View Full Version : James Dean's Racing Record

2005-May-24, 07:20 AM
Road & Track, June 2005 (http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=7&article_id=2211)
"...I had a basic knowledge of Dean's short though impressive racing record but began researching it more thoroughly to fill in the details..."
Santa Barbara Airport Course - May, 1955

2005-May-24, 10:42 AM
I was at that airport 11 years later. I didn't see Mr. Dean though. :-k

I was just passing through while transporting silver from the Left Coast (via Argentina) to the eastern seaboard. Security was a lot more lax back then, so it was a carry-on item. I hope the folks I delivered it to didn't notice all the airline pretzels I accidentally spilled into it! :D

2005-May-24, 03:45 PM
Wow---so that's what happened to the silver Dean took May 1st in Palm Springs for his Production Class finish! Rumor had it that he'd buried it in Griffith Park, next to the observatory. =D>

2005-May-24, 03:46 PM
Cool, an interesting read. Other actors later to be bit by the racing bug would include James Garner, Steve McQueen ( had a 1st in division and 2nd overall, teamed with Peter Revson at Sebring in 1969(?)) and Paul Newman. In the case about Dean, more is probably written about the "curse" of the Spyder than the racing he was getting involved in. I'll keep an eye out for the release of the book mentioned, it should make a nice pairing with this book (http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=gmcq&subject=23) already on my bookshelf.

edit: I pulled the book off the shelf, there are a couple of pictures in there one of another person driving Porsche speedster in the race at Santa Barbara Airport and one of Dean sitting against his car in the paddock at Palm Springs. I did notice that one of the pics, on the page I linked to, called the 21 car a 908, while it is clearly a 917K (I have a scale model of the McQueen #20 car in front of me) :wink:

2005-May-24, 10:13 PM
...should make a nice pairing with this book (http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=gmcq&subject=23)...Does the book you have (what a title, BTW!) cover McQ's last days?

2005-May-24, 10:54 PM
...should make a nice pairing with this book (http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=gmcq&subject=23)...Does the book you have (what a title, BTW!) cover McQ's last days?

Not in any great detail. Over a couple of pages in narration: the discovery of the rare form of cancer, the fact that he tried radical treatments in Mexico, surgery in LA was unsuccessful, phoned friends to say goodbye, made ammends with some he felt he had slighted, a memorial service was held and eventually the kids held an auction in Vegas, selling off all his cars and motorcycles. The end has someone relating the kind of guy he was, while scouting for filming LeMans, he paid a carnival owner to keep the bumper cars open for as long as the kids wanted to ride, joining in on the fun for some time himself. The majority of the book is a behind the scenes look at the filming of LeMans.