Rumors, myths, and fantastic stories have swirled around the automobile since the first car appeared over 100 years ago.
Did you know that after James Dean’s death behind the wheel of his Porsche 550 Spyder, parts of the car were sold off, and said parts then cursed their new owners? Or did they? Did you know Bonnie and Clyde stole Ford V-8s almost exclusively as getaway cars because they were the fastest cars of their day? Or that Clyde Barrow wrote Henry Ford a “thank-you” note for building the cars that made escaping his bank heists so successful? NASCAR has been the source of countless myths and legends. Did you know, for example, that a monkey by the name of Jocko Flocko once won a Grand National race? (Hall of Fame driver Tim Flock helped.) Or that one of the most famous stock cars in NASCAR lore—a Chevelle built by legendary rules-bender Smokey Yunick—never actually turned a lap on a racetrack? Did you ever hear the one about the 1964 Impala that flew into a cliff—at 350 miles per hour—in the Arizona desert, thereby winning the inaugural Darwin Award? How about the Ford Pinto that flew like a bird? Or the 68-horsepower Hyundai Excel that maxed out at 115 miles per hour while speeding Rodney King to a rendezvous that would eventually lead to the L.A. Riots? What was the first car to break the sound barrier? Who won the first Indy 500? What kind of car was dancer Isadora Duncan in when she was killed? What car performed the most spectacular stunt in the James Bond movie oeuvre? In all of these cases, the answers may not be what you think.
These are just a few of the automotive world’s crazy stories, mysteries, myths, and legends. History’s Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed compiles a juicy selection covering subjects from racing to automakers, crime to pop culture, and historical to modern day. Read it and be amazed!