Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were two notorious depression era gangsters who went on a crime spree that left more than a dozen dead. Their bloody trail came to an end when a group of lawmen from Texas and Louisiana ambushed them as they drove their stolen 1934 Ford Deluxe along a rural highway near Sailes, Louisiana on May 23, 1934. By the time of their deaths, the two fugitives had captured the imagination of many Americans. They were larger-than-life in part because they often posed for photographs like Hollywood stars.
Their notoriety was still drawing large crowds around the country three years later when the 1934 Ford Deluxe made a national tour as part of an anti-crime initiative. The "Death Car" as it was dubbed in the Providence Daily Enterprise came to Providence, Kentucky on July 28, 1937 and was on display at the Sugg & Company showroom. The local Ford dealer sponsored the car's exhibition free to the public. In addition, Everett Fillingham and C. Wiley Stanley, nationally known lecturers on Bonnie and Clyde's crime career, accompanied the car and discussed what happened on that rural highway and answered questions from the public.
Whether the car's national tour deterred crime is difficult to quantify. However, local citizens who viewed the car, still described the event with excited voices a half century later.
Tradewater Genealogical Research Blog