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James Dean memorabilia not sold, after all

A California auction house was in error when it listed James Dean memorabilia as sold.

  • Detail of an automatic gear shifter in a new, modern car. Modern car interior with close-up of automatic transmission and cockpit background

In a sure sign that, one way or another, all roads lead to Toronto, the signed registration for actor James Dean?s final race has found its way back to a gallery in Yorkville.

Last weekend, the Wheels section featured a photograph of Dean?s last autograph on both sides of the entry form for the 1955 Salinas Road Race, which had been up for sale by Julien?s Auctions in California.

Dean, already a Hollywood star at the age of 24, died on his way to the race on Sept. 30, 1955.

Julien?s listed the piece of Hollywood and motorsport memorabilia as sold for $48,640, which owner Darren Julien confirmed. Not so.

It was actually sold and is now back at Morry Barmak?s Collector Studio motorsport gallery in Yorkville.

?The high bid price was a thousand or two shy of what we wanted,? Barmak told Wheels this week.

He?d consigned the piece to Julien?s for its Hollywood Legends auction in the hopes of reaching a buyer with an interest in both celebrity and motorsports, then turned down the bid.

Another bidder then offered the reserve price and the piece was marked sold, but the second bidder backed out, Darren Julien said.

?Bummer for all of us,? Julien said.

Barmak is asking his original price of $35,000, which is what he wanted from the auction minus the auction house commission and taxes.

He purchased the piece of James Dean history a year ago from a private collector in California who snapped it up when ?someone realized it was just sitting in a filing cabinet in Salinas as just another piece of paper.?

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  • James Dean memorabilia not sold, after all

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