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Rolf Wutherich
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Auto Racer
    (1927-July 22, 1981)
    Born in Germany
    German auto racer and mechanic emigrated to the U.S. and gained employment with Porsche (1950)
    Befriended actor James Dean
    Passenger with Dean when the Porsche Spyder 550 (nicknamed 'Little Bastard') they were driving crashed into another vehicle (September 30, 1955)
    Ejected from vehicle that claimed Dean's life, sustaining multiple injuries
    Died while driving drunk and slamming into a building in Kupferzell, Germany at age 54
    His love of fast cars caused him to crash several times, cheating death on more than one occasion.
    He was impatient when he felt his instructions weren't being followed to the letter, even with Dean.
    His thick German accent made him hard to understand at times.
    His account of Dean's last words vary, from, 'He's gotta see us,' to 'Mother fucker' to not knowing because he was asleep at the time.
    Years after the fatal crash he had a nervous breakdown, received electro-shock therapy and made several suicide attempts.
    During an argument with his wife he grabbed a knife, stabbed her 14 times and tried to end his own life (both survived).
    He may have intentionally wrecked his car in 1981 to take his own life.
    Ironically, Wutherich in German means berserker; wrathful person.
    He was a gifted mechanic and seasoned race car driver.
    He was friends with Dean right up to that fateful day.
    He spent four days in a coma and months in the hospital after sustaining a fractured skull, broken jaw, fractured pelvis and upper and lower leg fractures, including a shattered thigh bone.
    Many Dean fans in their grief blamed him for the crash and he received death threats.
    Racing for Böhringer, he came in 2nd place at the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally.
    Toward the end of his life, he started getting migraines and stammering his speech.
    He never fully recovered either physically or emotionally from the crash that killed his friend.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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