A Guide to the History of Dallas, Texas

Return to: In Search of Bonnie and Clyde

Is this the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car?


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1934 Ford 1934 Ford 1934 Ford 1934 Ford

The photos above were taken at the Yellow Rose Classic Automobile Show in Fort Worth, Texas on August 10, 2003. They show a car that may or may not be the one in which Bonnie and Clyde were riding when they were ambushed and killed in a hail of gunfire near Gibsland, Louisiana in 1934.

Because there are doubts about its authenticity, the present owner of the vehicle does not allege that this is the actual death car. It is known, however, that the car is is one of about six that in the past was exhibited at various state fairs by previous owners, purporting to be the actual car.

So is it or isn't it?

Well, there are some people, for different reasons, who are convinced that a similar vehicle, on exhibit at casino in Nevada, is the actual "death car" of Bonnie and Clyde. One difference of opinion concerns the car's paint color. Ted Hinton, one the law officers involved in the ambush wrote that the vehicle was "tan" in color and one of the official reports by law enforcement officials described the car as being a "desert sand" color. Although the vehicle see above seems to match that description, it is held by some that the actual color was "Cordoba Gray" and that the Ford Motor Company did not offer a "desert sand" vehicle until 1936. The car in Nevada is said to be "Cordoba Gray," a color that was offered by Ford in 1934. Color aside, what makes it difficult to ascertain which of the two cars is authentic is the pattern of bullet holes. Both seem to match photographs of the car taken immediately following the ambush. Clearly, one of the cars is authentic and the other is an elaborate fake, but which one?

One way to be sure would be, if it is possible, would be to take a DNA sample from the blood-stained shirt alleged to have been worn by Clyde Barrow when he was killed. This shirt is also on display in Nevada. Blood samples could also be taken from the apparently blood-stained seats of both vehicles. Which ever one matched the shirt sample would obviously be the authentic car. If neither matched, then that would mean that either the shirt was not authentic or that neither vehicle was authentic. The author of this web site does not know if the owners of either vehicle have ever considered such a test.

All color photos on this page were taken by the author of this web site and may not be reproduced without permission.

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This page originally created 2003.

This webpage copyright © 2006-2011 (except where noted) by Steven Butler, Ph.D. All rights reserved.