||Cars have a talismanic quality. No other manufactured object has the same disturbing allure. More emotions are involved in cars than any other product: vanity, cupidity, greed, social competitiveness, cultural modelling. But when all this perverse promise ends in catastrophe, these same talismanic qualities acquire an extra dimension. The car crash is a defining phenomenon of popular culture. Death Drive is both an appreciative essay about the historic place of the automobile in the modern imagination and an exploration of the circumstances of multiple celebrity denouements, from Isadora Duncan to Helmut Newton. En route the narrative traces one very big arc – the role of the car in extending or creating the personality of a celebrity – and concludes by confronting the imminent death of the car itself.