Al Capone’s Armored 1928 Cadillac is for Sale at the Low Price of Just $1 Million
Can you really put a price on a piece of automotive history, though?by Robert Moore, on
What you’re looking at here isn’t only allegedly Al Capone’s very own Cadillac, but it may also be one of the world’s very first armored cars. While there’s no for-sure way to know if Al Capone really owned this baby, a Milwaikee Sentinel story from 1921 did trace the car’s license plates to Mae Capone, Al’s wife. History of the car is known from 1933 onward, however, so there’s nearly a century worth of known history to go with it. If you’re really like to own it, though, the asking price is a steep $1 million, so you might want to run that past your wife first.
Al Capone’s 1928 Cadillac Series 341-A Town Sedan – A $1,000,000 Piece of History
As Al Capone’s very own Cadillac, this car could also be one of the first armored cars ever made.
Documentation provides evidence that Capone had a foundry install quarter-inch boilerplate all around the vehicle, including under the soft top. This was paired with thicker windows, something that probably wasn’t as effective as today’s bulletproof glass, but it was better than the thin stuff used way back then.
The rear window was hinged, which allowed passengers in the rear to shoot at any pursing vehicles and a police siren was installed to encourage traffic to move out of the way. More impressive that that, and a hint at how Capone’s mind worked is the green and black paint finish – something that mirrored the Cadillac police cars of the era. At a glance, this thing actually passed as a police car. Well, at least until Capone’s boys started shooting out the back window, anyway.
The car’s history gets a little weird, though, as the car was eventually purchased by someone named Emil Denemark who took possession of the car while Capone was in prison as a payment for debts linked to a pair of Cadillac V-16s. Eventually the car was shipped of to New York and, eventually, England. Someone eventually bought it and restored it at which point most of the armor was removed and the car was placed in Greats museum in Niagra Falls in 1971. So, while most of the armor is now long gone, the various restorations over the years have left the car looking fairly new.
The car itself rides on a 140-inch wheelbase with a beam front axle and floating rear axle that includes semi-elliptic leaf springs. I
t’s powered by a 341 cubic-inch L-Head V-8 that made a fair-for-the-time 90 horsepower.
Shifting duties were handled by a three-speed manual transmission. This engine, by the way, is one of the first V-8s that were sold in the U.S. - Cadillac introduced it in 1914 and sold it through mid-1935. Long history aside, the video you see below actually shows the car moving under its own power. Is it worth a cool $1 million? Well, that’s hard to say – especially without the original armor – but if it was, indeed, Al Capone’s car, then it is one hell of a piece of history.
If you’re really into classic Cadillacs, check out the other cars we’ve covered:
Note: All images of the 1928 Cadillac shown here courtesy of Celebritycars.com