Once heavily armored, this car belonged to the world's most famous American gangster.
For sale through Clasiq is this 1928 Cadillac 431A Series once owned by American gangster, Al Capone. Harry LeBreque first purchased the car in May of 1933 from Patrick Moore. Moore passed away and his surviving daughter was Pat Denning, who mentioned that her parents bought car from an agent in Chicago believed to be used by Al Capone. First believed to be bought in Connecticut, it turns out the car was purchased in Chicago.
A 341cui L-head V8 engine was mated to a 3-speed manual transmission and made 90 bhp. Drum brakes all around stopped the car, and the car also featured a beam front axle and full-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. In Capone's hands, the car was heavily armored.
Emil Denemark owned a Cadillac dealership on Chicago’s southside, and he was related to Capone through marriage. Denemark also had a connection with the mob, and documents show that his house and business were bombed in 1927 in a “political attack”.
With relations through marriage and connected to the mob, it only makes sense that one of his clients would be Alphonse Capone. Two V-16s were owned by Capone, and one of them was used to chauffeur Warden David Moneypenny. In an article by the Milwaukee Sentinel, Denemark stated that the chaperone car no longer belonged to Al as both cars were repossessed due to non-payment. It is said that Denemark was only covering for the most dangerous man in Chicago. A license plate check revealed it registered to Mae Capone, and Denemark said that the plates had not been removed yet.
Capone was convicted on October 19, 1931 and right before he tried selling his Florida home, two yachts, and other items for $150,000. One of the sixteens was listed among other vehicles, and after making headlines, it gained attention by the Feds. With everything panning out, the car was listed through an agent on Capone’s behalf just as Denning mentioned, and that agent was Emil Denemark.
Since leaving LeBreque’s ownership, the car was sold to different museums. At one point, the Cadillac ended up in England on display in the late '30s. The US Government asked the British to take the car off display as to not sensationalize American Gangsterism.
In 2008, Richard “Cappy” Capstran, 93, mentioned that he helped install some of the armor on the Cadillac as a young boy in his father’s shop. Having performed work to one of Capone’s other cars, soon after, this new Cadillac was delivered to the shop. When given the work list to be done to the Caddy, the father explained that they “don’t do that kind of work here” where Capone’s men responded with “you do now.” According to Capstran, who remembers the situation vividly, mentioned that the car was backed into the shop so nobody passing by could see the work being done to the car. Capone paid double the asking price and handed Cappy a $10 bill.