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You talkin‘ to me? These 10 prohibition era cars will take you back to mobtown

Allow us to take you back nearly a century, when mafia dons and pesky crims burned rubber in some of America’s finest cars, some of which are now set to go under the hammer at the Gooding & Company’s upcoming sale.

A freshly steamed pinstripe suit, a fat Cuban tucked into the breast pocket, a wad of mostly dirty money in the pocket, a fresh clip loaded into the army-grade Thompson, what’s missing? For the mafia bosses of the 1930s, the keys-wallet-phone routine was a little more complex, and while the gun should get you out of some sticky situations, the keys to the perfect getaway car is the highest priority on that list.

American cars during the 1930s were built very much like their owners – tough, simplistic, but damn stylish all the same. The automobile was only in its infancy, and yet manufacturers like Chrysler, Ford and Studebaker were hell-bent on building the most outlandish vehicles possible, making a slow cruise down fifth avenue something of a spectacle. Ford were well on their way to producing their 20,000,000th car by 1930, and driving was becoming more and more accessible to those with money, and those who didn’t. 

For those who did have money to burn, be it clean or dirty, the choices were endless. Take this 1934 Lincoln KB for example, a 12-cylinder drop-top designed for the upper-echelons of the Upper East Side, capable of hosting seven passengers, who could all enjoy the wind in their fresh curls thanks to its Fiat 500-length folding canvas roof. Cars weren’t just used for mobility back then, they were status symbols, showcasing wealth with more front than any fancy suit or mansion. If you rocked up to the Rockefeller in a long-bodied Caddy or Lincoln, you were the VIP’s VIP. 

Here are ten of the coolest pre-war delights we spotted at Gooding & Company’s upcoming Estate of Mark Smith Auction, set to take place on April 7th.