On this day in auto history - July 28th

Wed 28th Jul 2021

It was on this day in 1973 that the infamous 1934 Ford V8 which was used as a getaway car by notorious criminal couple 'Bonnie and Clyde' was sold for $175,000 at auction.

The bullet-riddled model - the very car the outlaws were killed in by police during a brutal shootout - was bought in a blaze of publicity by flamboyant Nevada businessman Peter Simon who showcased the vehicle at his Las Vegas casino, Pop’s Oasis.

The vehicle’s humble roots can actually be traced back to Topeka, Kansas where it was originally bought for $835 by Ruth Warren, the wife of a local roofing contractor, before it was stolen from her driveway by Clyde Barrow and his girlfriend Bonnie Parker as they engaged on a terror spree which resulted in the deaths of nine police officers and several civilians.

When the dust eventually settled, Warren did go on to reclaim her stolen car and, aware of its public fascination, promptly leased it to local fairgrounds and travelling carnivals, before selling it on.

After it was more or less forgotten about in a warehouse for a decade or so, the vehicle re-emerged back on public display in the hands of Ted Toddy in the early 1970’s. After having the car authenticated to repel the numerous fake versions doing the rounds, the path was clear for the vehicle to attract the huge auction price it did in 1973.

Dubbed by press as the ‘Bonnie and Clyde death car’ the vehicle remains on show at Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Nevada’s Primm Valley where it is accompanied in the display by numerous artefacts, including the bloodstained shirt Clyde wore the day he died.