Jame Dean’s Porsche’s Gearbox Hits New Record High Bid

May 27, 2021 2 min read
Jame Dean’s Porsche’s Gearbox Hits New Record High Bid

This transaxle that originally came in the Porsche that James Dean died in spent decades of its life in a wood crate but now it is up for auction and you wouldn’t believe how much enthusiasts are willing to pay for it.

On September 21,1955 acclaimed actor James Dean purchased a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder in preparation for his long awaited return to the SCCA track. His original intention was to trailer the car to a race in Salina for its first event. However, under the guidance of his mechanic and friend, he decided to drive it to the race instead. The long trip was intended to break in the engine and to help Dean get used to how it handled. Unfortunately, this last minute change of plans turned out to be a mistake with grave consequences. Just nine days after purchasing the new Porsche, Dean’s car collided with another car at an estimated speed of over 85-mph.

Ultimately, Dean lost his life in the accident and the car was considered a total loss and was sold as salvage to another Southern California racer. From there the car, or what was left of it, was split up and used for parts and the body was put on display. All of the cars that received parts from Dean’s 550 Spyder reportedly ended up crashing and even the body has been accused of being the cause of some pretty horrific accidents. The twisted body of the car mysteriously disappeared in 1960 and since that day, no verified part of the Porsche has since been found. Until now, that is.

This transaxle has been verified to have come from James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder and was found in a wooden crate in rural massachusetts. It is speculated that it has been hidden in that crate for decades but it is now at auction on Bring a Trailer, thanks to its current owner, Don Ahearn from Islip, NY. The possibly haunted part has been fitted to a rolling steel display and is accompanied with a folder of verified documents. Currently the high bid for this piece of automotive and cinematic history is over $150k. Questions and inquiries should be directed to Marvin Waters, Auction agent for the owner, swiftmotoring@gmail.com or James Dean Historian, Lee Raskin lmr356@aol.com.

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