SALE & EXHIBITION OF THE BONNIE & CLYDE DEATH CAR

 

                   


Do you have information about the sale and exhibition of the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car?  Will T. Saint Louis MO.

 


Will, Ruth leased the car to John Castle of "United Shows" and when the contract went into default, she had the car repossessed and rented it to carnival operator Charles Stanley. He exhibited it on the Hennies Brothers Midways in his 1939 crime show. Stanley used the car on his outside bally and showed the film of the actual ambush on the inside. After Ruth divorced her husband Jesse, she kept the title to the car and sold it to Stanley for $3,500.  It had been said that Charles was the original owner of the Death Car. During the 1948 season the car was exhibited at Coney Island amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Charles joined the Cavalcade of Amusements at Sedalia, Mo. He added a Dillinger Crime Car and toured with the Gooding Amusements and Hennies Brothers Shows. (In 1949 sideshowman Charlie Hodges also exhibited a Bonnie and Clyde car along with his large 10-in-l show.) In 1951 Stanley toured the Mosser Family Massacre through theaters.  Spent a short time at the Coney Island in Cincinnati.  Later joining the Cetlin and Wilson Shows for the season.  In a 1952 Billboard he offered the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car for sale. That same season he retired from the road to manage the Coney Island Park in Cincinnati and exhibited the car until 1960.  In 1968, longtime promoter Frank Siro also had a Bonnie and Clyde car on midways also in 1969 he toured it at Texas fairs.

 

In the 1960s the "original" death car was purchased for $14,500 by showman Ted Toddy. In October 1969, Amusement Business reported: "Ted Toddy has won his suit for an injunction over the use of the Bonnie and Clyde name. Johnny and Marilyn Portemont, owners of Johnny's United Shows, will have to find another title for theirs!" Showmen were warned to avoid using the title, especially around Toddy's home in Atlanta. Ted Toddy  The car then sat in a warehouse for years  In 1971 Toddy leased his car to the Royal American Shows. 

In 1973 the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car was purchased by Peter Simon of the Oasis Casino in Jean Nevada for $175.000.  It was on display at Whiskey Pete's Casino for several years and is now on permanent display at the Primm Hotel and Casino at Primm Nevada just of Interstate 15 on the Nevada and California Stateline. 

Even after 70 years the legend still holds a strange fascination.  

 

John Robinson, Sideshow World 

  

Image:   Kruse Classic Auction Company Inc. Catalog from 1973 which features for Auction the Bonnie and Clyde death car on it's cover.

 

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