By Jacob Shelton
On September 30, 1955 James Dean took his last drive in “Little Bastard,” his Porsche 550 Spyder. He planned on heading to an auto rally in Salinas, California, somewhere he could cut loose and not have to be a stoic actor. Dean liked to drive fast and his small collection of Porches gave him all the horsepower that he needed. In 1955 Dean raced in the Palm Springs Road Races, the Minter Field Bakersfield race, and the Santa Barbara Road Races. There’s no word if he placed, but that wasn’t the point, he just wanted to fly. Dean initially wanted to tow the Porche to Salinas, but then he decided to drive the car to the race at the last minute. That afternoon, Dean suffered a head on collision with a Ford Tudor on Highway 466. The driver of the Tudor and Dean’s passenger survived, but Dean was killed instantly. He was only 24-years-old.
Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.