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Al Capone’s 1928 Caddy V8 and its long list of owners
If you really want to roll like the ultimate gangster, then you missed your big shot. The 1928 Cadillac sedan used to chauffeur mobster Al Capone hit the hammer, fetching an estimated $310,000 from an undisclosed bidder on July 28.
The V8 Town Sedan was designed to resemble those driven by the Chicago Police Department at the time, and was encased in bullet-proof steel to protect Capone during one of his storied shoot-outs with rival gangs and the police.
John O'Quinn, a California millionaire, was the car's latest owner before he died in 2009, stipulating in his will that the storied machine be auctioned off after his passing with proceeds going to his estate. Capone's old ride has exchanged hands numerous times in the 80 years since he sold the car to a husband and wife carnival duo who had anticipated using it as a sideshow to their act.
One of the more famous figures to get a lift in Capone's car was President Franklin Roosevelt. After the the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the secret service reportedly drafted the bulletproof vehicle to serve as Ground Force One. Because Capone outfitted the car to provide the ultimate protection, it was chosen to guard the president against potential assassination attempts.
The legendary car, which RM Auctions of California had estimated could go for up to $500,000, sold at the low end of the auctioneers expectations. When O'Quinn purchased the ride in 2006, he paid $621,500.
Though the car may not be as valuable today as it had been in the past, it's still represents an important period in American history, and is an artifact any collector of crime memorabilia would surely love to get their hands on.
About PaulDavenportPaul Davenport is a journalist and car buff native to New England who has a lifetime of experience working on and admiring classic, and a few non-classic, American cars. Having studied journalism in college, Paul currently blogs and writes stories for a variety of companies and websites. In the past, his car stable has included a 1969 Z28 Camaro that he rebuilt with his father and a 1987 El Camino with a retooled 305 CID Engine. View all posts by PaulDavenport →
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