Top 5 Getaway Cars In History

People have always been fascinated by daring tales of true crime and narrow escape. No retelling of an infamous getaway from history is complete without mentioning the vehicle chosen. This fascination with getaway cars remains constant across true crime and fiction alike. DriveTribe.com compiled a list of some of the most beloved getaway cars and each one deserves a closer look.

Mobsters made this car infamous

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The V8 1934 Ford Fordor is ubiquitous with the image of Tommy gun-toting gangsters. Firstly, Bonnie and Clyde went on their infamous crime spree in a Fordor. It’s also the vehicle in which they died. Secondly, Baby Face Nelson proudly drove a V8.

In addition, John Dillinger stole a Fordor from a sheriff. He was so impressed with the car he’s said to have personally written to Henry Ford to thank him for creating the famous vehicle.

TheHenryFord.com acknowledges this letter as plausible, though unconfirmed to be penned by the famous con man. Its sleek lines, massive running boards, and exaggerated fenders define one of the most recognized getaway cars in history.

History will remember this as the smallest getaway car

The Italian Job made a bold creative choice in casting the Mini Cooper as a getaway not once, not twice, but three times. Tight spaces, daring alleyway escapes, and low clearance pose no threat to this tiny car. Criminal organizations of two or more should look elsewhere for their transportation needs.

The BMC Mini Cooper is perhaps best suited to the stylish lone wolf and other petty criminals. Mini Coopers have an even wider association with crime. The imports are so small that criminals can illegally import them in cartons meant for refrigerators.

British newspapers made this slick option criminals’ first choice

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In the 1960s, the British news media propelled the Jaguar Mark 2 to infamy as Britain’s most popular getaway car of the time. Given its impressive speed, acceleration, and handling this Mark 2 s an obvious choice. Reports of daring escapes flooded the media.

Soon the Jaguar Mar 2 was the most popular car for nefarious activities. One of the fastest cars mentioned here, the Mark 2 tops out at 201 mph. 

The most infamous escape vehicle of the 20th century

Ask anyone over the age of 30 to picture a getaway car, and most will likely imagine a white 1993 Ford Bronco. In 1993 OJ Simpson led police on one of the most highly televised pursuits in history. Ninety-five million Americans tuned in to watch as Simpson slowly evaded arrest.

In short, while not well known as a status symbol for successful gangsters or even being particularly fast, the Bronco remains one of the most famous getaway cars in history. Live TV broadcasts shared every second of the harrowing chase.

America’s first getaway car remains the greatest

A brown Model A Ford, classic getaway car, parked on a grassy sea-side cliff
Ford Model A | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Historians call the Model A Ford America’s first getaway car for a reason. Infamous criminal John Dillinger made the Model A famous both on and off the silver screen. Dillinger was America’s first public enemy #1, and his Model A Ford quickly became synonymous with crime.

The 2009 film Public Enemies renewed the Model A’s spot in the cultural zeitgeist. Johnny Depp portrayed John Dillenger. Depp drove the Model A back to the forefront of our collective memory and reestablished it as the ultimate sleek gangster getaway car.