• The Boss’ 1933 Lincoln KB V-12 – Coming to a Theatre Near You!

The Boss' 1933 Lincoln KB V-12 – Coming to a Theatre Near You!
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Frank Nitti. John Dillinger. Captain Jack Sparrow.

And the one thing the all have in common: a certain 7 passenger Lincoln, one of only 110 KB Lincolns equipped with a V-12 engine, a 1933 Lincoln, black as befits a car of such dignity.

It was Frank Nitti’s car. Now, it’s going to be a star in a movie about John Dillinger. The other stars include Johnny Depp.

The movie is filming right now, which is occasioning a new day for Nitti’s Lincoln.

Frank Nitti controlled organized crime in Chicago, back in the day when organized crime controlled Chicago. He had worked his way up through the Capone organization to become number two. When Capone was sent to prison, Nitti took over.

(more after the jump)

Dillinger, of course, was the original “public enemy number one.” In the depression, Dillinger made an occupation of robbing banks. Banks were not all that popular in those days, due to such things as dust bowl farm foreclosures, so his criminality was attended by an element of glamour, at least in the eyes of some segments of the press and public. Dillinger was shot to death by FBI agents outside a Chicago theatre in 1934, after the woman accompanying him had set him up in exchange for being allowed to remain in the country. (The FBI later double-crossed her and she was deported.)

Depp, of course, is the man whose star became a galaxy, due to “Pirates of the Caribbean” in its various incarnations. He’s staring in the Dillinger movie, working title “Public Enemy.”

When you make a movie set in the thirties, you need cars from the thirties. When you are shooting on location – in this case, Wisconsin – you need cars from the thirties that are in the neighborhood.

Which is where Nitti’s Lincoln comes into the story. The film studio began a search for cars. One source was a Milwaukee man who owns four, including Nitti’s Lincoln. Though thought to be exceptionally valuable due to its history, for some unexplained reason the car was stored in Iowa and hadn’t been driven in fifteen years. (The pictured car is a 1933 Lincoln KB, but not Nitti’s. Have to buy a ticket to the movie to see the real Nitti car, it seems.)

So, the studio ended up making a deal, and that deal brought the car to a Wisconsin shop, An American Classic, a company owned by a former General Motors and Harley-Davidson engineer that specializes in sixties Corvettes, but was commissioned to take on the job of resuscitating Nitti’s Lincoln for the film.

And, so, when filming moves on to Chicago, Frank Nitti’s Lincoln KB will return to its old home town.

In the process, it’s going to make the movie worth the price of admission.

Ralph Kalal
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