DescriptionPiece of James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder. This belt buckle-sized piece of the fragile aluminum body and glass fragment were removed from the left fender of "the Little Bastard" by road construction worker Harry Camby, mere hours after the crash that killed Dean. Eighteen years old at the time, Camby and his co-workers had stopped for coffee at the end of the day on September 30, 1955, and everyone in the shop was talking about the star's death earlier in the day, including a waitress who told them that the remains of the Porsche had been parked next door in a service station garage. Camby snuck in to have a look at the car, and kept these fragments, later having their authenticity verified by custom car legend George Barris, who had worked on the car before the crash and was able to match the primer.
After Dean's death, his Porsche became infamous as being the vehicle that killed not only him, but also for injuring and killing several others in various freak accidents in the years following his death. Barris later purchased the remains of the vehicle and used it as part of a driver's safety exhibit. The car disappeared in 1960 while being transported from Florida to Los Angeles while part of a traveling exhibit, making these fragments the last known remaining link to the infamous automobile. From the James Dean Museum archive.
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