O.J. Simpson and the Infamous White Ford Bronco — What Really Happened

After Simpson was acquitted of the murders in the original trial, the Bronco ended up at Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Ford, Tenn.


Apr. 12 2024, Published 10:31 a.m. ET

The Ford Bronco on the LA Freeway during the infamous car chase.
Source: Getty Images

The news that O.J. Simpson had died of prostate cancer at the age of 76 on April 10, 2024, left an entire nation to reckon with the former football star and accused murderer's role in American culture. Although Simpson was a star athlete, he was most famous for being accused of murdering two people, one of whom was his ex-wife.

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Part of that twisted saga was Simpson's low-speed chase down the freeways of Los Angeles with Al Cowlings in his white Ford Bronco. Now, almost 30 years after that chase, many want to know exactly what happened to the car.

Al Cowlings driving the white Ford Bronco.
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to O.J.'s Ford Bronco?

After an investigation into the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, Simpson was supposed to turn himself in pending a trial. Instead, he led police on a two-hour car chase, sitting in the backseat while his friend Al Cowlings was driving the white Bronco. Simpson did ultimately turn himself in following that chase, and what followed was a trial that had an entire nation riveted.

Although the Bronco was only a small part of the broader spectacle around this case, it still lives in infamy decades later. After Simpson was acquitted of the murders in the original trial, the Bronco ended up at Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Ford, Tenn.

Although it's widely believed that Simpson owned the Bronco, that isn't actually the case.

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Instead, it belonged to Al. Simpson's agent Mike Cowlings bought the vehicle from Al sometime in the 1990s, and after much negotiation, it wound up in a museum.

Simpson's low-speed car chase was watched live by almost 100 million people, in part because Simpson appeared to be on the brink of taking his own life in the back seat of the car. He reportedly had a gun to his head for portions of the pursuit.

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Where is Al Cowlings now?

Although it's easy to forget that Simpson didn't own the Bronco and also wasn't driving it, some are also curious about what happened to the other man who was a part of that low-speed pursuit across Los Angeles.

Al was a fellow former professional football player, but his career on the field was overtaken by his role in the infamous Simpson chase. While he was initially arrested for aiding Simpson, the charges against him were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.

In the years since the Simpson trial, AI has kept an intentionally low profile. In 2012, Fox News did a report suggesting that Al was working as a handbag sales representative. A few years later, a friend suggested that he was retired and still living in Southern California.

When Simpson was released from prison in 2017, he suggested that he had CTE, a brain condition that is caused by repeated head trauma and can make people impulsive. He also suggested that Al suffered from symptoms related to the condition. Al is still alive and seems content to be out of the spotlight as much as humanly possible.

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