The best getaway cars of all time
Jaguar S-Type: Alternative to the archetype
Famously used in the 1960s by British gangsters (both real and fictional), the Mk 2 Jaguar is the archetypal getaway car. But perhaps the S-Type would have been more suitable, given its larger boot (all the more room for loot) and independent rear suspension, allowing for a more controlled and comfortable escape.
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Cadillac Series 62 Fastback Coupé: One for the Don
Looking particularly menacing in black, the Type 62 was popular with the American Mafia in the 50s. In fastback coupé form, it’s perhaps suitable as the personal transport of the Boss, while the Mafia's 'soldiers' are likely to have found the saloon more convenient for drive-by duties.
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Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am: Cannonball cruiser
The 1976 film Cannonball saw protagonist Coy Buckman enter an illegal road race in a second-generation Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, using its thunderous power before totalling it after falling asleep at the wheel. It might not be the most discreet of vehicles; but with all that muscle from the huge-capacity V8, who cares?
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Citroën Traction Avant: Notorious namesake
Though it saw one of the first successful applications of front-wheel drive and a monocoque chassis, the Traction Avant gained just as much fame for being the wheels of choice for Gallic criminal gangs. One notorious group of Parisian outlaws was actually so fond of the car that the criminals became known as the ‘Gang des Tractions Avant’.
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Lamborghini Countach: Night-time courier service
With its playboy image, intimidating appearance and performance to match, the Countach was a favourite of American drug barons in the 80s. Rumour has it that an American 'mule' or drug-runner used one to carry out cross-country overnight excursions – with a baffled engine bay and masked headlights (the driver wore night-vision googles) to avoid detection.
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Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W140): Best car, worst intentions
Though it’s not exactly the most agile transport, the W140 was the chosen chariot of many an underworld chief, not to mention other big cheeses – from Russian oligarchs to gangster rappers – perhaps united by an acceptance of the S-Class’s ‘best car in the world’ label.
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Photos: Classic Driver dealers / auction houses