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Better to avoid cars today?

Better to avoid cars today?

Could Friday the 13th really be a day to avoid traffic? Superstition or not – it could well be. Spooky? Do not even come near a Rolls-Royce Ghost, Spirit or Phantom then. Not to mention the Lotus Esprit, Lamborghini Diablo or that fearful Fiat: the 8V Démon Rouge. Too modern for your taste anyway? Do worry, as the scariest of them all is a pre war: the 1938 Phantom Corsair. It does look fearsome in the first place with its low stance, hidden ‘cats-eye’ headlights, wheel spats and deep black paint. But some people linked to it died in traffic, too. Rust Heinz, heir to the ketchup fortune and the man who commissioned Bohman & Schwartz to build it, in the first place. He died in 1939 in a head-on car crash in a Buick – after just having shown the Phantom Corsair in New York.

His wife, Mrs. Helen Heinz, remarried a Mister Joseph C. DeWitt who died in a similar car crash on a Californian highway in 1951 - on a Friday the 13th. Meanwhile, the Phantom Corsair had made it to the silver screen as ‘the Flying Wombat – the car that thinks for you’. Janet Gaynor, the film’s star shown here with the car, died in 1984 (on a Friday the 14th...) due to the results of an earlier car crash which had also killed her manager. Coincidences? Probably. But I may just leave my wheels for what they are today. And I’m not taking a boat either…

(Text Jeroen Booij)


#2 2013-12-14 17:02
I've seen this car in person, it's long, low, large and ugly. The rear seat passengers face the rear and look out of a tiny, split back window roughly in the shape of a coffin.
#1 2013-12-13 01:42
Phantom Corsair, you mean.

Editor: You're right, thank you for correcting our typo!

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