The most famous death cars of all time (Pt. 3)

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A Photoplay magazine cover from March 1957 that features a color head shot of Jayne Mansfield, who would go on to die in an auto accident.

Contrary to rumors, Jayne Mansfield was not completely decapitated in her death car. (Photo Credit: CC BY/RockyandNelson/Flickr)

So, was Jayne Mansfield decapitated in her 1966 Buick 225 Electra? That answer and more about the most famous death cars of all time may surprise you. Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of this article.

Famous death cars No. 7 – Jayne Mansfield’s 1966 Buick 225 Electra

While it isn’t true that blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was decapitated in a June 29, 1967, car accident, it is true that she did not survive. Mansfield’s driver lost control of her 1966 Buick 225 Electra while driving a curvy stretch of country road. The car flew under the trailer of a semi truck, and the impact ripped the Electra’s roof off completely, in addition to part but not all of driver and passengers’ heads. The driver, Mansfield, her dog and another man were killed instantly. Mansfield’s two young children were asleep on the back seat, which is the only reason that they survived.

The last known location of Jayne Mansfield’s death car was the Tragedy in U.S. History Museum in St. Augustine, Fla. It is likely, however, that the car was sold at auction in 1998.

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Famous death cars No. 8 – Princess Diana’s 1994 Mercedes-Benz S280

On Aug. 31, 1997, Princess Diana Spencer of Wales and her companion Dodi Fayed were fleeing paparazzi in Paris, France, in Diana’s 1994 Mercedes-Benz S280. Driver and security manager of Hôtel Ritz Paris, Henri Paul, was traveling at about 60 mph – twice the posted speed limit – as he streaked toward the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel. Tragically, the car was going to fast to handle the curves, and it slammed into a pillar in the middle of the tunnel. Princess Diana, Fayed and Paul were fatally injured in the car crash.

The aftermath of the accident was filled with extensive forensic investigation and countless conspiracy theories. There was speculation that the vehicle has already been damaged in an accident earlier that day. A computer chip was also reportedly stolen, either before or during the investigation. By 2008, a story emerged that Etoile Limousine, the Paris-based company that owned the car, had planned to auction off the remains of the S280 to the highest bidder.

“It’s worth a great deal of money,” said owner Jean-Francois Musa.

The auction did not occur. The British press noted that Princes William and Harry asked that their mother’s Mercedes-Benz be disposed of “privately and discreetly.”

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