"Purple Gang" Car

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"Purple Gang" Car

While it almost sounds like something sweet and chummy, the "Purple Gang" car was named after the 1920s and '30s Detroit gang known for its robbing, shooting and boozing, and even for the attempted murder of a U.S. Senator. At three o'clock on a summer morning in 1936, police raided a junkyard in Albion, Mich. -- a frequent midway stop on gang runs and crime sprees between Detroit and Chicago -- and in addition to capturing more than half a dozen Purple Gang affiliates, they confiscated the "gangsta" car, which was riddled with bullet holes from previous chases and attempted seizures.

What stands out about this junkyard find is that the car was a very tricked-out mobster mobile with some of the following special features: three-quarter-inch, bullet-proof glass; two-sided license plates for quickly changing the car's identity; metal armor flaps for deflecting bullets and keeping rear tires from puncturing under gunfire; eight guns, including revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, pistols and rifles; sledge hammers, claw tools, six flashlights, a wrecking bar, a monkey wrench and other burglary tools; explosive dynamite and blasting caps; an empty bank bag; and lots of rubber wire [source: Passic].

Now that's a "fully loaded" automobile.

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