Icon of 50s style, frontman of a new movement, photography fan and a real petrolhead: James Dean.
James (Jimmy) Dean was born in 1931. His life has become a real legacy, not in the least because of the way he died. From an early age, Jimmy loved cars and bikes. In high school, he spent most of his time driving them. Driving and racing with his cars and bikes all day long. He certainly wasn’t afraid of working on them either. His unique personality and ability to act gave him the opportunity to play his first rolls.
He quit his study and became a professional actor. During his first movies he was the subject of photography in Dennis Stock his work, who made Jimmy’s fame even bigger by publishing his work in LIFE magazine. Jimmy liked photography a lot, often shooting pictures himself. The Rolleiflex was his camera of choice. This story and the unique friendship between Jimmy and Dennis was displayed in the 2015 movie: LIFE.
Cars remained a great passion of Jimmy throughout his life. Whenever he could, he drove in one of his cars. Racing became a really big hobby: He drove a Porsche Super Speedster 23F on the track. Fast, really fast. On the road, Jimmy drove a little gem from Porsche: the 550. He named it “Little Bastard”. Through his ownership of this car, Jimmy met Rolf Wütherich, a German Porsche mechanic. The two became real good friends and worked on “Little Bastard” together.
The story ends rather sadly with a knight dying in armour. In mid september 1955, Jimmy and Rolf drove late at night and got involved in a tragic accident. The two men were rushed to the hospital, but just before they arrived, James had unfortunately passed away. Rolf recovered during the months that followed.
James Dean shall aways be remembered as an icon of style and a real petrolhead.