5 Greatest Missing Car Mysteries

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How did these cars just disappear?

While it's true that cars go missing all of the time, you usually have some idea as to what happened to them. If they're stolen and parted out or put on a shipping container to Dubai, that's one thing, but when a car just gets lost in the shuffle or falls through the cracks, it's a little bizarre, especially when it's a notable automobile. Here are some examples of the weirdest times a car has just disappeared in front of our very eyes.

James Dean Porsche 'Little Bastard'

One of James Dean’s most memorable moments came in the form of tragedy on September 30th, 1955 when his Porsche slammed into another car going 85-mph. As tragic as it is, if that were the end of the story, it could be chalked up to just a very bad accident that prematurely took the life of a beloved young actor. However, there is more to the story of Dean’s Little Bastard.


After the accident, the car was declared a total loss and made its way to a salvage yard where another Southern California racer, William Eschrich, purchased the entire car for parts. The engine was put into a Lotus IX and some suspension parts were sold to Troy Lee McHenry for use in his Porsche race car. Both men crashed in the very same race and almost 11 months after Dean’s death, the Little Bastard had claimed another life. Troy Lee McHenry’s Porsche hit the only tree on the racetrack in the very first lap of the 1956 Pomona sports car races.

The remaining parts of the car, which were basically four wheels, a mangled body, and a twisted frame were sold to George Barris who sold two tires from the car and loaned the body to the Los Angeles chapter of the National Safety Council as a traveling display. The tires that Barris sold reportedly blew at the same time causing yet another accident and the body fell from its display on multiple occasions. One time injuring a bystander and the other killing George Barkus, a truck driver hired to transport the car to a road-safety expo. While in storage, the car caught on fire for an unknown reason, and in 1960, while being transported from Miami to Los Angeles the car mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again.

Jim Morrison's Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Jim Morrison's death is cloaked in mystery, just like the fate of his Mustang. Nicknamed the 'Blue Lady', Jim Morrison loved his GT500, and it was featured in his movie When You're Strange. There are several theories as to what happened to the car, one being that the infamous alcoholic crashed it after binge drinking. Another speculation is that it was left at the airport in France and went unclaimed after he died.

Renault Type CB Coupe Ville from the Titanic

There are many mysteries that involve the Titanic sinking, and one of those involves a Renault Type CB Coupe Ville. William E. Carter might have survived the sinking of the ship, but it's unknown if his car did, or not. Some say it never even made it onto the ship, but they found crushed metal where the car was stored in the documentary Ghosts of the Abyss.

Bugatti's Lost 'La Voiture Noire' Type 57 Atlantic

If you want to go for the biggest fish on the list, try hunting down the Bugatti Type 57 SC, which disappeared in Molsheim, France back in 1937. The car, which was based off the dramatic Aerolithe concept, caused a big stir when Bugatti put it into production. Only 4 were made, but the whereabouts of only 3 are known. With the turmoil of WWII and the sudden German invasion of France, Ettore Bugatti loaded the car onto a train bound for Bordeaux but it didn’t make it, or so the story goes. Today it’s worth an estimated $98.6 million.

Back to the Future DeLorean DMC-12

One of the strangest missing cars is a DeLorean DMC-12 which was in Back to the Future. The panels had been hanging from the ceiling of Planet Hollywood in Hawaii, but after the restaurant shut down permanently, they apparently sprouted wings and disappeared.

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