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Old 10-06-2018, 03:02 PM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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OJ and the Bronco - is there any other vehicle that has notoriety in this manner?

I do photography for a classic car dealership and the most recent shoot I did was for a mid-90s Ford Bronco. I posted a picture of it on FB and someone made a joke to the effect of that he would never be able to see a Bronco without thinking of O.J. Simpson. I replied by saying that I can't think of any other vehicle that has the same kind of effect on people.

It's not like the Ford Pinto or the Edsel - its notoriety doesn't come from any problems with the vehicle - it comes solely from having been highly publicized as part of a notorious and newsworthy incident.

Does any other such vehicle exist? Where, when you hear its name, you associate it only with one particular thing?

I'm excluding cars like the DeLorean or the Gran Torino which became part of pop culture because of their deliberate placement in a movie or show.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:12 PM
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About the only thing I can think of offhand would be pictures of old-time gangsters' (think Bonnie and Clyde, etc.) cars all riddled with bullet holes. There are probably dozens of such things in photo history.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:13 PM
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I can't think of any vehicles; but as far commercial products go, I don't think there is anyone above a certain age who doesn't think of Jim Jones and the mass suicide in Jonestown when anyone mentions Kool-Aid.

Last edited by dorvann; 10-06-2018 at 03:13 PM.
  #4  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:14 PM
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Bonnie and Clyde's death car?

ETA: Ninja'ed of course!

Last edited by goldmund; 10-06-2018 at 03:14 PM.
  #5  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:16 PM
Defensive Indifference Defensive Indifference is offline
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This is an interesting question. I can only think of one sorta related example, and I may well be wrong about even that one. In 1996, Ryder sold its consumer truck rental business and rebranded itself, shedding its recognizable bright yellow paint scheme. I don't know this to be true, but I've always suspected this was because a yellow Ryder truck was used in the Oklahoma City bombing. At least I recall a period in which the yellow Ryder truck immediately brought the bombing to mind, and I think that was alleviated somewhat by the rebranding.

Not quite what you were looking for, but it's all I got.

ETA: When the hell did the mid 90s fall into "classic car" territory.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 10-06-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:20 PM
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Probably more because of its driver, but James Dean's Porsche has received much press over the years since 1955. Damned beautiful car!
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
This is an interesting question. I can only think of one sorta related example, and I may well be wrong about even that one. In 1996, Ryder sold its consumer truck rental business and rebranded itself, shedding its recognizable bright yellow paint scheme. I don't know this to be true, but I've always suspected this was because a yellow Ryder truck was used in the Oklahoma City bombing. At least I recall a period in which the yellow Ryder truck immediately brought the bombing to mind, and I think that was alleviated somewhat by the rebranding.

Not quite what you were looking for, but it's all I got.

ETA: When the hell did the mid 90s fall into "classic car" territory.
The first Trade Center bombing was also carried out with a Ryder truck. I wonder if you're on to something.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:38 PM
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The corvair is another example, which is still considered "unsafe at any speed" due to Ralph Nader's book.

While proper tire pressure was critical for the best safety it's handling was not significantly worse or less safe than other contemporary cars, and this was demonstrated by a study conducted by the NHTSA in the early 1970's well after production was halted.

Yet the perception still exists that they are somehow uniquely dangerous while other cars of the era often have a misguided trust of safety. While the book did target the industries failure to address safety in general, cars with suspension build when the limiting factor was bias ply tires are actually typically far more dangerous with radial tires because they lack the correct camber. Radial tires require more static negative camber than bias tires and often this earlier suspension has no ability to even adjust the values to a safe value.

While the industry did need a wakeup call the perception of the Corvair as being particularly unsafe is persistent even among owners of cars like the Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, or Volkswagen Beetle which were shown through empirical data to be no more or perhaps even less safe.

While not an individual highly publicized as part of a notorious and newsworthy incident, this is directly traceable to that newsworthy book.

