Dean may have died, but The Little Bastard's legacy lived on for another 5 years. George Barris, the king of the California custom car craze, purchased the wreck for $2500 with no real purpose in mind, other than selling off some parts. When the Bastard arrived at Barris' garage, the Porsche slipped from its tow and fell on one of the mechanics unloading it. The accident broke both of the mechanic's legs.
A year later, at the Pomona Fair Grounds on October 24, 1956 two physicians, Troy McHenry and William Eschrid, were each 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 breaking a teenager's hip. George Barkuis, who was hauling the Spyder for Barris, was killed instantly when the Porsche fell on him after he was thrown from his truck in an accident.
He'd be 87 today.
As much as I love his stories I love his Aunt Marie's Fruitcake even better.
Happy birthday Mr. Capote.