What a wild ride!
Throughout history many different cars have been used for nefarious acts, typically as getaway cars, most of which were either destroyed or forgotten about. However, this 1965 Chevrolet Impala rental car that was used in one of America’s bloodiest bank robberies is a survivor with just under 14K-miles, and it recently sold at auction for just $45K.
Duane Earl Pope had just graduated from McPherson College with a degree in Industrial Education and was on his way to starting an excavation business in Kansas. The venture would have undoubtedly made him quite a bit of money, although he lacked the funding to get the business off to a good start. Out of options, he came up with an elaborate plan to get the funds he needed. He would rob a bank in Nebraska, killing all of the witnesses.
In the days leading up to the Big Springs bank robbery, Pope used his school's machine shop to fashion a silencer for his .38-caliber pistol and a steel breastplate for himself. He borrowed $50 from his father and rented a, then brand new, 1965 Chevrolet Impala from a Hertz car rental in Salina, Kansas. On June 4, 1965, Pope drove to Big Springs, Nebraska, waited for all of the customers to leave the Farmers State Bank, and robbed the bank of about $1,600. Before leaving he executed three of the bank workers that were on duty, unknowingly leaving the fourth paralyzed. With cash in hand, pope ditched the silencer and make-shift armor while on his way to return the Impala to Hertz.
In the end, Pope stayed on the lamb for a very short while before ultimately turning himself in to the authorities. The getaway car, however, made its way into the Chevyland USA museum in Elm Creek, Nebraska as part of the Monte Hollertz collection. Hollertz passed away last year and his entire collection was recently auctioned off on Big Iron Auctions in May, 2021. The 1965 Impala was accompanied by a copy of the rental agreement Pope signed with Hertz, various newspaper articles and clippings, and some other memorabilia. With any luck, this car will end up in another museum or maybe this historical artifact represents an event that is better off forgotten.
h/t: Fox News