Posted on Leave a comment

John Dillinger’s infamous 1933 Ford V8 escape car and other legendary gangster memorabilia are available in an online auction.

John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - left rear

Witherell’s Auction House is presenting The Infamous Dillinger Escape Vehicle, an online auction that will feature the most well-known escape vehicle in American history. The 1933 Ford V8 belonged to Sheriff Lillian Holley before it was stolen by Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. He used the vehicle in a daring jail escape that captured the attention of people worldwide.

John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - rear

John Dillinger was a notorious bank robber who was admired by many during the Great Depression. The Dillinger escape vehicle has become a cultural icon and was often on display in parades and museums.

As “public enemy number one,” Dillinger’s bank robberies and jailbreaks made headlines around the world. He was just as famous as movie stars of the era and was known as a sharply dressed gentleman bandit who inspired numerous books and Hollywood movies, including a portrayal by Johnny Depp in the 2009 film Public Enemies.

In 1934, Dillinger was locked up in Crown Point, Indiana, awaiting trial for the alleged murder of a Chicago police officer. Authorities claimed the jail was “escape-proof” and posted extra guards due to Dillinger’s notoriety and past escapes. According to reports, he used a fake wooden gun he made in his cell to take control of the guards and make his escape in Sheriff Holley’s Ford V-8. The car theft was a fatal mistake and a federal crime, causing the FBI to join the manhunt.

Auction highlights

  • Dillinger Escape Vehicle: 1933 Ford V8 police car, meticulously restored to its original splendor. Estimated value: $100-250K
  • Wooden Gun: Fake gun he used to break out of jail in Crown Point.
  • Dillinger’s Hat: Recovered from a shootout in Wisconsin
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Worn by Dillinger during numerous bank robberies
  • Vintage photos, newspapers, police department bulletins, and wanted posters

Bids can be submitted now through Sunday, August 27th at witherell’s.com. Memorabilia is featured on annexauctions.com.

About John Dillinger

John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 22, 1903. He lived in a working-class family with his father, who was a grocer, and his mother, who was a homemaker. Dillinger was the youngest of two children, and his upbringing was not extraordinary. He attended school until he was 16 years old, when he dropped out to work odd jobs to help support his family.

Dillinger’s criminal career began in his early 20s, when he was arrested for stealing a car and served nine years in prison. During his time in prison, Dillinger became a hardened criminal and learned new techniques that would help him in his future robberies. After his release, he formed the Dillinger Gang and embarked on a string of bank robberies across the Midwest. Dillinger became a notorious figure, earning the nickname “Public Enemy No. 1” from the FBI.

Despite his notoriety, Dillinger was known for his charm and charisma. He often had a loyal following of fans who admired his daring exploits and anti-establishment attitude. However, he also had a violent streak and was responsible for several murders during his criminal career.

Dillinger’s luck eventually ran out. He was arrested in Tucson, Arizona, in January 1934, and extradited to Indiana to face charges for the murder of a police officer. He was later transferred to the Crown Point jail and placed under heavy guard. However, Dillinger managed to escape in a dramatic fashion, fashioning a fake gun out of a wooden washboard and using it to intimidate his guards.

Dillinger’s final days were marked by a nationwide manhunt. He was eventually tracked down and gunned down by FBI agents outside of the Biograph Theatre in Chicago on July 22, 1934. His death was widely publicized and cemented his status as one of America’s most notorious criminals.

John Dillinger Auction picture gallery

Image Credits

In-Article Image Credits

John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 engine via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's black band straw hat via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger The Indianapolis Times Dillinger Loose Hunted by Posse headline via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's Los Angeles Examiner headline - Loose again! via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - rear via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger Chicago Sunday Tribune headline - archenemy of society via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger Detroit Times headline - Dillinger eludes police via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's jail cell woman sheriff via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's Wanted in 5 states poster via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger Sheriff Lillian Holley via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - front via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's wooden gun via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - left side via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - driver's side door open via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger The News headline - Dillinger Killed via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - rear right via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - front left via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's fingerprint chart via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's wooden Colt 38 fake gun via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's bullet proof vest back via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's bullet proof vest via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger at jail via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)
John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - left rear via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)

Featured Image Credit

John Dillinger's 1933 Ford V8 - left rear via Annex Auctions with usage type - Product photo (Fair Use)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *