Al Capone's armoured Cadillac auctions for $341,000 in Michigan

Al Capone's 1928 armoured Cadillac has created excitement among collectors, selling for $341,000 in a Michigan auction on July 28.

Al Capoone car Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan 1928
Al Capone's Cadillac - now with full ownership history

The magnificent car featured steel armour weighing more than 3,000 pounds and bulletproof windows to guard against Capone's enemies. It was also painted to look like the cars driven by Chicago police at the time, with windows especially designed for drive-by shootings.

It was consigned to auction after fresh research enabled its provenance to be traced all the way back to 1932, just one year after Capone placed it with a Chicago dealer in preparation for his impending conviction.

That same research led to Richard "Cappy" Capstran's 2008 revelation that his father - a Chicago mechanic - had been forced by the Mob to fit Capone's car with its armour plating. He explained: "My dad said, 'We don't do that kind of work here', and they said, 'You do now.'"

For Capstran's part in assisting his father, he was handed a $10 bill by Al Capone himself, who had turned up to pay his debts personally. Capone was said to have been so impressed with Capstran's father's work that he paid him twice his original quote.

Boasting a V8 engine, with 90 bhp and a three speed manual transmission, the car was among the finest models of its day and is an important piece of US history. Despite this, it did not perform as well as expected and just about topped its $300,000 low estimate - a long way from its high estimate of $500,000.

The less than desirable result is not consistent with those seen by the rest of the classic car market, which has seen some record-breaking results so far in 2012. According to the HAGI Top 50 Index, the value of leading classic cars has grown by 4.49% in the first half of the year. 


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