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Clyde Barrow Wrote a Letter to Henry Ford

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April 1933: A portrait of American outlaw Clyde Barrow (1909 - 1934) crouching in front of a car with a handgun hanging from the hood ornament, two handguns in the front grill and three rifles laid against the front fender, possibly in Joplin, Missouri.
Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are infamous for their two-year crime spree from 1932 until their deaths in a hail of bullets in 1934. More amazing than his novice murders and robberies was Clyde's uncanny ability to evade the police even when he was surrounded.

Part of Clyde's ability to evade capture was in his skill as a driver, while the other part was most definitely in the choices of cars that he stole. Quite often, Clyde would be in a car that could out maneuver and out run any of the police cars that attempted to follow him.

Additionally, living a life on the run meant that Clyde and Bonnie spent days and even weeks at a time in their car while traveling long distances and sleeping in their car at night.

The car that Clyde preferred, one that offered both speed and comfort, was the Ford V-8. Clyde was so thankful for these cars that he wrote Henry Ford a letter on April 10, 1934.

The letter read:

Tulsa, Okla
10th April

Mr. Henry Ford
Detroit Mich.

Dear Sir: --
    While I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasen't been strickly legal it don't hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8 --

Yours truly
Clyde Champion Barrow

Over the years, many have questioned the authenticity of Clyde's letter to Henry Ford, based on a discrepancy over handwriting. The letter is currently on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

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