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Monday, July 9, 2012

Al Capone's famous Cadillac complete with armor and bullet proof glass up for sale


A Cadillac made especially for 1920’s mobster Al Capone is going on sale for £325,000.
Designed to protect the notorious Chicago gangster the car is fitted with 3,000lbs of steel armour, bulletproof windows and painted to look like a police car.
The armour was fitted so rivals would not be able to shoot him as they drove by and the colour scheme of the 1928 Cadillac V-8 "Al Capone" Town Sedan - green with black fenders – mimics the Cadillacs driven by Chicago police and city officials at the time.
Untouchable: A Cadillac which was kitted out with steel armour and bulletproof windows to protect its owner - legendary Chicago gangster Al Capone - is going on sale
Untouchable: A Cadillac which was kitted out with steel armour and bulletproof windows to protect its owner - legendary Chicago gangster Al Capone - is going on sale

It even had a flashing light, siren and the first police-band radio receiver in private hands.
To further protect its precious load the bulletproof glass windows could be wound further than normal to reveal circular holes through which machine guns could be fired.
And in case this was not enough to deter any drivers taking up the chase, the rear window of the ride was rigged to drop at an instant so Capone’s henchmen could open fire at any following cars.
The car, which is thought to have been briefly used by President Franklin Roosevelt after Capone was imprisoned for tax evasion, is expected to fetch a six figure sum at auction.

Decked out: Al Capone would have been safe in this one, the 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan has 3,000lbs of steel armour fitted and was used by President Roosevelt after Capone's imprisonment
Decked out: Al Capone would have been safe in this one, the 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan has 3,000lbs of steel armour fitted and was used by President Roosevelt after Capone's imprisonment
Machine gun friendly: The bullet proof glass had muzzle sized holes for Capone and his fellow gangsters to fit their guns and even a drop down rear window, pictured, to mow down pursuers
Machine gun friendly: The bullet proof glass had muzzle sized holes for Capone and his fellow gangsters to fit their guns and even a drop down rear window, pictured, to mow down pursuers

Considering his crime – the one he was imprisoned for – Capone would probably have been pleased to know that his old car, being 84-years-old, is classed as a classic and is therefore tax exempt.
After Capone’s imprisonment the vehicle went on to be shown around the world, even making a trip to the UK in the 1950’s displayed at the Southend-on-Sea amusement park and at the Blackpool funfair.
It later entered the collection of the US motor enthusiast John O'Quinn who died last year in a car crash and it is now being sold as part of his estate.
The car is going on sale at the end of August and is expected to fetch £325,000
The car is going on sale at the end of August and is expected to fetch £325,000 at the auction

In their research into the origins of the car, auctioneers uncovered 92-year-old Richard Capstran, whose mechanic father fitted the armour.
He said Capone's mobsters arrived and told him what they wanted doing.
Mr Capstran said: ‘My dad said “we don't do that kind of work here,” and they said “you do now.”’
The car was then backed into the garage so no one could see what was happening to it.
Mr Capstran said Capone turned up to pay the bill himself and even gave the ten-year-old Mr Capstran a ten dollar note - a small fortune to a young boy at the time.

AL CAPONE - THE MOB KING OF CHICAGO

Alphonse 'Al' Capone was born to Italian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York in 1899.
After being kicked out of school aged 14 he became involved in local teenage gangs and  but moved to Chicago in his early twenties to take advantage of the thriving market for illegal alcohol during the first years of Prohibition.
Capone, imprisoned for tax evasion would probably have a laugh at his old ride being tax exempt
Capone, imprisoned for tax evasion, would probably have a laugh at his old ride being tax exempt

There he ran prostitution rings, illegal gambling halls but made most of his money running speakeasy bars where thirsty Chicago dwellers could get their hands on banned alcohol.
He rose to become the leader of 'The Chicago Outfit' gang, which later became known as 'The Capone Family' and ruled the streets of Chicago from the early 1920's until his capture in 1931.
Despite his gangster ways Capone was a highly visible public figure in Chicago and even opened charity soup kitchens and worked for the safety of the city's children
Capone has been credited with ordering one of the most famous mass murders in 20th century America - the Valentine's Day Massacre - where members of his gang gunned down seven of the rival Moran gang whilst dressed in police uniforms.
The law finally caught up with the mob leader in 1931 when he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
He spent a majority of his sentence in the famous Alcatraz prison where he was famous for manipulating prison guards.
His health deteriorated in prison and he was no longer capable to run 'The Chicago Outfit' upon his release.
Suffering from neurosyphilis his mental health broke down and when examined a few years after his release he was said to have the mental capacity of a 12-year-old.
Al Capone died in 1947 in Palm Island, Florida
A spokesman for RM Auctions which is selling the Cadillac, said: ‘This is widely considered as one of the most historically significant pre-war American cars.
‘It is liveried in green with black fenders to mirror the Cadillacs supplied to the Chicago police and city officials at the time.
‘It is one of the earliest surviving "bulletproof" cars and was fitted new with heavy glass measuring nearly an inch thick and completely lined with 3,000lbs of steel armour plating.
‘‘It has undergone restoration and is a fabulous piece of history.’
The auction takes place in Monterey, California, on August 20.


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