During the 1920s, Al Capone was one of the most infamous people living in the United States. The Chicago-based mobster started out as a bootlegger and eventually became one of the most feared mobsters in the country. Capone’s reign came to an abrupt end in 1931 when authorities pinned a tax evasion charge on him. Capone spent the remaining eleven years of his life in a federal prison before succumbing to a fatal stroke and heart attack which was triggered by his extreme neurosyphilis.
Al Capone’s Cadillac
Al Capone’s Cadillac tends to generate mixed feelings in the antique Caddy community. On one hand, the car has historical significance. On the other, the 1928 Cadillac was one of the least favorite Caddies produced and isn’t a model that enthusiasts tend to seek out.
The vehicle is stunning and has been beautifully maintained. The four-door sedan style car seats five-passengers is a stunning emerald green that’s accented with black trim and has the stately elegance that contemporary vehicles simply can’t match. Even without the connection to the former mobster, it’s a car that would turn heads and win prizes at auto shows.
In addition to the vehicle’s standard features, this 1928 Caddy is also heavily armored. The armoring was expertly installed so it doesn’t harm the vehicle’s appearance, though it does add approximately 3,000 pounds to the car’s total weight. The windows are also extra thick and the rear window is designed to close extra quickly in case the vehicle draws fire.
Other features found on this 1928 Caddy include an upgraded V8 engine, a 3-speed manual transmission, and heavy-duty drum brakes.
Is it Capone’s Cadillac?
While Celebrity Cars Las Vegas is promoting the vehicle as one that was once part of Capone’s fleet, there’s some question about whether that’s true. Strictly speaking, there’s no official paperwork linking the Caddy to Capone. The story is that when the authorities originally seized all of Capone’s assets, they didn’t realize the mobster had another garage where he kept a stash of valuables, including the Cadillac.
Once the legal smoke settled, Emil Denemark, a prominent member of Capone’s organization who was related via marriage to Capone visited the legendary mobster in prison. Just a short time later, Denemark pulled the Caddy out of storage and sold it to Patrick Moore who planned to use it as an exhibit in their traveling carnival. It was later sold to Harry LaBreque.
While there isn’t any tangible proof that this was Capone’s car, historians feel that the connection to Denemark plus the vehicle’s safety features are enough to promote it as such.
You can own this unique piece of history
If the idea of owning a car that was once Al Capone’s sets your heart racing, you should check out the vehicle which is currently being offered by Celebrity Cars Las Vegas. The vehicle’s VIN number is 306449. Before listing the vehicle, they had it appraised by Andrew Newton, a Hagerty valuation expert.
“The history is certainly fascinating,” Newton said,
“but Al Capone is a controversial figure, and the market spoke in 2012 with its last auction appearance. The car doesn’t appear to have had major work since then, so it’s hard to argue it’s worth a lot more than it sold for eight years ago.”
The second half of Newton’s statement is interesting. Celebrity Cars hope to get a $1 million for the caddy, yet when it was sold to in 2012, the vehicle only fetched $341,000 at the RM Sotheby’s auction.
Would you pay $1 million for the chance to own a piece of Chicago’s dark history?