Criminals and their everyday lifesavers – the infamous villain vehicles

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 13, 2016

Every evil villain always has a plan B involving some kind of getaway vehicle whether it is in the form of a getaway vehicle or as modern as a luxury vehicle. Did you know who actually started using the concept of a getaway vehicle?

It was in the 1800s when the famous American outlaw, Jesse James, first introduced the concept of a getaway vehicle during his crime spree. Jesse and his brother Frank James were both guerrillas or as some call it “Bushwhackers” during the American Civil War.

They were also bank robbers and in some occasions, they robbed trains too. And most probably, during that time, the only getaway vehicle they could get was their fastest steed.

But long gone are the horseback getaway days because four-wheeled armours of steel have now entered the scene. Here are a few of the most notorious criminals from across the globe and their prized possessions – their cars.

Al Capone

American gangster, bootlegger, racketeer and big boss of the Chicago Outfit, Al Capone was dubbed as “Public Enemy No. 1” during his time. It was in the early 1900s when next to the tommy gun, a fast set of wheels was every gangster’s best friend; and it does not exclude Al Capone from the number of gangsters who always liked to flash their fancy cars.

He was always known to be the flashy kind of guy as he was very sociable (for a gangster). He owned a 1928 341A Cadillac that was the first of a few with a body armour and bullet proof glass. Of course, being a gangster boss always had its cons and having a few fiends was always a welcome case.

Rumours have it that when Al Capone was arrested, his 1928 341A Cadillac was used by none other than President Franklin D. Roosevelt as his presidential vehicle. That car must’ve been that awesome for two prominent personalities to have used it.

Aside from his 1928 341A Cadillac, Capone also has a 1940 V-16 Cadillac which is currently housed at the Collings Foundation in Massachusetts. However, viewing of the said vehicle is done by appointment only. Al Capone must have a thing for Cadillacs, don’t you think?

Jordan Belfort

An infamous character made even more well-known because of 2016 Oscar Awardee Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of him in the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Jordan Belfort is listed as one of America’s greatest fraudsters. A genius in his own craft, Belfort was famous for his connection with stock market manipulation and some other uncanny transactions.

He founded the Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage house, in 1989 and has since then accumulated an estimated fortune of £60 million. His life was mainly that of extravagance – parties, severe use of recreational drugs and fast cars.

Belfort actually drove a Mercedes although it was depicted in the movie that he drove a Lamborghini Countach. But that does not reduce his capability to be extravagant as he also owns a private yacht and a helicopter, as well as a Jaguar E-Type and his prized possession, a Ferrari Testarossa (which is now on sale).

Joaquin Guzman Loera or El Chapo

Next on our list is famous Sinaloa cartel big boss, El Chapo. Joaquin Guzman Loera or El Chapo, as he is popularly called, is the founder of the world’s most powerful drug-trafficking organization. He has an estimated fortune of more than £70 million and was ranked 701 on the 2009 Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

He is also known for being violent and for a couple of daring prison escapes. Naturally, with that much money and power, everything comes easy for him and this includes owning some of the world’s most prestigious vehicles. He owns a fully-loaded Jeep Sahara, a Dodge Viper, a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a Dodge Challenger, an SRT Hellcat and several motorcycles. Some collection, isn’t it?

Ronnie and Reggie Kray

Even with their title as the most dangerous men in Britain, twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray were once the rulers of East London in the sixties. Just like Al Capone, the Kray Twins were prominent figures in society and were often seen flaunting their wealth and power.

And just like the previous people on our list, the Kray Twins also owned a variety of luxury vehicles that included an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, a Standard Vanguard and a couple of Ford Zodiacs. Their long-time mechanic Bernie Fineman even revealed that he was often called in the wee hours of the morning to fix dents on some of their vehicles where he usually found knuckle dusters, baseball bats and iron bars in the car’s panels.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Probably the most famous criminal couple, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow became notorious because of stealing a car and taking it with them on their 2,500-mile robbery and killing spree.

It was then that the new flathead V8-powered Ford became popular especially among the outlaws in the United States. It is also said that Barrow wrote to Henry Ford in April of 1934 praising the vehicle.

John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer

Even after he declared bankruptcy in 2005, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer is still considered one Britain’s richest criminal. He has an estimated fortune of about £300 million. He was said to be involved in the 1983 Brink’s-MAT robbery – a crime which involved £78 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds and cash.

He was also connected to some underground activities which included racketeering and extortion. Wealthy as he was, he was listed 105th in the Sunday Times Rich List, a spot he shared with the Queen of England. He owned a large collection of classic cars, a £1 million yacht and a fleet of helicopters. His collection of classic cars, which is estimated to be worth £500,000, included rare Ferraris and Porsches.

Zodiac Killer

Up to this day, the mystery of the Zodiac Killer has never been sold. But it is also because of the crimes connected to the Zodiac Killer that the Chevrolet Impala became popular.

Even before the crimes, the Chevrolet Impala was famous with over a million sold. The Zodiac Killer was known to own one of these Impalas which caused public hysteria as people were then calling the police for sightings of the said killer.

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