Last edited by rat avatar; 10-06-2018 at 03:42 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:48 PM
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Some possibles, but I don’t think any of these top OJ’s white Ford Bronco:

- James Dean’s Porsche Spyder, as mentioned.
- Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356 with the wild paint job; gImages, https://goo.gl/7e7g5s
- Thelma and Louise’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird

Those are some iconic cars but not infamous like OJ’s because that car ‘chase’ was one moment in time covered so widely on live TV.
  #10  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
ETA: When the hell did the mid 90s fall into "classic car" territory.
Classic doesn't need to mean "old." The movie Pulp Fiction is considered a classic, despite being made in the 90s. In the world of cars, classic can have many meanings, but one is simply that the vehicle's design and 'personality' set it apart from any current production models.

This Bronco is sufficiently distinctive in its design and its standing apart from most other vehicles on the road, to be called 'classic.'
  #11  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:54 PM
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A Lincoln Continental Convertible instantly makes me think of the JFK assassination.
  #12  
Old 10-06-2018, 04:14 PM
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Rotar - Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's air car is most famous for exploding at a car show.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/?p=34633
  #13  
Old 10-06-2018, 04:35 PM
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Bonnie and Clyde's death car?

ETA: Ninja'ed of course!
That was the 1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe V8, which would have been my response as well. The next is the SS-100-X which was a modified Lincoln Continental convertible that President Kennedy was assassinated in, which amazingly remained in service (with many more modifications intended to prevent the same think from happening again) until 1978. Others associated with death are James Dean’s 1955 Porsche 550 (not the 356 Super Speedster, although that is often stated) and the Amilcar CGSS in which Isadora Duncan was strangled by her scarf being caught in the rear axle.

Oh, I almost forgot the 1981 Cadillac Eldorado “8-6-4” which Frank Rosenthal survived an assassination attempt because of a ballast plate beneath the driver’s seat as famously fictionalized in Scorsese’s Casino.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 10-06-2018 at 04:40 PM.
  #14  
Old 10-06-2018, 04:41 PM
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I can't think of any vehicles; but as far commercial products go, I don't think there is anyone above a certain age who doesn't think of Jim Jones and the mass suicide in Jonestown when anyone mentions Kool-Aid.
I wonder how badly they're triggered if they hear Flavor Aid!
  #15  
Old 10-06-2018, 05:05 PM
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The Volkswagen and Hitler?
  #16  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:26 PM
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How about Lady Godiva's horse?
  #17  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:42 PM
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Magnum P.I and his Ferrari GTB? You may not conjure him with any current models, but whenever I see THAT model I always think of Magnum P.I.
  #18  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:48 PM
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(Selleck) Thomas Magnum drove a 308 GTS (GTS QV in later seasons), not the berlinetta even though how impractical a targa top would be in Hawaii.

I think the distinction should be made between vehicles associated with fictional characters, and those with actual people like O.J. Simpson and Bonnie & Clyde.

Stranger
  #19  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:53 PM
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Probably just me, but VW bugs always remind me of Ted Bundy.
  #20  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:55 PM
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Anton Yelchin was crushed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee backed down his driveway and pinned him against a brick pillar. The car had been recalled, but the fix-it kits didn't get to dealers until the week he was killed. I really liked him in the Star Trek re-boots.

I admit I had to look up which car it was.
  #21  
Old 10-06-2018, 07:13 PM
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The General Lee from Dukes of Hazard.
The Mystery van from Scooby doo.
Harley in Easy Rider.
  #22  
Old 10-06-2018, 07:27 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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The General Lee from Dukes of Hazard.
The Mystery van from Scooby doo.
Harley in Easy Rider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I'm excluding cars like the DeLorean or the Gran Torino which became part of pop culture because of their deliberate placement in a movie or show.
Stranger
  #23  
Old 10-06-2018, 07:39 PM
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Steve McQueen in Bullitt. Bullitt

Ford still cranks out homages to the classic 1968 Mustang GT.

2001, 2008-2009, and 2019 versions. Dark Highland Green is the iconic color.

Yes, the OP excluded movies but this car deserves mention. Movie was boring except for THE CAR CHASE.

Last edited by smithsb; 10-06-2018 at 07:41 PM. Reason: the
  #24  
Old 10-06-2018, 07:42 PM
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Steve McQueen in Bullitt. Bullitt

Ford still cranks out homages to the classic 1968 Mustang GT.

