Driving from anywhere in the deep southwest to Las Vegas will take you past the border casino of Whiskey Pete’s in Primm, Nevada. The flashing neon billboard in front of the casino tells passing motorists that Bonnie and Clyde’s death car can be viewed on the casino’s main floor. After three hours of desert driving, there are many of these road-weary drivers looking for a reason to make a quick pit stop – and this 1934 Ford Deluxe Sedan provides that alibi.
Before we get to the blood and guts part of this story, it is appropriate to cover the background of the Ford death car, before it became a part of history. The Ford’s story began in the River Rouge assembly plant where it was put together in February of 1934. The car went to Mosby-Mack Motor Company, a dealership in Topeka, Kansas.
The large sedan with an eighty-five horsepower V8 with 3-speed manual transmission was purchased for $834 by Ruth Warren for personal use. The bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow stole the vessel on April 29, 1934, for their own activities and were gunned down on May 23, 1934, in the vehicle, after adding 2,500 miles to the odometer.
After the brutal killing of the bandits, the car was claimed by one of the Sheriffs involved in the posse that killed the criminals. A court case ensued and the car was returned back to Ruth Warren, still full of the outlaw’s blood and body tissue. Warren sold the infamous car to Charles Stanley, who turned the death car into a fair sideshow attraction. The car ended up in the lobby of Whiskey Pete’s Casino, still speckled with the bullet holes created over 80 years ago.
- 1934 Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan
- Assembly Plant: River Rouge
- Assembly Date: February 1934
- Dealership: Mosby-Mack Motor Company
- Engine: 85hp V8
- Transmission type: manual 3-speed
- Tires: Firestone 525/550×17
- Original owner: Ruth Warren
- Original purchase price: $835
- Custom color: Cordoba Grey
- Options: steel cover for spare tire, front & rear bumper guards, a chrome greyhound radiator cap ornament, Potters trunk & safety glass windows
- Motor Serial #649198