AMC's Hollywood Ghost Stories television special
"After the tragedy,
master car customizer George Barris bought the wreck for $2,500. When the wreck
arrived at Barris' garage, the Porsche slipped and fell on one of the mechanics
unloading it. The accident broke both of the mechanic's legs.
"While Barris had bad feelings about the car when he first saw it, his suspicions were confirmed during a race at the Pomona Fair Grounds on October 24, 1956. Two physicians, Troy McHenry and William Eschrid, were both racing cars that had parts from the "Little Bastard." McHenry died when his car, which had the Porsche's engine installed, went out of control and hit a tree. Eschrid's car flipped over. Eschrid, who survived despite serious injuries, later said that the car suddenly locked up when he went into a curve.
"The car's malevolent influence continued after the race: one kid trying to steal the Porsche's steering wheel slipped and gashed his arm. Barris reluctantly sold two of the car's tires to a young man; within a week, the man was nearly involved in a wreck when the two tires blew out simultaneously.
"Feeling that the Porsche could be put to good use, Barris loaned the wrecked car to the California Highway Patrol for a touring display to illustrate the importance of automobile safety. Within days, the garage housing the Spyder burnt to the ground. With the exception of the "Little Bastard," every vehicle parked inside the garage was destroyed. When the car was put on exhibit in Sacramento, it fell from its display and broke a teenager's hip. George Barkuis, who was hauling the Spyder on a flatbed truck, was killed instantly when the Porsche fell on him after he was thrown from his truck in an accident.
"The mishaps surrounding the car continued until 1960, when the Porsche was loaned out for a safety exhibit in Miami, Florida. When the exhibit was over, the wreckage, en route to Los Angeles on a truck, mysteriously vanished. To this day, the "Little Bastard's" whereabouts are unknown. "
Q: What soon-to-become-famous driver was following Dean's car that day? A: Dan Gurney
Q: What was painted on the rear deck of Dean's 550? A: "Lil' Bastard"
Q: What was name of the driver of the car that collided with Dean? A: Turnupseed
Home Parts Deals Repair Tasks C4 Factoid Contact Author's '84 Superior Rival!