2001, 2008-2009, and 2019 versions. Dark Highland Green is the iconic color.
*sigh*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I'm excluding cars like the DeLorean or the Gran Torino which became part of pop culture because of their deliberate placement in a movie or show.
Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 10-06-2018 at 07:42 PM.
  #25  
Old 10-06-2018, 07:57 PM
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Yeah, I have to come to the conclusion that there is no equivalent to the Bronco in terms of a specific model of car having the same connotations of notoriety based on connection to a certain event. It was a perfect storm of coincidences: a celebrity being involved in a car chase, which inherently drew immense media coverage; the vehicle having a distinctive name; and belonging to a category of vehicle which was, at the time, rather obscure, (the full-size SUV) so that it stuck in peoples' minds stronger than a more common vehicle would have. "White Ford Bronco, White Ford Bronco, White Ford Bronco" was repeated endlessly. And that was just at the very beginning of OJ's criminal coverage - the incident continued to receive attention as the subsequent investigation and trial dragged on, and his vehicle was mentioned again and again.

I guess nothing like this ever happened with any other specific model of vehicle.
  #26  
Old 10-06-2018, 08:28 PM
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In addition to the Ford V-8 being a preferred car of Bonnie and Clyde, it was also a favorite of John Dillinger (he stole a sheriff's brand new model in one of his escapes).

Dillinger might be associated more often with a 1930 Ford model A that he used as a getaway car after the Little Bohemia shootout, but he really liked the V-8 and wrote a fan letter to Henry Ford about it.*

*one such letter is considered to be a hoax, but another earlier letter from Dillinger to Ford is thought to be the real thing.
  #27  
Old 10-06-2018, 08:30 PM
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Stranger
Oops. Missed that.
  #28  
Old 10-06-2018, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by smithsb View Post
Steve McQueen in Bullitt. Bullitt

Ford still cranks out homages to the classic 1968 Mustang GT.

2001, 2008-2009, and 2019 versions. Dark Highland Green is the iconic color.

Yes, the OP excluded movies but this car deserves mention. Movie was boring except for THE CAR CHASE.
Of course!
  #29  
Old 10-06-2018, 08:58 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
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There's John Lennon's yellow Rolls-Royce, with the psychedelic paint job.
But that was a standard Phantom V model, just with a custom paint job.

When I see a yellow Ryder rental truck, I just think of 11-foot-eight!
Probably indicates I spend way too much time online.
  #30  
Old 10-06-2018, 09:03 PM
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A couple of years ago, Toyota Hilux pickup trucks were seen in large numbers being used by ISIS. But that was a short-term association. Nothing really persisted to the extent that Ford Broncos (particularly white ones) were associated with the OJ Simpson chase.
  #31  
Old 10-06-2018, 09:07 PM
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Black SUVs always make me think the CIA is investigating something. Or surveillance is happening.
  #32  
Old 10-06-2018, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
Yeah, I have to come to the conclusion that there is no equivalent to the Bronco in terms of a specific model of car having the same connotations of notoriety based on connection to a certain event. It was a perfect storm of coincidences: a celebrity being involved in a car chase, which inherently drew immense media coverage; the vehicle having a distinctive name; and belonging to a category of vehicle which was, at the time, rather obscure, (the full-size SUV) so that it stuck in peoples' minds stronger than a more common vehicle would have. "White Ford Bronco, White Ford Bronco, White Ford Bronco" was repeated endlessly. And that was just at the very beginning of OJ's criminal coverage - the incident continued to receive attention as the subsequent investigation and trial dragged on, and his vehicle was mentioned again and again.

I guess nothing like this ever happened with any other specific model of vehicle.
Yeah, I see your point now. I wonder if the new Ford Bronco will be offered in white, so that when someone says "I have a White Ford Bronco" there are likely to be OJ references.

Here is an article with some of the cars mentioned here: Notorious Crime Cars: (Ford Bronco topping the list): https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/...ous-crime-cars

Last edited by snowthx; 10-06-2018 at 09:24 PM.
  #33  
Old 10-07-2018, 12:59 AM
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I've been debating whether this meets the OP"s criteria but it would hard to mention Zeppelins or any other sort of airship without thinking about the Hindenburg Disaster.

