Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8

The fearsome pair of thieves and murderers who struck America in the 1930s met their death in their favorite vehicle ...


During the early 1930s, radio stations and newspapers in the United States did nothing but talk about the adventures of a gang of criminals who robbed stores, service stations and the odd bank. This group of criminals that struck the American Southwest were led by a couple in their twenties: Bonnie Parker y Clyde Barrow.

Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8 Model B
Bonnie and Clyde showing off their arsenal.

Bonnie was born on October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Texas, as the second of three children to Emma and Charles Parker. Her father died when she was 4 years old and her mother returned with her children to her parents' home in a poor neighborhood in Dallas.

She attended the local school, where she was a model student, excelling in literature and poetry. In high school he met Roy thornton and she married him when she was only 16 years old. But her young husband turned out to be a precocious abuser and delinquent and the marriage failed. In 1929, Thornton was sentenced for robbery to 5 years in prison. While Bonnie returned to her grandparents' house and they never saw each other again.

Working as a waitress, he met Clyde in January 1930 through a mutual friend. Barrow, who was born on March 24, 1909, was the fifth of seven children in another humble Texan family. Already at that time he had been sentenced to 14 years of pressure for theft of vehicles ...

Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8 Model B
A pamphlet with the couple's criminal record.

Bonnie and Clyde fell in love at first sight. Such was the crush that the young woman did not hesitate to help her boyfriend escape from the Eastham State Farm jail, one of the worst in the United States at that time. Clyde's freedom lasted only a week as he was captured again.

Despite his conviction, he obtained parole in 1932. Shortly before obtaining it he had purposely cut off his big toe to avoid forced labor. Due to this injury, he limped when walking and had to take off his shoes to drive.

With Clyde back on the street, Bonnie did not hesitate to join his gang and thus start her own criminal career who also took her to prison, although she was briefly declared that she had been kidnapped by Barrow and forced to steal ...

Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8 Model B
Bonnie and Clyde fell in love at first sight.

From there Bonnie and Clyde's lives spanned robberies, shootings, murders, brief jail time, and high-speed chases, for which they used the most powerful vehicles of the time. They always chose those mid-range ones that did not attract attention while parked. Clyde's favorites were the Pontiac 603 Touring “Silver Streak” and, above all, the Ford V8 Model B.

The first had a 8-liter 3.6-cylinder engine that delivered 84 hp. The second had a 3.3-liter Flathead engine and a power of 85 hp. At the time, both were the fastest on the market with a maximum speed that exceeded 110 km / h.

Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8 Model B
Clyde's letter to Henry Ford.

Barrow was not only an unscrupulous killer, he was also noted for being a reckless driver. He had a special fascination for Fords and he even wrote a letter to Henry Ford to congratulate him on his cars ...

"Dear Sir:

As long as I have air in my lungs I will continue to thank you for the great car that you have built. When I have had to get away with one, I have exclusively driven Ford V8 cars.

With its sustained high speed and its ability to always keep me out of trouble, Ford has accomplished what no other car has. Even if my profession is not strictly legal, it will not hurt anyone if I tell you what a great car you have in the V8.

Sincerely, yours

Clyde Champion Barrow ".

In 1934 the couple's adventures came to an end. In January of that year, they helped some prisoners who were to be part of their gang to escape. There a guard died and that gave the state of Texas and the federal government absolute power to carry out the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie & Clyde: Love, Shooting, and Death in a Ford V8 Model B
A little-known photo after the ambush.

Thus, was that On May 23, six federal agents armed with automatic weapons ambushed them on a secondary road near Bienville Parish. (Louisiana). In a savage shooting, the couple died inside a luxury-trimmed Ford V8 Sedan that they had stolen a couple of days earlier in Topeka.

That car is currently located at the front desk of the "Whiskey Pete" Casino in Primm, Nevada, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas. And in its body can be counted the 167 bullet holes that ended the lives of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two lovers, but dangerous criminals who in their criminal raid killed more than 20 people.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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