Not back then, anyhow. Not when the original owner was tooling about. To be fair, some of us would take a ride in several of these cars now, just to take a picture for Instagram.
The danger inherent has long passed, in some cases along with the original owner. In one case, however, you’d have to be pretty twisted to hope for a ride. We’ll come back to that.
Cars are famous for many things. While they all carry luggage, few carry the emotional baggage of the cars on this list. These five cars give new meaning to the words, if these walls… er, doors… could talk.
Al Capone’s 1928 Cadillac Sedan
America’s most famous gangster, Capone reigned during the prohibition years until his death in 1947, age 33. While Capone is famous for many acts, he is famous in legal circles for his criminal conviction.
Despite the trail of blood behind him, prosecutors nailed him for tax evasion. While he was a free man, Capone enjoyed Sunday joy rides in his modified Cadillac.
Capone’s Caddy boasted bulletproof windows, armored plating, a police siren and the first police scanner. After Capone’s arrest, a questionable story shows up in the annals of history that FDR used it for a time, but that’s debatable according to some historians.
In more recent history several owners claim to have the original Capone Caddy, a man in Texas, someone in Britain, and another parked in Chicago.
Ted Bundy’s 1968 Volkswagen Beetle
A man of certain tastes, Bundy copped to 30 homicides during his years of killing. He wasn’t just a murderer. Bundy was a necrophiliac, performing various acts with the dead bodies of his victims until they were no longer substantial enough to use.
Bundy’s tactics for luring his victims varied, but often involved his modified Beetle. To make transport easier, he’d removed the passenger seat of the car. It was the missing seat that police first questioned when they pulled him over in 1975.
In his car, they also found a crowbar, rope, trash bags, an icepick, gloves, handcuffs and a mask.
Bundy served the ultimate price for his crimes. In 1989, the authorities in Florida executed him by electric chair.
OJ Simpson’s 1993 Ford Bronco
On this list, no name captures the rise and fall of the man they called, “The Juice.”
During his best years, Simpson won the Heisman Trophy playing for the the USC Trojans. His NFL record isn’t bad either: the first player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season, and he holds the record for the single-season, yards-per-game average.
It took a far shorter record to destroy all of that; a guilty civil court judgment of Simpson for the murder of his wife. This took place after he’d beaten the criminal trial charges.
These two trails marked the end of a story that, for most of us, began the day news helicopters followed Simpson’s white Ford Bronco as police chased him down a Los Angeles freeway in ’94.
Where that Bronco is today is anyone’s guess.
Hitler’s 1935 Mercedes 770K Limousine
Adolf Hitler is the man who needs little introduction, but just in case… he was the Nazi fascist leader of Germany during WWII who committed acts of genocide, killing 11-million people the Nazi’s viewed as inferior (Jews, Blacks, Gays, and more).
It is a bizarre twist of irony that the man at the helm of such powerful, sweeping destruction, did not drive. Instead, Hitler was a passenger in his Mercedes 770Ks.
He had more than one. Each, he outfitted with tons of armor-plating, a mine-proof floor, and bulletproof glass. Weighing in at five tons, these 770Ks bragged a whopping three miles per gallon.
In reference to riding in any of these cars today, atrocities aside, I think I’d pass just for the sake of financial sensibility.
McVeigh’s Ryder Truck
For this author, it’s a toss up between Hitler’s cars or Timothy McVeigh’s rented Ryder Truck. Both names bear the weight of so much pain, it would be hard to consider riding in either. In the case of the latter, it’s a moot point.
Timothy McVeigh is famous for the biggest act of domestic terrorism ever exacted on the United States. Along with help from his accomplice, Terry Nichols, McVeigh parked a Ryder truck full of homemade explosives in the parking lot of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The explosion from the truck leveled most of the center section of the eight-story building. From the blast, 168 people died, 19 children included.
Oklahoma built a memorial on the site after they razed the building. Authorities executed McVeigh in 2001.
The Ryder truck, by the way, was destroyed in the blast, so even if one was sick enough to hope for a ride in it, no chance.
I don’t know about you, but I could use a shower after that last one. I’ve been to the site in Oklahoma City. The people who live there still remember that day. They still mourn for the changes suffered by the people of their city.
In a more distant way, the people of Germany still suffer from the atrocities of Hitler. It’s unbelievable how much one person can affect so many.
Thankfully, that goes both ways. One person can affect people in positive ways too.
No doubt, the cars on this are as haunted as the people who once owned them. It’s for the best that many of them are lost forever.