Bonnie and Clyde have been immortalized in the American psyche. Heroes to many, the cruelest of criminals to others. And the History Channel’s new Bonnie & Clyde miniseries has only renewed interest in this outlaw couple. No matter how you imagine them, you may want to know what kind of car they drove.
For the largest extent of their brief criminal careers, Bonnie and Clyde lived out of their car. The car itself changed as frequently as they could steal one that Clyde thought might be either faster or more comfortable. The one car that is widely associated with the duo is the car that they were ambushed in, also known as the “Death Car.” That car was a 1934 Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan, also known as a 1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe.
Bonnie and Clyde’s 1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe
The original owner of Bonnie and Clyde’s death car was Ruth Warren. It was a Cordoba Gray four-door sedan that had an 85 horsepower V8 engine coupled to a three-speed manual transmission. Sitting on seventeen inch wheels, the car also had optional front and rear bumpers, a custom greyhound radiator cap, and safety glass windows. Mrs. Warren and her husband paid an amazing $835 for the car, which was stolen on April 29, 1934, just two months after it had been manufactured.
The 1934 Fordor sedan was very similar to all of the 1933 models. This was not a full redesign, just a simple refresh for the new model year. The main changes included an additional 10 horsepower and a different type of carburetor. In 1933, the engines were topped by a traditional Ford Lubricator carburetor. 1934 saw the use of a dual-downdraft Stromberg with a new over/under manifold. This new combination created the additional ponies, and these V8 Fords quickly became a favorite of outlaws and moonshine bootleggers everywhere.
If you had the money to spring for $40 above the base price, as Mrs. Warren did, you could move up to the DeLuxe trim. This package included cowl lights and twin exterior horns. By adding a few additional dollars, you could have a greyhound hood ornament, new for the 1934 model.
After Bonnie and Clyde were killed, some say murdered, in May of 1934 the car became a tourist attraction. For many years it was displayed at various casinos in Las Vegas. It was even restored to running condition and was raced in the 1987 Interstate Batteries Great Race.
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