Vine Auto Repair Building
( original Competition Motors Service department)
From the Offical James Dean Web Site
In 1949, Jimmy’s father bought him a ’39 Chevy.
In May 1954 Jimmy purchased a red MG and later purchased a white ’55 Ford stationwagon with wood paneling.
In March 1955 he bought his Porsche 356 1,500cc Super Speedster convertible;
and in September 1955 Jimmy bought his silver Porsche 550 Spyder,
he had the number 130 painted on the hood, and on the back end of the car,
he commissioned car customizer George Barris to paint his nickname "Little Bastard,"
the nickname he got from Bill Hickman, who had been his dialogue coach on Giant.
Received this info
from Ronny Bailey
On your James Dean page you mention that he got the nickname 'Little Bastard' from his friend Bill Hickman.
That is true, but he was not the dialogue coach on 'Giant.' The dialogue coach was Bob Hinkle.
Bill Hickman was a stunt driver and actor friend that Dean met while making 'Fixed Bayonets!' in 1951.
Unfortunately, that info is also incorrect on the official James Dean website.
Here's some info on Bob Hinkle: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1577834/
On the afternoon of September 30, 1955, while driving his new Porsche 550 Spyder to compete in a sports car race in Salinas, California, James Dean collided nearly head-on with a 1950 Ford Custom Coupe on a lonely road near Cholame, California. The impact destroyed the smaller and lighter Porsche, and Dean suffered massive injuries in the crash. His mechanic, Rolf WŁetherich, had been riding with Dean in the Porsche, and also suffered critical injuries in the accident. By the time an ambulance brought the pair to the nearest hospital, Dean was pronounced dead on arrival, while WŁtherich survived with a broken jaw, a broken femur and a shattered hip.
The day of the crash is well documented, as professional photographer Sanford Roth was accompanying Dean for an article on the actor’s passion for racing in Collier’s Magazine. The image above, shot by Roth in Hollywood on the morning of the accident, shows a happy and confident Dean and WŁtherich preparing for a weekend of racing and camaraderie. That this would be Dean’s final hours, or that WŁetherich was about to experience a life-shattering event, was clearly the furthest thing from either one’s mind. While other snapshots allegedly show Dean later in the day, the above image by Roth is believed to be the last “official” image taken of the actor before his fatal crash.
On Friday, April 5th, 2013, an 11◊14-inch print of the shot, taken from Roth’s original contact sheet and mounted on foam core, sold for an impressive $1,500 at the Julien’s Hollywood Legends 2013 auction. Given that the pre-auction estimate was only $400 to $600, it’s clear that James Dean has lost little of his star power, even some 58 years after his untimely death.
James Dean's Uncle Marcus bought him his first motorcycle, a 1947 Czech Whizzer.
Jimmy also owned an English cycle, a Harley, a 500cc Norton, an Indian 500,
an Italian Lancia scooter and a British Triumph T-110,
which had "Dean’s Dilemma" painted on the side.
Picture from the Fairmound, Indina Museum.
Picture from the Warner Bros Site
James Dean on a Triumph Motorcycle on the set of
Without A Cause with Jim Backus
For the first time, Live Fast, Die Young: The Wild Ride of Making Rebel Without a Cause , by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel, tells the complete story behind the movie Rebel Without a Cause, a film that virtually defined our concept of what it means to be young. Set against the backdrop of the Atomic Age, the blacklist and America's burgeoning hot rod mania, the book narrates how 43-year-old director Nicholas Ray, buffeted by a shocking personal scandal, set out on a journey to make the defining film about young people. The book follows Ray as he hangs out undercover with L.A.'s most notorious juvenile gang, presides over auditions of young actors that often turned into violent mÍlťes and engages in a psychosexual exploration of his three young stars—James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo—along the way creating a film that would have a seismic effect on American culture.