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August 24, 2018

James Dean Washing His 1955 Porsche 356 Super Speedster in Short-Shorts

Sanford “Sandy” Roth was the official photographer on the set of the film Giant, where he first met James Dean, and the pair became friends. Sandy took some iconic pictures of Dean both on the set of that film and afterwards in Los Angeles. He also took these great photos of Jimmy washing his Porsche Speedster in short-shorts...

James Dean, to this day, is recognized as being one of the most iconic cool guys in history. James Dean owned several Porsche’s, but his everyday driver was his 1955 Porsche 356 Super Speeder, and in the following pictures, we see James Dean posing with his equally iconic Porsche 356 convertible.

Notice in all of the photos of James Dean’s Porsche 356, there are no rear view mirrors, which explains why in the next two photos, why he had to look backwards when driving in reverse.

After Giant, Jimmy finally got a break from his strenuous shooting schedule. In September 1955, Jimmy bought a shiny new Porsche Spyder 550, signed up for a car race in Salinas, California, and invited Sanford Roth to come along and photograph him at the races. He photographed them at Competition Motors, where Jimmy had the car inspected before the trip, and he kept snapping pictures on the road.

Jimmy inside Competition Motors while they look over the Porsche 550 Spyder.

James Dean at Competition Motor, notice the racing number, and the nickname “Little Bastard” painted by the “King of Kustomizers” George Barris.

James Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wuetherich making the drive to Salinas on the day of the fatal wreck on September 30, 1955.



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