Despite what you’ve been asked to believe, a Snickers bar is not the best option when you want to get away. Certainly not if you’re trying to elude the police.
We asked our Facebook community, “What’s the greatest getaway car?” And appropriately enough, there was some stealing. Daphne Saoirse got things started by swiping her answer from Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde fame. OK, so maybe Daphne just borrowed the letter that ol’ Clyde supposedly wrote to Henry Ford in April 1934, extolling the virtues of the Ford V-8 (you’ll have to excuse Barrow’s spelling errors):
Why I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusivly 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 enything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8.
Clyde Champion Barrow
Tom Johnson certainly agreed with Daphne’s nomination, calling it “the perfect endorsement for the man who needs to get away from it all ... quickly.” Dan Curran, Chuck Baldwin, and Robert Oddo also voted for the V-8, and Robert posted a photo of the bullet-riddled Ford. [Spoiler alert: Bonnie and Clyde didn’t actually “get away” in the getaway car.]
Billy Continental looked to the movies, suggesting “Eleanor,” the 1973 Ford Mustang from the original Gone in Sixty Seconds, and the black 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum that the bad guys drove in Bullitt – although the Charger was actually the one doing the chasing. In the same vein, Chuck Sperry nominated “Robert Mitchum’s souped-up ’50 Ford in Thunder Road,” while David D. Aunchman Jr. went with a “black BMW 7-Series, like the one from ‘The Transporter.’” And Reggie Horning offered an atypical getaway vehicle, suggesting the “1972 Citroen SM from the original ‘Longest Yard (1974).’ Burt Reynolds did a nice job out-running the police in that car.”
Speaking of eluding the authorities, Marshall Brown definitely put some thought into his answer. “A silver (Dodge) Hellcat Charger but with a quieter muffler added on a switch-pipe and the body kit downgraded to the base model version, so it flies under the radar after the initial escape.” Sounds like Marshall, um … knows a guy. William Abernathy also offered a thoughtful answer: “White or gray four-door sedan. Any ‘most common’ vehicle in your area. Oh, wait … you aren’t serious?”
Many of you thought the answer was simple and obvious. “The ‘greatest getaway car’ is the one that allows you to get away,” Doug Campbell wrote. Armando Cardoso added, “an invisible one.”
John Nichols’ idea of a great getaway car was the one that he learned to drive in – a Model A similar to the Ford in the photo we posted along with the question. John said his two-door coupe wasn’t “anywhere near as nice as the one in the pic, but my father (the engineer) installed hydraulic brakes.” Not to nitpick, but when you’re trying to escape a sticky situation, we would suggest making acceleration a priority over braking power.
Macel Kanzler was all about flying under the radar. “Any Volvo,” he wrote. “If you speed, they assume you’re an elderly person in a hurry to pick up your meds.” Jovanny Martinez went the other way. “A tank.”
David Tiedt knows his history, and he astutely suggested that some of the greatest getaway cars were born out of Prohibition. “Junior Johnson said the fastest car he ever drove was a bootlegging car, and that was after he retired as a NASCAR driver, so that’s pretty fast,” David wrote.
And then there was Stephen Fry, who just went with what works. “The 1600E Ford Cortina! Used in more bank robberies than any other car… How do I know this?! I have a gold 1600E that was used in a jewelry [store] robbery in the 1980s. Very long story.” Hopefully, not a personal one.