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Mob king Al Capone's armoured car up for grabs at 325k pounds

London, Tue, 10 Jul 2012 ANI

London, July 10 (ANI): Al Capone's Cadillac bulletproof car, that kept him safe from his enemies, is up for auction for 325,000 pounds.

The US, gangster's 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan was fitted with 3,000lb of steel armour, bulletproof glass and painted green with black fenders to mimic a police car, with flashing lights, a siren and police-band radio receiver, the Daily Mail reported.

The bulletproof windows could be raised to reveal holes through which machine guns could be fired, while the rear window could be dropped to let his henchman fire on those chasing them.

Capone was eventually jailed for tax evasion, and ironically his 84-year-old car is classed as a classic and is therefore tax exempt.

Latterly owned by a US car collector, it will be sold at RM Auctions in California on August 20.

The car even had a flashing light, siren and the first police-band radio receiver in private hands.

To further protect its precious load the bulletproof glass windows could be wound further than normal to reveal circular holes through which machine guns could be fired.

And in case this was not enough to deter any drivers taking up the chase, the rear window of the ride was rigged to drop at an instant so Capone's henchmen could open fire at any following cars.

The car, which is thought to have been briefly used by President Franklin Roosevelt after Capone was imprisoned for tax evasion, is expected to fetch a six figure sum at auction.

Considering his crime - the one he was imprisoned for - Capone would probably have been pleased to know that his old car, being 84-years-old, is classed as a classic and is therefore tax exempt.

After Capone's imprisonment, the vehicle went on to be shown around the world, even making a trip to the UK in the 1950's displayed at the Southend-on-Sea amusement park and at the Blackpool funfair.

It later entered the collection of the US motor enthusiast John O'Quinn who died last year in a car crash, and it is now being sold as part of his estate.

In their research into the origins of the car, auctioneers uncovered 92-year-old Richard Capstran, whose mechanic father fitted the armour.

He said Capone's mobsters arrived and told him what they wanted doing.

"My dad said 'we don't do that kind of work here,' and they said 'you do now'," Capstran said.

The car was then backed into the garage so no one could see what was happening to it.

Capstran said Capone turned up to pay the bill himself and even gave the ten-year-old Capstran a ten dollar note - a small fortune to a young boy at the time.

"This is widely considered as one of the most historically significant pre-war American cars," a spokesman for RM Auctions said.

"It is liveried in green with black fenders to mirror the Cadillacs supplied to the Chicago police and city officials at the time.

"It is one of the earliest surviving 'bulletproof' cars and was fitted new with heavy glass measuring nearly an inch thick and completely lined with 3,000lbs of steel armour plating.

"It has undergone restoration and is a fabulous piece of history," he added. (ANI)

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