Hooniverse Asks: What Piece of Infamous Automobilia Are You Dying to Have?

I’m sure that somewhere out there exists the Amilcar in which dancer Isadora Duncan lost her life when her hand-painted Roman Chatov scarf got caught in the spokes of one of the car’s rear wheels. How cool would that be to have?
Infamous memorabilia like James Dean’s car—above—is a macabre form of collectible, but there’s a whole industry dedicated to its obtainment and trade. Are you an aficionado of dead celebrity automotive memorabilia? If so, what’s your white whale?
Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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16 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Piece of Infamous Automobilia Are You Dying to Have?”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    I don’t particularly have a fondness for death cars, but if I had to pick a celebrity’s car that killed an occupant, I’d take the ex-Cosby Cobra. Not only did it inspire a classic comedy bit, its twin sold for $5.5 mil.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      Take it out for a drive, wake up, no idea where you are…
      Too soon?

    2. pursang Avatar

      Did his car have a sunroofie?

  2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    David Koresh’s ’68 Camaro.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Didn’t appear to bring a celebrity premium the last time it sold. For some reason I had remembered it being flattened by a tank.

      1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

        The pictures I remember from the time were of just a damaged quarter panel. What I’m finding online today suggests more extensive damage. I remember being disappointed to read that it had been restored. I would have wanted it with the dented quarter panel (if that was truly the extent of the damage). It was dented by a tank (or an APC) during the raid on the compound in Waco. That is a dent with provenance!

        1. 0A5599 Avatar

          He had a collection of cars, not just the one at the auction. I think there was also a red Camaro and an El Camino in the mix somewhere. I think the tank banged them up to rattle his cage, but it could have been one of the others that got flattened.

          1. P161911 Avatar

            If there were any cars flattened, it appears that the government had managed to scrub the pictures from a Google image search.

  3. neight428 Avatar

    I’d like a clean last gen full sized bronco, just because I’m a fan of the full-sized two-door 4WD format. If the most infamous of them all came to me, I’d rock it.

  4. Henk Avatar

    My absolute morbid top favorite would be the beautiful Facel Vega HK500 that in 1960, speeding at over 75 on a straight but narrow French tree-lined rural road, killed famous French writer Albert Camus (46). The driver, Camus’s editor Gallimard, did not survive either when he smashed into a one of those trees.
    Bits and pieces of the wreck were scattered over an astounding area, the V8 block sailing on all by itself for quite some distance. There are many photos of all the debris on the spot (try Google).
    When he died, in his pocket Camus still had the train ticket to Paris that he didn’t use when Gallimard offered him a lift in this wonderful, exclusive, fast, luxurious car.
    These cars are very rare now. Right you can buy one (a yellow 1959 Facel Vega HK500) in the US: $215,000. But remember these Facels always had the reputation of being tricky: even the original manual explicitly said that at high speeds, drivers should keep both hands at the wheel — which is probably what Gallimard forgot for a second.

  5. Hillman_Hunter Avatar

    I would like to own the Alfa Romeo 8C driven by Sir Henry Birkin, who had the misfortune of burning his arm on the exhaust, which resulted in fatal blood poisoning. Beautiful car with noble provenance and a bizarre murderous bent. Of course the car trades for millions of dollars, so I’ll never so much as clap eyes on it.

  6. Alff Avatar

    I want a Chevy with a couple of JATO bottles attached. Or Tim Horton’s Pantera.

  7. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    Well as a Lotus and Beatles fan I’d have to say Tara Browns Elan “He blew his mind out in a car”

  8. spotarama Avatar

    princess grace (Kelly) of Monaco’s rover 3500


    marc bolan from t.rex’s mini, it was purple and a GT1275

  9. Scott Avatar

    The Austin Healey 100 involved in the 1955 Le Mons crash went up for sale a few years ago –

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