If you haven’t seen our new series ‘Cursed,’ which airs on Fridays at 10/9c, you’re missing out on a spine-tingling good time. Just to give you a sampling of the kinds of stories you may hear on the show, host and curse expert Dr. David Marsh shares with us his interest in cursed cars. Here, he recounts two historically famous stories…
There is something particularly frightening about the thought of a cursed car. But there have been a few of them in the short history of automobile transportation, and the most famous is James Dean’s ‘Little Bastard,’ a Porsche 550 Spyder, that was destined to make history even after it killed Dean.
Watch a bewitching preview of tonight’s upcoming ‘Cursed’ episode, ‘Inherited Misery’:
According to legend, the wrecked car, or parts thereof, had taken at least two other lives and injured at least six people. Stored in a warehouse, Little Bastard was unscathed during a mysterious fire and even more eerie, it vanished while en route to George Barris, the famous Hollywood car customizer. Although several of these stories have been disproved, the remaining number of mysterious incidents surrounding this car is staggering.
Some believe Little Bastard took off, looking to rejoin Dean on some other plane of existence, where they travel dark and lonely roads for eternity. Even without that thought, I think Sir Alec Guinness said it best when he told Dean, “That car is sinister.”
The remnants of Little Bastard after James Dean’s fatal crash.
There is another cursed car of some repute that tops even Little Bastard’s death toll. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Archduchess Sofie were assassinated on June 28, 1914, in their Gräf und Stift Double Phaeton. The car later claimed the lives of ten other owners, as well as people who had the misfortune of being passengers or being in its way. Three more deaths by suicide or insanity and four injuries are attributed to the car’s curse. Many have sought to disprove these stories concerning the Archduke’s car, but to date no one has been able to. It rests, quietly, in a museum in Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, waiting for another opportunity to make its deathly mark again.
A depiction of Ferdinand and his wife’s assasination in their car.
While we all encounter car issues and have experienced accidents to varying degrees, seldom do they include the fantastic death tolls associated with James Dean’s Little Bastard and Franz Ferdinand’s Gräf und Stift Double Phaeton.
Watch a video clip of how Ferdinand was taken down by a teenager
Cursed airs on Fridays at 10/9c.