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Infamous white Ford Bronco in OJ Simpson chase sits in Tennessee crime museum: 'Iconic piece of history'

The Ford Bronco seen around the world during a police chase involving then-murder suspect O.J. Simpson is now housed in a Tennessee museum.

Former NFL running back O.J. Simpson died on Thursday, dredging up memories for millions of his Hall of Fame career, his life after football and the infamous murder trial for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. 

One of the biggest moments of national intrigue involving Simpson occurred on June 17, 1994, when TV programs, including Game 5 of the NBA Finals, were interrupted in order to broadcast the slow-moving pursuit of a white Ford Bronco on empty Southern California freeways. 

No car has been more associated with vehicle pursuits since. Despite the 30-year gap since the infamous chase, the phase "white Ford Bronco" still elicits memories.

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"It gets similar reactions, memory-wise, to 9/11 and other big events," said Ally Pennington, the artifacts and programs manager for the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where the 1993 Bronco has been on display since 2016. "It is one of those events in history that people remember what they were doing, where they were when the O.J. chase happened."

"It's an iconic piece of history regardless of the implications attached to it," Pennington told Fox News Digital."

On that June afternoon, the Bronco was being driven by Al Cowlings, a former teammate and childhood friend of Simpson, who was in the back seat with a gun and threatening to take his own life while on the phone with law enforcement, who begged him to surrender. 

Hours earlier, authorities issued a warrant for Simpson's arrest for the double murder. 

Millions of viewers tuned in to witness the chase and as onlookers crowded onto freeway overpasses catch a glimpse of the chase in real time. The pursuit eventually ended at Simpson's home in the affluent Los Angeles enclave of Brentwood, where he surrendered to police without incident.

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Cowlings later sold the Bronco, which is now parked at the Tennessee museum next to other infamous vehicles associated with some of America's most famous criminals. 

The Bronco sits next to a 1993 Essex Terraplane used by notorious gangster John Dillinger, serial killer Ted Bundy's Volkswagen Beetle, and a car used in the 1967 production of "Bonnie and Clyde," starring Warren Baetty and Faye Dunaway.  

"It's one of our most popular galleries in the museum," Pennington said. 

The museum recently shared a photo of the vehicles on social media.

An upcoming exhibit slated to open this summer will focus on the 30th anniversary of the murders, Pennington said. The museum previously honored Nicole Brown Simpson with an exhibit showing her life. 

Simpson was eventually acquitted of the slayings in a criminal trial, but was ordered to pay the Brown and Goldman families $33.5 million following a 1997 civil trial. 

On Thursday, his family announced that he passed away from cancer at age 76. 

"Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer," read a post on the official OJ Simpson X account. "He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren."

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