On our way back home from our Route 66 trip, we couldn’t pass up the chance to stop in Primm, Nevada and check out the car Bonnie and Clyde were in when they were gunned down.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were notorious outlaws in the early 1930s. Their exploits are the stuff of legend. That legend was cemented in history on May 23, 1934 when they were ambushed south of Gibsland, Louisiana by a posse of four law enforcement officers.
The car they were driving was a 1934 Ford V8 which they had stolen in Topeka, Kansas from Jesse and Ruth Warren. Since that time, the car has been attracting curiosity seekers who want to see a tangible part of the Bonnie and Clyde story.
I have had the opportunity to see the car three times now and it continues to fascinate me. The first time was in either 1993 or 1994 when I was in my very short stint as a long-haul truck driver. We were passing through Primm, Nevada and stopped at a casino for a break. I had no idea the car was on display there and, while I was aware of Bonnie and Clyde, I didn’t know all that much about them. If my memory serves, the car was at one of the casinos on the east side of the Interstate at that time.
The second time was in 2008 when the car was displayed at Gold Ranch Casino in Verdi, Nevada, just outside of Reno. I was on vacation and on my way to California and seeing the car was again a surprise as I was unaware it had been moved from Primm. Surprisingly, I searched my photos and I don’t have any pictures of the car from that visit.
And, the third time was this visit back in Primm, this time at Whiskey Pete’s Casino. Today it is housed behind clear glass which makes photography difficult.
In addition to the car, the casino displays other Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia, including the shirt Clyde was supposedly wearing when he was gunned down.
These two outlaws have captured the imagination of countless people for almost nine decades. Their death car remains a true piece of depression-era Americana and is worth stopping in to see if you find yourself on I-15 near the California/Nevada border.