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James Dean Tribute Car Featured at Volo Auto Museum


Jay Ohrberg – Mastermind Behind Hollywood’s Famous Cars

Illinois’ Volo Auto Museum is home to some of the world’s most recognizable cars and the inventory just keeps growing. Recently, the museum added a display of vehicles from famed Hollywood car builder Jay Ohrberg’s personal collection – including his tribute car to movie icon James Dean

Volo Auto Museum Features Jay Ohrberg’s James Dean Tribute Car

Artwork on a Wheel

Jay honors the young star who became an idol of teenage angst by hand-building a “Giant”-sized replica of “Lil’ Bastard,” James Dean’s Porsche Spyder, including the racing numbers and a somewhat larger nickname painted on the side: “Big Bastard.” The oversized tribute also pays homage to Dean’s last film, Giant, which is released after his death 60 years ago. Jay takes his tribute one step further by crafting a bust of Dean out of fiberglass and attaching it to the front of the car along with a set of wings. What he creates is a one-of-a-kind work of art that is still a fully functioning car - a big set of wheels for a big movie legend. 

Volo Auto Museum Features Jay Ohrberg’s James Dean Tribute Car
(Photo courtesy of www.

James Dean – Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die

If you’re not sure who James Dean is, here’s the lowdown. A 24-year-old actor who is taking Hollywood by storm in the early 1950’s, James Dean not only has acting chops (he is Best Actor-nominated for his work in one of his three films, East of Eden), his street cred as a race car driver is equally as … dangerous. A true “Rebel Without a Cause” (a reference to another of his films), he loves to drive fast, painting his racing number, 130, on his new Porsche 550 Spyder convertible. Dean himself acquires the nickname, “Lil’ Bastard,” while on the set of what would be his final film, Giant –and he decides it is also the perfect name for his car. Tragically, Dean drives Lil’ Bastard to his death. That fateful day in 1955, Dean is on his way to a car show when the crash makes him a legend.

Volo Auto Museum Features Jay Ohrberg’s James Dean Tribute Car
(Photo courtesy of www.

You May Not Recognize the Face but You Know His Wheels

Jay Ohrberg designs and builds cars for the entertainment industry and is one of Hollywood’s unsung heroes. He’s been associated with over 100 blockbuster films and TV shows and his contributions have made lasting impressions on millions yet no one would recognize him on the street. From the Batmobile in Batman Returns to the time machine in Back to the Future, Jay has created some of the most iconic cars in the world. What would these films be without him? Or his cars? In addition, Jay is known as “The King of the Show Cars,” building some of the wildest and weirdest vehicles on the road. He holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest car, a100-foot, 26-wheel limousine that features a swimming pool and a king sized water bed.

Volo Auto Museum Features Jay Ohrberg’s James Dean Tribute Car

Congratulations, Volo!

Volo Auto Museum is honored to feature Jay Ohrberg’s Tribute to the Legends cars as part of their 55th Anniversary celebration this year. Visit for more information.

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Whether your car has starred in blockbuster movies or just your home movies, it deserves to be protected. Classic Auto Insurance will help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.
Posted: 5/1/2015 9:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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