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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Tracked Down: Dillinger's 1933 Ford V-8 getaway cop car

If she were alive today, Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff Lillian Holley would no doubt be upset knowing that she and her stolen 1933 Ford V-8 have made their way back into headlines after 87 years.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/tracked-down-dillingers-1933-ford-v-8-getaway-cop-c...
28 REPLIES 28
Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

If she were alive today, Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff Lillian Hatch Holley would no doubt be upset knowing that she and her stolen 1934 Ford V-8 have made their way back into headlines after 87 years.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/tracked-down-dillingers-1934-ford-v-8-getaway-cop-c...
gfviperman
Detailer

Was lucky to drive a '34 ford a few years ago ...
Did grind a few gears ...
But it ran and drove really well ... great fun and surprise!!!
syp2815
New Driver

It is a 1933 Ford, not a 1934, as easily determined by the grille and hood louvres. Otherwise, an interesting story. The Bonnie & Clyde sedan WAS a 1934. Ford’s we’re popular due to their V-8’s.
Jeff
Hagerty Employee

Thanks for the heads up. You are correct, the Ford is a 1933 model; the jail break occurred in '34. That has been corrected. Sorry about the confusion.

mpzz
Detailer

Fords were
1933ford
Intermediate Driver

it has a 33 grill!!!!
bigwindowjim
New Driver

If I didn't know better, I would say that the car is a 1933 and not a 1934. I can only say that, because I own a '33 Ford 3 window, and the crank hole in the grill shell is oval like the '33 cars and not a badge shaped hole like the '34's.
930Flachbau
Intermediate Driver

Destroy it. Dillinger was a cold blooded murderer and cherishing an artifact in his life of crime defies common sense.
alanb1958
New Driver

The car was owned by a Sheriff, and not Dillinger.  He stole it from her during a prison break.  Are you going to pay the bills to destroy someone else's car, because you don't want to have any memory of Dillinger?

ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Common sense? I don't see any in your comment.
Srmert
Intermediate Driver

So destroy the Crown Point courthouse too because it is an artifact of Dillinger’s life of crime…
You need to GET COMMON SENSE.
Lightning1
Detailer

Yo Flachbau, since you feel so strong about this, why don't you contact Mike Love, pay him whatever he wants for it and destroy it. I'd say it's worth 2-3 million, but that's OK. You must have plenty!
4pizon
Pit Crew

I couldn’t agree more. Hell, let’s start destroying anything with a negative history! Why not.
1933ford
Intermediate Driver

it also has 33 hood side panels so must have been registered as a 34???
MustangJim
Advanced Driver

I think that's a cool story, thank you.
Dobtruckers
New Driver

33 grille shell and hood sides. Also the serial (later called VIN) number is a 33 number
1933 V8 40 18- 203,127 to 18- 457,477
1934 V8 40 18- 457,478 to 18-1,234,356
merlebalke
Detailer

Only one picture of the restored car? Disappointing.
BobfromFL
New Driver

Interesting story. In a similar vein I saw the car that Bonnie and Clyde were reportedly shot to death in, along with a display of the clothes they were wearing when they were killed, in a casino in Primm, NV. Apparently their relatives sold off their belongings as souvenirs. Kinda grisly, but was a fascinating insight to that time period.
Rrrich
New Driver

Yes cool story. The police report just says V8 Ford sedan, not 1934. Looks like it is a 1933 Ford with current 1934 plates. The engine engine number is correct, the owner just needs to correct his records to show it is a 1933 Ford.
mvillmer
Pit Crew

That is such a cool story! Thanks for sharing!
Tim
Instructor

Several people who know more than I about '33 and '34 Fords have commented that this appears to be a '33 and not a '34. It seems somewhere down the line someone mis-registered this car as a '34. I wonder what it would take to get that corrected.
OldFordMan
Detailer

I don't see anywhere it says it was a 34. Stolen in 34, but states it is a 33.
DaveB
Intermediate Driver

what a fascinating story. I love hearing about cars that were lost being found.
RoadDog
Intermediate Driver

Yes, a very interesting story. And the story of a female sheriff in 1933 might be an interesting one as well...
MikeOD
New Driver

The picture was taken in 1934 - of course it has a 1934 license plate on it.
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

The story is amazing. The fact that the car somehow still exists after all this time and the events surrounding it is nothing short of a miracle. This car definitely needs to be preserved! Also such a good looking body style on that car.

mpzz
Detailer

Edsel Ford, who designed those years, was a genius.

4pizon
Pit Crew

Great story, really cool car, amazing find.
I see a few negative comments. So sad to live life with such a mentality.
I own many historical items. Some with good history and some with bad. The key word is history! Study, learn and understand. This is how our poorly under developed species is ever so slowly moving forward.