Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bonnie & Clyde's Death Car-- Safe and Sound, for Now

As reported a year ago, Herbst Gaming who owns the Terrible's Casino chain had undergone a financial restructuring. As such, there was always the possibility that The Bonnie & Clyde Death Car which was purchased by Herbst from Gary Primm and Ray Paglia in 2007-- could be in play if Herbst assets were sold. So recently when I was told by a representative of Terrible's, that the famous B&C car originally owned by Jesse and Ruth Warren, had been sold to Boyd Gaming-- it seemed apparent that the fate thought possible (if not likely) at some point for the 1934 Ford Deluxe Model 730, Cordoba Gray 4 door V-8 Sedan with a slew of bullet holes present-- had come to pass.

However upon investigating this story, I've now learned from Boyd Gaming that the recent report from Terrible's that Boyd Gaming had purchased The B&C Death Car was erroneous. I did learn some assets may have been in play for purchase between the gaming companies, but the current asking price of $5,000,000-- may have been a bit steep for the B&C car to have changed hands. I've also learned, you can now rent the historic B&C Death Car for that special occasion. Dinner and drinks please!!

Terrible's has now confirmed the B&C car is safe & sound at the Terrible's Gold Ranch Casino in Verdi, Nevada. In the Spring, plans are in place to return this historic car to Primm, likely to Buffalo Bill's Casino. For those interested in learning the whereabouts of the B&C Death Car-- the Terrible's Casino info line 1 800-fun stop, should be your best source of up to date information.


Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the people responsible for putting on the B&C Festival could rent the car to bring back to the ambush site. Just a thought.

BarefootOkieGal said...

From what I've read of eyewitness accounts of the condition of the car after the ambush, I am not at all sure that I'd want to EAT in it!!! I'd be happy just to get a good look at it! When they say that you can "rent it out," I hope they don't mean that they're going to let folks actually DRIVE it - I hope they're just going to let people pay to sit in it for a little while. I wasn't happy when they refurbished it for the race I read about - I think that the car should have been left just as it was in the aftermath of the ambush; in parts of Europe that were particularly hit by WWII, there are still some buildings that were never rebuilt and have been left standing as a reminder that terrible things happened and we should not forget them. I think the death car, in its untouched state, more or less served as a grim reminder: You live the life of an outlaw, and a horrible, bloody death might just await you.

It always boggled my mind that Ruth Warren didn't mind driving the car all the way back to Louisiana in the condition it was in, especially after having been stored for awhile...

I am glad that the car is still around, though - it would be truly sorrowful if it should be disposed of or put into storage to just rot away. Of all the outlaws of the era, I think Bonnie and Clyde captured the imaginations of the public to the greatest extent (and I credit Bonnie for that because people do seem to have been (and still are) more fascinated by Bonnie than by Clyde. (As you mentioned in your other blog, you seem to be constantly defending Bonnie; Clyde doesn't seem to interest people as much as Bonnie does, for some reason! Maybe because of her poetry.)

At any rate, Bonnie and Clyde are part of American History, and I think the car is a part of that history as well. One of these days I hope to make a trip to see it, wherever it might be kept. (But I don't want to have a romantic dinner in it! Maybe if they offered an "Outlaw's Menu," giving a person the choice of cold beans from a can or a baloney sandwich with cheese, I'd go for it!)

A. Winston Woodward said...

A couple of years back for the 75th anniversary of the ambush-- discussions were held with Herbst Gaming to allow the car to travel to Gibsland for that year's B&C Festival. Unfortunately a deal was never reached. After the fact it seemed obvious why-- as later it was revealed, that Herbst was being reorganized financially by court order due to bankruptcy. Therefore a number of us could only surmise, that such a showing of the B&C car must not have been viewed as a prudent move or priority by Herbst-- to involve the car in such an out of state venture at that time.

I know those responsible for that idea, worked hard to get the car to Gibsland-- with the joint benefit to Herbst of the publicity from the 75th anniversary commemoration which "was" substantial. I don't know what Herbst would want to transport the B&C car to Louisiana, but needless to say-- it may be beyond the budget of the Ambush Festival Committee. I'll bring this new development to the attention of "Boots" Hinton, so he can inform the committee of this possible opportunity.

Concerning my comment of "dinner and drinks please"-- I wasn't expressing the idea of actually dining within the car, but rather-- that was meant as a generalized "exclamation", as to the enhanced availability of the B&C car for the public to experience. With the current asking price for sale of the car, I do imagine those sandwiches you mentioned would be expensive ones-- based on the rental price for any given event.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I was mostly pulling everyone's leg with my comment about dining in the car - but as you mentioned, considering the cost of the car alone, the "dining experience" would no doubt be very expensive!

I am rather torn regarding increased accessibility to the car, actually - while I can surely understand people wanting to get a little bit closer to it, I wouldn't want it to be displayed in such a way as to cause further damage and deterioration. It's sort of a fine line - I myself would definitely want to sit in the car! Not from any "I want to be where people died horribly!" feeling - it's just that I pick up certain feelings from certain places (when I had the privilege of visiting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, as soon as I walked into the building I felt a sensation of extreme age and dignity that can't really be described, but I understand it's not uncommon) and I think I would get a feeling of that whole era, sitting in that car. On the other hand... well, you don't want people snipping bits and pieces for souvenirs, or letting their kids get peanut butter all over the place!

Speaking of peanut butter - perhaps the car could be used to give the REAL Bonnie and Clyde experience! See the car and imagine spending days on the road in such a vehicle, driving fast, driving nowhere in particular... dine on cold beans and baloney sandwiches while sitting in the car and imagine how unsatisfying such food is, especially when consumned on the run... I can see a chance to let those who feel that B&C led a glamorous, fun-filled life of robbery and mayhem actually SEE the types of vehicles that served as both transportation and sleeping accommodations; let people see how cramped and crowded these accommodations were; let people see that what lay at the end of B&C's road was nothing but blood and bullets. Maybe more access to the death car will help dispel some of the ideas generated by the movie - there was NOTHING glamorous about Bonnie and Clyde's lives!

mumma76 said...

I think it would be cool to get in the car you never know they just might join you.

Oklahomason said...

If anyone did renew anything on that car should be cursed!!!! Even the people that sit in it!!!! Its pathetic anyone would do so anyway. Some people should have more respect for the car and the situation!!! Oklahomason

A. Winston Woodward said...

Many over the years have had the opportunity to sit in the Bonnie & Clyde Warren death car. Not sure what this latest comment means???

Nicole Ferrier said...

I sat in the death car. It was such a surreal experience. It is still in Primm and it is encompassed in sturdy glass with a locking gate. My dad who is AWESOME and happens to work for the casino pulled quite a few strings and I was allowed in the glass.

I first just looked at it somberly letting it sink in that I was standing in front of the last thing Bonnie and Clyde touched before they died.

I slid in the dirvers seat and at once I was awash with a buzzing energy. I have never done hard drugs, but I imagin the feeling I got is close to what druggies get off on. I touched the gear shift and steering wheel, ran my fingers along the small section of missing steeringwheel molding and almost heard the bullets flying by my head. I closed my eyes and just absorbed the car.

I then scooched over to Bonnie's side. ( Her door is zip tied shut ) I closed my eyes again and leaned back, imagining I was looking at the long borning counrty roads that kept me alive for so long.

I put my fingers in the bullet holes and ran a gentle hand across the shattered remains of the glass.

I am 31 years old and to date, it was the most profound moment of my life. It hurt my heart knowing that they died and being in that car with the swiss cheese panneling just drove it into me. I felt close to them for a brief moment of time.