Green’s Dictionary of Slang

powder v.1

[the explosive qualities of powder; 20C+ ety. more likely abbr. powder n.2 ]

to move fast, to run off.

F. Quarles Divine Fancies 33: With what a busie hast, / Zacheus climb’d the Tree: But O how fast / How full of speed [...] (when Our Saviour call’d) he powder’d down agen!
[UK]I. Tullie Siege of Carlisle (1840) 33: About 800 horse [...] come powdering towards the Cowes so fast [OED].
[UK]R. L’Estrange Fables of Aesop III 3: Down comes a Kite Powdering upon them in the Interim, and Gobbles up both together.
[UK]Otway Atheist III i: The Dice powd’ring out of the Box .
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 35: But who is this powdhering up the road?
[US]R.J. Tasker Grimhaven 180: Then we moped because the bottles and stoppers had the beef by that time and there was nothing for us to do but hop in the rattle and jar, and powder.
[US]‘Paul Cain’ ‘One, Two, Three’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2006) 13: Raines had [...] planted across the street in case Healey tried to powder.
[US]W.R. Burnett High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 336: You had me scared for a minute. I don’t carry no gun, so I powdered.
[US]J. Weidman Price Is Right 299: The way things stand now, you either play or you powder.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 813: powder – To go away; to pass by, to flee.

In compounds

powder car (n.)

(US Und.) a car used by criminals to flee from the scene of the crime.

[US]A. Hynd We Are the Public Enemies 47: She cased joints for the boys and often drove the powder car.