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Top 10 famous car deaths

James Dean's status soared after his untimely death in September 1955, and so did the status of the car, a Porsche 550 Spyder.

Without trying to sound macabre - which we are - here's some of the famous people no longer with us because of the car. On a brighter note, lots of people are still with us because of the car - or more specifically, the ambulance.

1. James Dean (Porsche 550 Spyder): Dean's status soared to cult levels after his untimely death in September 1955. In fact, so did the status of the car he was driving, a Porsche 550 Spyder that was the predecessor to today's Boxster. Dean died while driving when an approaching car turned in front of him. His passenger, mechanic Rolf Wutherich, survived that accident but died in a car crash in 1981.

2. Diana, Princess of Wales (Mercedes-Benz S280): On August 31, 1997, the world woke to the shocking news that Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car accident in Paris. Her partner Dodi and driver were also killed. The accident is alleged to have been caused when the Mercedes was avoiding pursuing paparazzi.

3. Princess Grace Kelly (Rover SD1): The former American actress and princess of Monaco died in 1982 after suffering a mild stroke at the wheel of her car, causing it to roll down a mountain in Monaco. Coincidentally, revered British motorcycle racer Mike Hailwood (1940-1981) was killed in a car accident a year earlier driving a similar car.

4. Marc Bolan (Mini GT): Bolan, lead singer of glam rock group T-Rex, was killed instantly in 1977 when the purple Austin Mini GT in which he was a passenger failed to negotiate a bridge and hit a tree. Ironically, Bolan never learned to drive, fearing his untimely death in a car. The driver was his girlfriend, Gloria Jones.

5. Peter "Possum" Bourne (Subaru Forester): Amiable New Zealand rally driver Possum Bourne was on a course inspection in 2003 on the "Race to the Sky" track at Cardrona in NZ's South Island when he collided head on with a Jeep Cherokee. He never regained consciousness. A statue of Possum is set on the mountain on an isolated rock overlooking the Cardrona village.

6. Jackson Pollack (Oldsmobile 88): The reclusive artist crashed his 1950 Oldsmobile convertible while under the influence of alcohol, killing both himself and his passenger instantly in 1956. Pollock was aged 44.

7. Jayne Mansfield (Buick Electra): In the early hours of June 29, 1967, Hollywood sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, died after the 1966 Buick Electra 255 in which she was a passenger smashed under the back of a slowing semi-trailer. Mansfield, her boyfriend Sam Brody and the driver were killed instantly. Her three children including Mariska, all in the rear of the car, survived with minor injuries.

8. Desmond Llewelyn (Renault Megane): In 1999, one of the UK's most recognisable figures; Desmond Llewelyn, better known as Q in the James Bond films, died in a car crash aged 85. He was driving home from a book signing when his car collided head on with a Fiat.

9. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez (Mitsubishi SUV): In 2002, Lopez - singer with popular RnB group TLC - was thrown from the vehicle and died from injuries. The Mitsubishi was forced off the road by an oncoming truck that was trying to overtake a car on a Honduras road.

10. George S. Patton (Cadillac Series 75): The famous United States general died from complications 12 days after a car accident near Mannheim, Germany. He was aged 60 years.

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