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Film star James Dean was only 24 years old when he died in a terrible car crash. His untimely passing further cemented the star as an icon of the 1950s and of American youth. But there was a passenger in the car with him: his mechanic Rolf Wütherich, who survived the incident. Later on, he revealed what Dean’s final words were – as he was the only person who could have heard them.

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Dean was certainly a brilliant actor, but his other major passion was racing. And after finishing the movie East of Eden in 1954, he started buying cars in preparation for a new career as a racer. Come March 1955 he had competed in his first event, and he did very well – finishing second overall.

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