Man claims James Dean's car is hidden in building
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- James Dean's Hollywood story came to a tragic end. Over the years, memorials have been held at the spot where the then-24-year-old crashed his car and lost his life.
Six decades later, it is a million dollar mystery for Brian Grams.
"This one is the unicorn so to speak. We are really trying to get this one cracked," said Grams.
Grams owns the Volo Auto Museum in Chicago, and he's been after a piece of history for 10 years.
"It's not the car. It is the history of it. The uncovering the mystery, that is the exciting part. It would just be nice to share that with the public," said Grams.
Grams is offering $1 million to buy Dean's wrecked car, which was reportedly lost during transport in 1960.
"I've heard it all-- from a guy has got it hanging on the wall in his house as a piece of art. It's in Japan. It's been buried in a swamp. So this is just one of many outlandish stories that I have heard," said Grams, referring to the most recent claim.
Shaun Reilly of Las Vegas contacted Grams to say the wreckage was hidden in a building in Bellingham, Washington.
Attorney Jim Johanson represents Reilly.
"This is kind of a real life mystery story that I am involved in that is unfolding right in front of me. I am happy to have a part even if it doesn't turn out," said Johanson.
Reilly describes witnessing his father and a group of men hide the famous car in a Bellingham building.
"A 1955 Porsche 550, all mangled up. They were talking about it being James Dean's car," said Reilly. "They hid it inside a wall, basically on its side. My father was very talented at making rooms look normal even though they weren't."
Reilly has been persistent with his story and even took a polygraph test.
"This guy passed it with flying colors," said Johanson.
Grams said it intrigued him enough to take the next steps, but there's a catch. Reilly does not own the car or the building.
"You know, it is kind of one hand has to wash the other. Whoever is the legal owner of the car, they'll get paid, but not without Shaun. And Shaun is not going to get paid without the owner of the car, so they need to work together and figure something out," said Grams.
Reilly says he is confident the wreckage is still in the building, but he won't offer specifics yet because of legal issues that need to be worked out.