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The infamous gangster’s armor-plated 1928 Cadillac V8 Town Sedan is going up for auction in Michigan.
Alphonse Gabriel Capone, better known as Al Capone or Scarface, remains one of the most fearsome gangsters in the history of organized crime. What is less known about the Chicago-based Mafioso was his affinity for high-end automobiles. One of his prized possessions was a bulletproof 1928 Cadillac V8 Town Sedan, a car that will soon go up for auction on July 28th at the RM sale at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan.
The armored automobile is up for sale by the estate of recently-deceased lawyer John O'Quinn after spending many years on display at museums around the world. O'Quinn purchased the vehicle back in 2006 for the princely sum of $621,000, however RM expects the Cadillac to fetch under $500,000 when it hits the auction block later this month. RM has provided a detailed history of the infamous Cadillac dating back to 1932, whose story is almost as intriguing as the man himself who was both incredibly violent and an avid philanthropist. They even tracked down a 93-year-old man whose family originally installed all the armor in the car.
Richard Capstran was 10 years old when his family was contracted to perform the job by Mr. Capone and, after seeing the car for the first time in over seven decades, remarked that it was "without a doubt the same car that was worked on in my dad's shop." He even remembers Capone paying his father double the quoted price for the job and that he was handed a crisp $10 bill for his help in installing the armor and "asbestos-wrapped steel plate" in the now-classic American machine. The model was, after changing ownership several times throughout its early history, restored in 1958 under the guardianship of dance hall owner Tony Stuart.
Most of the heavy armor plating was removed during the process, however the inch-thick bulletproof glass and drop-down rear window were kept. After all, the gunmen in the rear still needed someplace to shoot out of. The 1928 Cadillac V8 Town Sedan is a Series 341-A with a 90-horsepower L-head V8 motor mated to a three-speed manual gearbox. Stopping power comes via four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. 3,000 lbs of steel armor was originally added to the Cadillac and it was painted green with black fenders in order to appear as if it was, indeed, an early American police car.