Classic Sports Car

James Dean


Hollywood’s favourite rebel enjoyed only the briefest of motorsport careers due to his tragic demise aged just 24. In March 1955, Dean traded his MG TD against a Porsche 356 Super Speedster from renowned dealer/entrant John von Neumann of Competitio­n Motors. Dean reputedly racked up 1000 miles in the first week of ownership prior to making his on-track debut at the 26-27 March Palm Springs meeting. He won a heat and the production class in the main event. At the end of the following month, he arrived at Minter Field, Bakersfiel­d, and took another class victory. The 356 blew a piston at Santa Barbara during the Memorial Day meeting and Dean was then obliged by the producers of Giant to throttle back on racing. When he did return, it was with a new toy: a Porsche 550. However, he never got to race it because of the fatal accident en route to the Salinas road races. Anorak fact Self-proclaimed ‘King of the Kustomizer­s’ George Barris at one time owned the remains of the 550

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