead a few years back but wasn’t sure exactly how the events took place, so I’ve always been interested in finding out more.

    That’s quite creepy about the doctors dying while using the car parts, do you know what happened after the doctors died? Were the cars still being used by other people/purchased? Or were they damaged as result

    Thanks for providing an interesting read!


    1. No idea after the accident with the doctors Joshua – many parts of this story are a little sketchy and suffer from Chinese whispers etc. 

      Personally, I don’t think their wreckage parts were used again…but you never know…

      Maybe a website visitor will know more about this side of the story than we do…

  7. Hello Chris,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post regarding the James Dean Porsche curse.  I’m one of the many people who have a strange fascination with celebrity deaths.  I don’t consider myself to be overly interested in the macabre, but for some reason I’m interested when it involves a celebrity.

    If I recall the Dean story correctly, he was forced from the road by another vehicle or at least tried to avoid a collection in some way.  Any word on the other driver? And did he meet with any curse related issues?

    1. The other guy in the car with him survived Glenn, and as far as I know, he kept well away from the incident and the wreckage of the car.

      1. Donald Turnupseed (driver of the other car), never spoke of the crash publicly except in the original court deposition. He passed away from cancer in 1981.

  8. Dear Chris,

    I do came across many videos on Youtube about James Dean Porsche curse and watched it. Thanks for explaining it in detail.

    This incident is a lesson to those who drive fast. I am wondering why he was thinking he will die young and as we all know we will attract what we believe.

    There is also a documentary titled The Stuff of Legend: James Dean’s Final Ride.

    For few cases we don’t find clear answers and it remains as a mystery and for sure The James Dean Spyder Curse is one among them.

    Very interesting site and wishing you great success!


  9. Hi Chris,

    Wow, this article brings me back to the past:) I was a fan of James Dean when I was a teenager. I used to watch all his movies with my mother and my brother. He was not only one of the sexiest guys in the world, but also a great actor and not to forget, he was handsome! Such a shame that he died so young. There were rumors that he was killed by someone and not in a car accident. What do you think? 

    Thank you for this awesome post! 

      1. agreed, the nearest hospital was 28 miles from the crash scene. Whether he survived the actual crash in unknown, but he was pronounced DOA at that hospital.

  10. Hey there! Thanks for sharing this fascinating story. I guess his bad vibes infected the car so much that it got into the parts. Too bad about that doctor that got caught up in this mysterious curse. Are any of his car’s parts still around now? If they are, how much are they worth? If not, how much do you think they would be worth?

    1. Wow – how long is a piece of string Marlinda! 

      I have no idea on both accounts really. I guess there are probably a few ‘forged’ items from Dean’s car floating about online…

      But who knows these days! 🙂

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