This is the transmission/rear axle assembly #10046 from the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder chassis #550.0055. Dean owned and was killed in the Porsche Spyder containing this transaxle on September 30, 1955.
Of the three permanently traceable components (via factory serial #) of the James Dean Porsche Spyder, the transaxle is the only documented piece of the James Dean Spyder known to still exist. The James Dean Spyder chassis/body #0055 was reported missing and presumed stolen in the early ‘60s while returning from a highway safety exhibit. The James Dean Spyder engine #P90059 is reported to be still in California, but has not been seen.
The James Dean Spyder Transaxle has been featured in many Dean/Porsche articles as well as on national television, February 1991. The history of the James Dean Porsche Spyder Transaxle is legendary, full of intrigue and excitement, making this the most significant and sought after collectible of James Dean.