Tag Archives: Casino






Death Car.

Death Car behind glass, 2012.

Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car.

Primm, Nevada

In early 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow stole a V8 Ford and drove it around the Midwest, robbing and killing people. That joyride ended when lawmen punctured the car (and Bonnie and Clyde) with over 100 armor-piercing bullets.

Since then, the location of the “Bonnie and Clyde Death Car” has often been as difficult to find as it was when its drivers were alive.

The blood-splattered, bullet-ridden car was an instant attraction, touring carnivals, amusement parks, flea markets, and state fairs for 30 years. In the 1970s it was at a Nevada race track where people could sit in it for a dollar.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde, nutty pranksters.

A decade later it was in a Las Vegas car museum; a decade after that it was in a casino near the California/Nevada state line. It was then moved to a different casino on the other side of the freeway, then it went on tour to other casinos in Iowa, Missouri, and northern Nevada (where we stumbled across it in 2008).

Complicating matters was the existence of at least a half-dozen fake Death Cars (we’ve seen them in Florida and Illinois) and the Death Car from the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie (which was in Louisiana but now is in Washington, DC).

Recently, the death car was parked at its home casino in Primm, Nevada, on the plush carpet next to the main cashier cage. But then it embarked on another casino tour, and was last seen west of Reno.

A sizable part of the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car exhibit is devoted to letters vouching for its authenticity. This may puzzle visitors who don’t realize how rare it is to see the real Bonnie and Clyde Death Car.

Its doors have been tied shut (no more sitting) and the car is displayed behind panels of glass, making snapshots difficult. But the car’s Swiss cheese exterior is still impressive and cringeworthy, even if you can’t stick your fingers in the holes. Showroom dummies strike Bonnie and Clyde poses next to the car, cradling weapons.

Clyde’s death shirt.

Clyde’s death shirt.

Accompanying the car is Clyde’s shredded shirt of death, perforated with a number of ragged holes in both the front and back. “Marie Barrow [Clyde’s sister] has personally signed the inside hem of the shirt to attest to the garment’s authenticity,” declares one sign. “Bloodstains are evident throughout the shirt,” it continues, although time has faded them considerably. A close look reveals that Clyde wore a size 14-32. He was a scrawny little lawbreaker.

There’s a second bullet-scarred car in Primm on display as well, which belonged to gangster Dutch Schultz. He filled its doors with lead, so the bullets merely dented its exterior. Since it isn’t a death car — Schultz was assassinated at a bathroom urinal — it doesn’t have the mesmerizing power of Bonnie and Clyde’s. But if the casino could ever track down and display that Urinal of Death….

It would be difficult even to estimate how much money the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car has made over its long career. $5 million? $10 million? Those numbers would flabbergast hardscrabble crooks like Bonnie and Clyde, but it would probably please them as well. And, having long ago earned its keep, the car is now on display 24 hours a day for free.

Bonnie and Clyde Car from back.

Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car

100 W Primm Blvd, Primm, NVDirections: Whiskey Pete’s Casino, Primm, just across border from California. I-15 exit 1, western side.Occasionally moved to casino across the highway, or elsewhere in NV.Phone: 702-386-7867RA Rates:Worth a Detour

Save to My Sights

… More on Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car




imageimages (3)imageHIWAY AMERICA – ATLANTIC CITY N.J.

first. The area was developed in the nineteenth century as a resort and became extremely popular; its famous beaches and easy access from Northeastern cities made it one of America’s most prominent holiday destinations for over a century. After a decline in the 1960s, the introduction of gambling in 1978 allowed Atlantic City to reinvent itself and the Boardwalk to regain some of its former prominence.

Atlantic City’s Development

In the early 1850s, Dr. Jonathan Pitney, an Absecon resident, felt that the island would make a good health resort. However, he realized it would need better access. He and his partner Richard Osborn began the construction of the Camden-Atlantic City Railroad. On July 5, 1854, the first tourist train arrived from Camden, New Jersey.

The island quickly became a popular vacation spot; luxurious hotels and cheap rooming houses sprung up all over town. However, sand was a major problem: Visitors would track it everywhere, including railroad cars and the lobbies of expensive hotels.

The Boardwalk

“In 1870,” says Atlantic City Online, “Alexander Boardman, a conductor on the Atlantic City-Camden Railroad, was asked to think up a way to keep the sand out of the hotels and rail cars.”

He and hotel owner Jacob Keim presented the idea of a boardwalk to the city council. Running from the beach to the town, and costing half of Atlantic City’s 1870 tax revenue, an 8-foot-wide boardwalk was built. In 1880, it was replaced by a larger version.

National Prominence and Miss America

Atlantic City grew rapidly after the Civil War. “Lavish hotels, enormous electrical signs and rambunctious, colorful amusement piers started to hug it from both sides,” says AtlanticCityNJ.com.

A serious problem the town had, though, was that the tourism-based economy slowed massively in winter. As an attempt to keep tourists around past Labor Day, a beauty contest was held on September 8 and 9, 1921. At first called the Atlantic City Pageant, the contests quickly became nationally famous.

World War II

Convention Hall, on the Boardwalk, was made a U.S. Army training facility during the Second World War. Reports AtlanticCityNJ.com, “Squads of armed forces could be seen marching up and down the boards. Mock beachfront invasions and war bond rallies were common as well.”

In response to fears of German submarines watching along the coast, Boardwalk lamps were shaded.

1950s and 1960s

In the decades after the war, the Boardwalk was popular with celebrities. “Some famous feet to tread upon the boards,” says AtlanticCityNJ.com, “included Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Durante, Ed Sullivan, Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. The Beatles ate the city’s world-famous subs on it. Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon opened a bowling alley” there.


The rise of cheap air travel, an increasingly sophisticated population and a general demographic shift away from the Northeast led to a sharp decline in Atlantic City’s fortunes in the late 1960s. In 1978, the first casino was opened in an attempt to reverse this decline, bringing Atlantic City back to prominence in a different form.