The O.J. Simpson case continues to remain a fascinating occurrence that shined a racial blacklight across America, even 20 years after it first came to be.
While the entire cast of characters of the trial have all been chronicled in life and/or death, there is one key player in the whole chain of events that sparked the first bit of controversy.
O.J.’s now-infamous, white 1993 Ford Bronco. Any car that was captured for millions to during a self-incriminating high-speed police chase was most certainly meeting imminent doom. Such was the case the Bronco, after Ford discontinued it to make room for the Expedition in 1996.
Today marks the 20th anniversary when Simpson decided to turn himself into Los Angeles Police Department for suspicion of his wife’s murder. (A charge he historically beat.) NBC News did some investigating digging to trace the Bronco’s whereabouts over the years and found that it has went from time capsule relic to sideshow attraction and back again.
For starters, the Bronco was neither owned or driven by Simpson. It belonged to former NFL player and college teammate of Simpson’s, Al Cowlings. Simpson had allegedly held him at gunpoint and threatened for him to keep the car running or he’d blow his brains all over the dashboard. Cowlings was never charged with any crime and the car’s notoriety began to blossom, so Cowlings sold it for a reported $200,000.
A source close to the three businessmen who bought with attempts to turn a profit told NBC, “Because the whole thing was so racially fueled at the time, they didn’t want the perception of profiting off murders and racism. So they just hung onto the car for a very long time.” A honorable notion, one that someone like George Zimmerman failed to learned following his acquittal.
However, down the years, the Bronco was passed around like a hot potato, ending up as an opening display art for artist Nate Lowman, special events, and the Las Vegas sports memorabilia store and museum Score! With each transaction, renters would have to sign a disclosure to agree not to reveal the identities of the owners.
Sounds despicable on both ends but Simpson would probably give anything to be in attendance at one of the functions. He’s currently sitting in prison for a botched Nevada heist and robbery.
Hop over to the next page to the picture of the Ford Bronco when it was last spotted in 2012 in Vegas.