Eight Notorious Getaway Cars You Should Buy
Take a page from criminals who (almost) outran the fuzz.
Vincent Asaro, the longtime mob figure acquitted yesterday of helping pull of the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist immortalized in “Goodfellas,” knows a thing or two about getaways. The verdict got us thinking about other notable escapes and near-escapes, and even more so the machines that empowered legendary malefactors.
1. Ford Econoline 150 Van
This is the actual truck used to haul the $6 million score from the Lufthansa caper. The driver, Parnell “Stacks” Edwards, failed to properly destroy this lumbering piece of evidence, opting instead to get high at his girlfriend’s apartment. By the time he sobered up, the cops had impounded the van and linked it back to mastermind Jimmy “The Gent” Burke and the Lucchese crime family. “Goodfellas” accurately shows Edwards’s fate: “Stacks” (played by Samuel Jackson) got whacked. Meanwhile, prosecutors contended, Asaro used the purloined cash to buy a 1979 Bill Blass model Lincoln Mark V and a boat. (So...he bought two boats?)
2. 1934 Ford V8
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow yanked this Detroit icon from a driveway in Topeka, Kansas during their murderous spree across the heartland. Allegedly, Barrow liked the Ford V8 so much he wrote Henry Ford to praise it, noting for “freedom from trouble, the Ford has got every other car skinned.” The felonious lovebirds — and the poor innocent Ford — all met a swift death in May of 1934 courtesy of a hail of lawmen’s bullets. Riddled with hundreds of holes and covered in blood stains, the car was returned to the owners, who promptly sold it. Currently, it’s making the rounds between Nevada casinos as an macabre exhibit.
3. 1930 Ford Model A
John Dillinger used this three-speed coupe to evade more than two dozen feds dispatched to his hideout in Wisconsin in 1934. “Public enemy number one” and two of his cohorts fled, all four cylinders firing — and all guns blazing. They eluded capture, though one of Dillinger’s men died of his wounds days later. Dillinger met his fate a few months later. Allegedly, the Model A still bears blood stains and bullet holes. The car last sold at auction for $165,000 in Arizona in 2010.
4. 1947 Packard Custom Super 8 Sedan
With spiffy lines, luxurious accents and that renowned 356 inline-eight, it’s easy to see why Al Capone gravitated to the Super 8. It harnessed what was then the most powerful car engine in the world. With an MSRP of $3,900, the sedan wasn’t cheap. But Capone could more than afford it. Shortly before his death he bought two, identical in color. One was shipped to his home in Florida, while the other stayed at his residence in Chicago. The reasoning? The feds would have a harder time keeping tabs on him.
5. Mickey Munday’s fleet of custom boats, cars and planes
As the only living Cocaine Cowboy not in prison, Munday has proven to be the craftiest member of the Medellin cartel. He was skilled at transporting tons of Pablo Escobar’s Columbian marching powder into Florida, and did so by customizing all manner of vehicles. He once told co-conspirator Jon Roberts, “If it rolls, floats or flies, I can make it go faster.” For fellow smuggler Max Mermelstein, Munday modded out a green Lincoln with a landau top to include a trunk so deep, claimed Roberts, “you could’ve a stood a midget in there and closed the lid.” To keep it looking normal, Munday added air shocks to hike up the rear when fully loaded. He once purportedly passed a Coast Guard boat in distress, while piloting his own souped up beater boat — with a half ton of yayo hidden in the hull. He was so confident in his craft, he tossed the Guard a line and towed them ashore.
6. M60 Patton Tank
In 1995, an ex-soldier named Shawn Nelson, drunk and depressed and living in San Diego, pilfered a 57-ton M60A3 from a nearby armory. (If you’re wondering, this model had a push-start ignition — no key required.) Nelson led the entire police force on a slow speed chase — the tank maxed out at 30 mph — around residential streets while it decimated RVs, flattened cars, annihilated traffic lights and attempted to fell a pedestrian bridge. When Nelson tried to jump a highway divider into oncoming traffic, he got stuck on the median. The police pried the hatch open and fatally shot him. Had Nelson continued on, the plan was to call in an attack helicopter to take out the tank, as the police and SWAT were out of tactical options.
7. 1993 Ford Bronco
Technically, The Juice didn’t get away, but we’re still a fan of the Bronco. Unfortunately not many others were, and sales for the two-door V8 were in a steady slump for years before O.J. Simpson hopped in one and led police on a low-speed chase in front of 95 million television viewers. Ford claims the model was already earmarked to be discontinued, though there was an uptick in sales by nearly 30% the year of the chase. The Bronco limped along until 1996 when production ceased to make way for the Explorer and Expedition.
8. 1985 Lincoln Town Car
This wide-bodied whale pulls double duty as a getaway car or a coffin. Case in point: Paul Castellano’s murder in December of 1985. When pulling up to Spark’s Steakhouse in Manhattan, Castellano, the reputed kingpin of the Gambino mob, opened the door to the Town Car he was riding in only be rubbed out by John Gotti’s soldiers. It’s believed Gotti was there to witness the hit, though doubts remain about his exact role. What is known, however, is the killers escaped in...a 1985 Lincoln Town Car.