The Fascinating Stories Behind the World's Most Infamous Automobiles

Updated on October 4, 2019
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Jason Ponic works in the exciting world of Hollywood film and television by day and writes by night.

The 1934 Ford Deluxe the where Bonnie & Clyde were shot and killed.
The 1934 Ford Deluxe the where Bonnie & Clyde were shot and killed.

The Bonnie & Clyde Death Car

Stolen from Ruth Warren in 1934 by the fabled outlaw couple while on the run, this Ford Deluxe became interwoven in the legend of Bonnie & Clyde. As the two galavanted all across the Midwest, robbing and killing, this car became the site of their last moments on Earth. Ambushed by law enforcement, the pair was shot dead with an overwhelming amount of firepower that riddled the car with over 100 bullet holes. Clyde took 17 hits and Bonnie took 26. The car was paraded for decades as a carnival attraction all over the country. Eventually, it found its way to Vegas, where it remains behind glass at Whiskey Pete's Casino guarded by two creepy mannequins dressed as Bonnie & Clyde.

The Bronco from the Slow Speed Chase of '94
The Bronco from the Slow Speed Chase of '94

OJ Simpson's White Bronco

The Slow-Speed Chase of 1994 still resonates in the American lexicon 20 years later. A riveting spectacle 95 million viewers strong broadcasted across every major network in the United States.

Front and center was a 1993 all-white Ford Bronco with former NFL star OJ Simpson in the back seat with a gun to his head driven by his friend and the car's owner, Al Cowlings. Declared a fugitive only hours earlier after failing to turn himself in, OJ Simpson led LAPD on a slow-speed chase across the freeways of Los Angeles for over an hour. The chase ended with the now-infamous Bronco pulling into Simpson's own driveway and Simpson finally surrendering to police. Cowlings was also arrested for aiding and abetting.

After the chase, Cowlings was released on bail and interest in the Bronco exploded. He reportedly turned down a $75,000 offer from memorabilia collector Michael Kronick and an agency that wanted to reenact the Slow-Speed Chase as a tourist attraction. Instead, Cowlings sold the Bronco to Simpson's former agent Mike Gilbert. Afterward it vanished from the public eye.

Over the next twenty years, it was driven maybe 20 miles. The battery was changed every now and then. It wasn't until OJ Simpson found himself back in the spotlight in 2012 that the Bronco reemerged from exile. It sat on display in front of the Luxor Hotel and Casino for a while. Then, in 2017, it appeared on History Channel's "Pawn Stars" as Mike Gilbert decided it was time to put the Bronco up for sale. His asking price was $700,000. It has since been placed in an auto museum.

Ted Bundy's Volkswagon Beatle.
Ted Bundy's Volkswagon Beatle.

Ted Bundy's Murder Bug

This low-key bug packs more horror stories than any other. More than 30 women were brutally murdered inside this beetle at the hands of serial killer Ted Bundy. His murder spree topped one victim a month from 1974 to 1975 across three states. This car was the center of Bundy's entire operation. It kept him moving, held his tools of torture and with special modifications, his victims. The passenger seat removed and the passenger door handle covered, it was the perfect mobile prison.

On August 15, 1975, police attempted to pull Bundy over on a simple traffic violation. A pursuit ensued before he was finally arrested. When the police searched his bug, they found masks, handcuffs and other suspicious items. Despite a later search of his apartment, the stuff they found was purely circumstantial and Bundy was released but put under 24-hour surveillance. Bundy sensed the police were on to him so he sold his Beetle. The police later impounded, disassembled and processed it where they found hairs that matched some of the victims. This was enough to try and convict Bundy on kidnapping.

While Bundy's life continued to spiral with multiple escape attempts, kidnappings and murders eventually landing him in the electric chair, the beetle favored better. It was purchased for cheap at a police auction by a police deputy for $950. 20 years later, he would attempt to sell it for $25,000, a decision that outraged the families of Bundy's victims. In 2001, it became a part of the crime collection of Author Nash. It now sits in the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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