Who can forget the film "Christine"? Written by Stephen King and directed by John Carpenter, it told the story of a killer car and the effect it had on the teenage owner.
This movie is just a story but, there have been cursed cars. James Dean's for one apparently. This story goes back to before the start of World War One. The war was precipitated by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.
Franz Ferdinand wanted to own a car that would really impress the public when he and his lovely wife, toured Sarajevo. Europe, at that time, was seething with political unrest and he felt he needed to put on a brave show. What better than something that stood out brightly, something that to him, inspired confidence.
He decided on a blood-red, six-seat open tourer. The royal couple arrived at Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914. They were destined to meet their deaths. The car made such a splendid target. All was going well until a fanatic, armed with a gun, jumped onto the running board of the car. Laughing aloud he fired shot after shot into the bodies of Franz and his wife.
The war that resulted had the appalling casualty list of around twenty million people.
When peace finally came, the new Governor of Yugoslavia decided to have the car restored to its previous pristine condition and use it himself. However, after four accidents, one of which cost him his right arm, he got a bad feeling about the vehicle and decided that it would be best if it were destroyed.
His good friend disagreed. Dr. Srikis scoffed at any notion that a car could be in any way "bad" or "cursed". So he happily took the motor on and all was well for a few months. Then, one day, the car was found overturned on the highway. Underneath it lay the crushed body of Dr. Srikis.
Another doctor became the new owner. He had nothing but bad luck, his patients deserted him, his practice fell apart. To try and gain back some money, he sold the car on. The next owner was a Swiss racing driver. Whilst he was driving through the Dolomites, the car threw him over a stone wall. He died of a broken neck.
A wealthy farmer decided that he would like it. Whilst out in it one day, the car stalled completely. There was only one thing to do, it would have to be towed to a garage for repairs. Another farmer gave a hand and was towing it in when, out of the blue and for no apparent reason, the car suddenly roared into life again. It knocked the tow-car aside killing both farmers instantly.
The last owner decided that there was nothing wrong with the car and all it needed was a change of colour. He considered red to be sinister. So, Tiber Hirshfield had the vehicle painted a cheerful blue. Once it was finished, he invited five of his friends to accompany him to a wedding. Hirshfield and four of his guests died in a head-on smash as they drove to the festivities.
Finally, the re-vamped car was shipped to Vienna where it was placed in a museum. Karl Brunner, the attendant, lovingly cared for it. He revelled in telling visitors the stories about the car's curse. He did however, forbid anyone to sit in it.
During the second world war two bombs fell on the museum. Karl Brunner was blown to pieces. It is said that the car was also destroyed. However, the car or a car is still on show in a museum.
Who knows whether it is a car of the same model and year, a replica ........or is the cursed car still sitting there quietly keeping its deadly secrets to itself?