This Car Is A Death Trap!

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
this car is a death trap

For those of you who’ve read my work, you’ll know I’m no stranger to controversy. So, this next piece, will be a little, well, dark, shall we say? In the above picture, what do you see? It’s a classic VW Beetle. Nothing bad there. But this particular Beetle has caused a huge amount of grief stateside, followed by controversy. It was hidden under a black cloth and when it came off what people saw at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment was a 1968 VW Beetle, exactly like what you’re seeing. But it wasn’t so much what it was as WHO it was.The Washington Post reports that this hitlerite vehicle belonged to another serial killer: Ted Bundy. What you see here isn’t a cheap reliable car, but the death sentence for many people. And speaking of sentence, the same car became Bundy’s undoing: A routine stop of the Volkswagen that looked out of place in a suburb of Salt Lake City, led to Bundy’s arrest.

This is not where the story ends, and there are more cars, enough to fill a museum: After his trial and conviction, Bundy escaped and stole a Cadillac. Again, a traffic stop led to his arrest: He was weaving in and out of the lane and was pulled over. Back in custody, he escaped again. He stole a MG, bad choice: The MG broke down. He had to take public transportation. In Ann Arbor; he stole a car “of Japanese manufacture.” On to Florida, where he redeveloped his brand loyalty to the Volkswagen. He helps himself to another Bug. Another routine stop. Plate is called in, comes up as stolen. Bundy is arrested again. At 7:06 a.m. local time on January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida.

The sight of the first VW’s unveiling made the Washington Post wax morbid poetry, “Bundy’s Bug may be the most notorious because it was so intimately connected to its owner’s crimes. Bundy killed in this car is the frisson you’re supposed to feel when looking at something that was not just a tool, but a container for death. ”

“This was kind of like a death wagon,” said Wyndell C. Watkins Sr., a retired D.C. police deputy chief. D.C. has museums galore, but it lacks an antique car museum. The National Museum of Crime and Punishment fills that void, with a sordid twist: The museum is also home to O.J Simpson’s Ford Bronco and the Washington D.C Sniper’s Chevrolet Caprice, complete with retrofitted gun emplacements. Bundy’s Bug is real, the sniper Chevy is a replica, a mock-up, used at trial.

TTAC is not adverse to morbid subject matter, but this being a week-end, I offer to you a little upper for your brooding mood by clicking on this link here to see the stunt pulled on O.J Simpson by the BBC.

So my question to the B&B is this. Should morose motorised monuments like this have a place in a museum? Or should it be consigned to the scrap heap – of history, if you insist?

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2 of 26 comments
  • Tsofting Tsofting on Feb 20, 2010

    What, no mention of "VW are" doing this or that?

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Feb 20, 2010

    You guys leave the lady alone. I edited in the hitlerite reference - sorry, too bad a pun to pass up. I have amassed enough license to do that: I worked for that company for 30 years, and sordid jokes about their founder was daily fair at the factory, like it or not. They made certain parts of the history bearable. And as the late Werner Butter, formerly Creative Director of Doyle Dane Bernbach, and creator of many timeless VW advertising classics liked to say: "Rather lose a good friend than pass up on a bad joke." One more thing: When I was young and reckless, shocking people was hard work. Now that I'm only reckless, some make the shocking part much too easy.

  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.