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For most used car buyers, blood-stained upholstery is a deal-breaker, but if it’s the right blood, it really can up the vehicle’s value. That was the case with a 1930 Model A Ford used as a getaway car by gangster John Dillinger that recently sold at auction for $165,000.
Although most Model A Fords fetch around $13,000 today, CNN Money reported that this car, which Dillinger and two cohorts nabbed from a Wisconsin garage in 1934, sports one-of-a-kind bullet holes and bloodstains from an altercation with FBI agents, upping the value.
Dillinger came across the car in 1934 when he and associates Homer Van Meter and John Hamilton were staying at a lakeside resort in Wisconsin. The resort’s owner tipped off FBI agents that the notorious bank robbers were hiding out there, and the trio fled to a nearby home and forced the Model A’s owner to drive them to safety.
Eventually, police caught up with Dillinger’s gang, and a gunfight ensued, leaving Hamilton fatally wounded. His bloodstains remain in the car over 75 years later, CNN Money said.
Dillinger ultimately abandoned the Model A in Chicago, and it was returned to its original owner. Thirty years later, the car sold for $1,400. Recently, the car made an appearance in the 2009 film “Public Enemies,” which tells Dillinger’s story.
Despite the car’s storied past, McKeel Hagerty, president of collector car insurer Hagerty Insurance, said $165,000 is still a hefty price to pay for a Ford Model A, which is hardly considered a rare car.
“I have to admit, this is a surprising price for a Model A, regardless of ownership,” he said.
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