Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bonnie and Clyde Q&A-- What Color Was the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car??

Some say the color was Desert Sand-- some say Cordoba Gray. Here are some Ford color chips from '34, which include the color of the Warren B&C death car. The 4th chip down is Cordoba Gray. Thanks for a colorful B&C question.


Shelley said...

Hmm...interesting samples there, Wins! Although a lighter shade than the rest, I'd still say this Cordoba Gray appears to be a bit on the darkish side, wouldn't you? Did they not have a Desert Sand sample to view? I'm surprised that there were that many color options for cars available back then, at the height of the Great Depression!

As you know, I had the great fortune of seeing the real Death Car twice, way way back, in '72 and again in '76. Unfortunately, I have not had another opportunity since--yet. As far as I know, only two EXACT (minus bulletholes & blood!) replica cars exist--one owned by Jim Knight, and the other by my buddy, Buddy Barrow. And as you also know, the color, as well as every other detail on these cars, is impeccable. B&C's last stolen Ford was indeed a beauty. It's just sad that Ruth Warren had to go through so much trouble to reclaim what was hers, but that's another topic...!

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Shelley--

The Desert Sand color was mistakenly noted in a Carroll Rich article. Professor Rich provided me with some hand written corrections within the margins of his article(s)-- to update some of his earlier research upon sending the articles to me. One of these clarifications concerned the color of the death car.

Cordoba Gray was apparently the correct color, and the color chips posted should be the accurate colors-- which I believe were made by Dupont. There were a few more 1934 colors available, in addition to the ones posted. Of course the actual death car's finish would have likely faded over now close to 8 decades.

The pic I have posted blog right>> with me holding the BAR, was taken in front of Buddy's car in Gibsland. I believe Buddy researched the correct Cordoba Gray Dupont color, for his replica '34 Ford. Lighting and other factors, can affect comparisons of paint colors. In viewing that pic-- that seems to be the color to me.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I have seen photos of the death car taken in different lighting, and the color DOES seem to change depending on how you look at it! It's really a very nice color!

I owned a 1964 Cadillac that was "Desert Sand" in color but I don't know if that was anything near the "Desert Sand" that was available in 1934.

An interesting side note - some folks have expressed surprise that the cars Clyde stole were not black, because EVERYONE knows about Henry Ford's famous statement that you could get his cars in any color you wanted, so long as you wanted black. I have read that that was because, originally, when they developed the faster processing that would enable them to crank out more cars in a day, black was the only color paint that would hold up to the newer process. Soon, however, paint colors were developed that would stand up to the process and then Fords were painted in any color of the rainbow! I am not sure exactly when that came about, but apparently it was ready long before 1934, judging by the colors available then...