Last edited by dorvann; 10-07-2018 at 01:00 AM.
  #34  
Old 10-07-2018, 01:21 AM
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I've been debating whether this meets the OP"s criteria but it would hard to mention Zeppelins or any other sort of airship without thinking about the Hindenburg Disaster.
If we're going there, then large passenger ships often bring to mind the RMS Titanic.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:58 AM
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That Buddhist monk who immolated himself in Saigon in 1963? Photos and info here. The blue Austin right behind him, the car he arrived at the intersection in, is now on display at the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, in central Vietnam. The wife and I have seen it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:31 AM
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Most people wouldn't be able to name the make and model, but the bus that Christopher McCandless died in is pretty recognizable.
  #37  
Old 10-07-2018, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamoral View Post
I'm excluding cars like the DeLorean or the Gran Torino which became part of pop culture because of their deliberate placement in a movie or show.
I was never a fan of the Back to the Future movies. When I see a DeLorean, this is what I think of:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58339400@N06/5356525322
  #38  
Old 10-07-2018, 10:29 AM
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The Spirit of St. Louis, if we're talking any type of vehicle.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 10-07-2018 at 10:29 AM.
  #39  
Old 10-07-2018, 11:50 AM
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NM

Last edited by Dickerman; 10-07-2018 at 11:52 AM.
  #40  
Old 10-07-2018, 12:16 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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....the SS-100-X which was a modified Lincoln Continental convertible that President Kennedy was assassinated in, which amazingly remained in service (with many more modifications intended to prevent the same think from happening again) until 1978. ...
* shudder *

I wonder what the President and his co-passengers felt when they found out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
That Buddhist monk who immolated himself in Saigon in 1963? Photos and info here. The blue Austin right behind him, the car he arrived at the intersection in, is now on display at the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, in central Vietnam. The wife and I have seen it.
Wow. Weird, and understandable (and laudable, historically).
  #41  
Old 10-07-2018, 12:17 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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The Spirit of St. Louis, if we're talking any type of vehicle.
The carriage of Archduke Rudolf on the day of his assassination. (Was he actually in that when he was shot?)

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 10-07-2018 at 12:18 PM.
  #42  
Old 10-07-2018, 06:10 PM
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Crown Victorias and cops?
  #43  
Old 10-07-2018, 06:16 PM
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How about the Rimac Concept One? Most people who know the car know it as the car that Richard Hammond crashed.

Last edited by scr4; 10-07-2018 at 06:17 PM.
  #44  
Old 10-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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When vehicle discussions inevitably shift to the classic 4-horse chariot, is not Gaius Appuleius Diocles the first name to pop into your mind?

Ayrton Senna/F1 = meh
Richard Petty/NASCAR = meh
Appuleius Diocles/Charioteer = rock star
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:26 PM
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Franz Ferdinand was riding in a motorcar, which was supposedly cursed:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...-car-27381052/

However, I don't think this counts as the make of the car isn't well know except to historians of the event.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:45 PM
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I was looking for quirky used cars and someone mentioned an Aston-Martin, and I could NOT picture an ordinary car. My mind immediately conjured up a silver coupe with tire-shredding hub caps, oil slick/machine gun tailpipes, rotating license plates, and an ejector seat.
  #47  
Old 10-08-2018, 08:22 AM
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The AMC Pacer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Pacer

A car famous for being quirky.
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  #48  
Old 10-08-2018, 09:23 AM
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There is only one acceptable color for the Fokker Dr.I.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:10 AM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
This is an interesting question. I can only think of one sorta related example, and I may well be wrong about even that one. In 1996, Ryder sold its consumer truck rental business and rebranded itself, shedding its recognizable bright yellow paint scheme. I don't know this to be true, but I've always suspected this was because a yellow Ryder truck was used in the Oklahoma City bombing. At least I recall a period in which the yellow Ryder truck immediately brought the bombing to mind, and I think that was alleviated somewhat by the rebranding.

Not quite what you were looking for, but it's all I got.
Actually, a yellow Ryder truck seems exactly what the OP is looking for. After OKC any sighting of a yellow Ryder truck would bring the bombing to mind, whereas I don't recall ever seeing a white Bronco and thinking, "OJ".
  #50  
Old 10-08-2018, 03:06 PM
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This will be a real downer with the name vehicle association:

SPOILER:
Christa McAuliffe - Challenger Disaster
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