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James Dean crash site photographs sold for $22,498 auction
The collection consists of 12 overhead views of the junction of Route 466 and Route 41, which lay a fascinating visual groundwork of the surrounding landscape route.



BOSTON, MASS.- A collection of 30 original glossy photos, many unpublished, which vividly document the fatal car crash site of Hollywood actor James Dean sold for $22,498 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

Dean was tragically killed at the age of 24 when his 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, coined the "Little Bastard," collided with a 1950 Ford Custom driven by Donald Turnupseed on September 30, 1955; the accident occurred when the actor was driving westbound on U.S. Route 466 en route to a racing event at the Salinas, California Municipal Airport.

The collection consists of 12 overhead views of the junction of Route 466 and Route 41, which lay a fascinating visual groundwork of the surrounding landscape route.

Also featured is a total of 18 'ground-level' photos, with nine showing Routes 466 and 41 in up-close detail—replete with telephone poles, mountainous vista, disrupted road shoulder, and fresh skid marks and vehicular fluid stains—and nine others showing the terrifying aftermath photos of Dean and Turnupseed's mangled automobiles; the interior or exterior of Dean's significantly damaged Porsche 550 is visible in six of the photographs, as is Dean's No. 130 racing number and written name "Little Bastard." Also of important note is the original 1955 California License Plate which was registered in the personal name of James Dean.

Like other leading men Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, Dean developed a passion for auto-racing and began to purchase vehicles shortly after filming East of Eden. In Palm Springs on March 26-27, 1955, he entered his first amateur race, taking the top spot in the novice class and placing second in the main event. Barred from all racing activities during the filming of Giant, it wasn't until the end of production that Dean traded in his 1955 Porsche Super Speedster for his "Little Bastard", the faster and more powerful 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, which he planned to drive in the upcoming Salinas Road Race event scheduled for October 1-2.

"James Dean died so young — we'll never know what he would have been able to accomplish both on and off the silver screen," said Bobby Livingston Executive VP at RR Auction. "These images offer an intensely unique perspective of the crash location and the resulting carnage— many of the photos taken only hours after the accident."

The winning bid came from the Racing Preservation Museum Archive whose 44 year+ mission has been "Preserving The Memory Of Those, On The Track, In The Pits, & Behind The Scenes."

"We're extremely thrilled with the purchase and excited to be adding them to our ever-growing archive of related memorabilia, and automobiles," stated the group's archivist and acquisitions manager. RPM plans to share these items with enthusiasts across the world.

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Led Zeppelin fully signed copy of their debut album sold for $22,956.

Jimi Hendrix's bronze Ming Dynasty Chinese Buddha from his Greenwich Village apartment sold for $19,327.

The Who signed BBC 1973 vintage photograph sold for $15,000.

Lady Gaga's screen-worn Blue Fur Coat from American Horror Story sold for $7,498.

Woodstock original color poster signed by Michael Lang sold for $7,120.

The Pop Culture auction from RR Auction began on August 8 and concluded on August 15.










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