You Can (still) Buy Al Capone’s Bulletproof 1928 Cadillac V8

Gangsters and their cars have buried themselves in the tapestry of great American mythology. Al Capone and his infamous armored Cadillac are chief among this cosmology’s symbols. It should come as no surprise that when Al Capone bought his 1928 Cadillac new, he immediately sent it off to be modified to suit his professional needs better. Although this car was offered for sale in 2020, it is hitting the market again. 

Al Capone's bulletproof 1928 Cadillac front end
Al Capone’s bulletproof 1928 Cadillac | Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What car did Al Capone drive? 

Like any good gangster, Capone had a stable of cars in which he could be found. However, his heavily modified Cadillac V8 is one of the most infamous. As noted by Silodrome, the 1928 Cadillac Town Sedan was one of the most luxurious cars on the market at the time. Aside from its fine fittings, it was also one of the most powerful cars, thanks to its 5.6-liter V8. 

It’s no coincidence that Al Capone used this Cadillac model to build his bulletproof car. The modifications needed to tankify his fancy ride were extremely heavy, making a powerful powertrain necessary. 

How did Al Capone bulletproof his Cadillac? 

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The armoring process required two main stages and added thousands of pounds of additional weight to the Cadillac. The first step was replacing the original plate glass in the front and back with 1-inch thick glass. The side window frames were also modified in this way. However, the side windows required a bit more attention. In order to manage the heavy glass, the side windows needed heavy-duty springs to allow the windows to be opened and closed. Although Capone surely liked a fresh breeze, these windows needed to open for him and his cronies to return fire to the fuzz. 

The even heavier lifting came when Al Capone’s Cadillac needed steel plates added to the body. Thanks to an interview with a 93-year-old Mr. Richard “Cappy” Capstran – one of the guys involved with the bulletproof build – we now know a little more about how this process was done. 

At only 10 years old at the time, “Cappy” helped out around his dad’s auto body shop. Silodrome reports that Cappy explained that Capone’s men had brought him a car for some repairs in the past, and the shop had done such a good job that they eventually brought him the then-new 1928 Cadillac to have the armor fitted.

Capstran senior had told Capone’s men, “we don’t do that kind of work here.” In a classic lesson in gangsterism, Capone’s men replied, “you do now.” So the steel sections were cut to fit the doors and body panels before being wrapped in asbestos for fireproofing. 

Capone himself came to the shop to collect his new luxury tank. The notorious gangster paid double the cost of the invoice. Upon learning of young Cappy’s involvement, he slipped the young man $10, a small fortune at the time.

How much is Al Capone’s Bulletproof 1928 Cadillac V8 worth? 

Al Capone's bulletproof 1928 Cadillac
Al Capone’s bulletproof 1928 Cadillac | Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 2012, Al Capone’s bulletproof Cadillac was sold at RM Sotheby’s for $341,000.

Even though Capone didn’t get to use his new ride for long, given his nearly decade-long incarceration starting in 1929, this gangster mobile is commanding a heavy sum in the asking price. 

Al Capone’s Cadillac traded hands many times after the authorities auctioned it off its role as evidence was complete. At some point in the 1950s, the car was restored. Unfortunately, the original plate steel armor was removed during this process – probably to reduce the weight back down to a more manageable level. 

Celebrity Cars in Las Vegas is taking a crack at selling the infamous gangster’s car with an asking price of $1 million. This offer has been on the table for an astounding two years with no takers. Will anyone step up to the plate now?

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