Q: Greg, would you please re-visit the column you did many years ago on the supposed Al Capone 1931 Dodge? My friend had a 1931 Dodge and we were discussing that Al Capone supposedly had one purchased for his bookkeeper, which your column dealt with. Thanks much.
— Rich H., Massachusetts

A: Rich, I’d be glad to as that column had many a fan response to it.

The original question came from Leon Cloney from Jefferson City, Missouri, and he told of his purchasing a 1931 Dodge four-door sedan in 1997 in Burlington, Iowa, that was previously owned by Al Capone or his bookkeeper. It was all original and had the 8-cylinder engine, which was rare for the time as most of those 1931 Dodges were of the 6-cylinder variety.

Cloney asked if it was possible to obtain paperwork on either Capone or his bookkeeper ever owning the car and that he had tried and failed at both the National Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and also the State DMV in Iowa as neither could help with written proof of ownership.

In answering, I told Cloney that back in 1931 sales information and official records were all hand typed and hand correlated. Usually, this type of written on paper info just plain doesn’t exist anymore. If Capone bought the car to give to his bookkeeper, somewhere down the line they did paperwork and it may be sitting somewhere, someplace, but there’s no guarantee.

In answering the question about Capone’s bookkeeper and the 1931 Dodge, let’s start here.

I was always a huge fan of the 1959 to 1963 “The Untouchables” TV series, which starred Robert Stack as Elliott Ness with narration by noted journalist/radio commentator of the day Walter Winchell. In the television series, the association of Capone’s bookkeeper, namely Jake “Easy Thumb” Guzik, is dealt with in six separate episodes.

Guzik was a lifelong and trusted friend of Capone, especially after tipping Capone there was a “hit” on him and saving Capone’s life. According to legend, one week before Capone went to prison, he rewarded his trusted bookkeeper friend with a new 1931 Dodge Sedan.

Guzik then took care of Capone and his family all the way to Capone’s death in 1947. Guzik died a natural death in 1956, and never owned a gun or was involved in “hits” during his career with the crime syndicate. His job was in the money laundering and bookkeeping end of the operation.

A second Capone financial wizard was Edie O’Hare, a noted St. Louis attorney, businessman and bookkeeper. He played a major role in the 1931 conviction of Capone as he worked undercover for the IRS in the tax evasion conviction. In 1939, a week before Capone was released from Alcatraz, O’Hare was shot and killed while driving his 1939 Lincoln Zephyr. Notable, too, is his being the father of Medal of Honor recipient Butch O’Hare, for whom the Chicago airport is named.

Therefore, of these two bookkeepers, Guzik is the crime family favored employee and surely the one who owned that 1931 Dodge if Leon Cloney’s story told to him when he bought the ’31 Dodge is true.

As for the 1931 Dodge, it had the new “straight eight” 240 cubic-inch engine that produced 84 horsepower. This larger Dodge Sedan version that Capone purchased became the flagship model for the Dodge brand.

Although most of this column is more a history lesson on Capone’s bookkeepers more so than that 1931 Dodge, I’m hoping that Leon Cloney had some luck and did find evidence that his Dodge was indeed a Guzik or Capone-owned vehicle, pending if Guzik ever had it signed over in his name. If any reader out there has information, please write to us.

Hope this all helped Rich and thanks for your letter.

— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other Gatehouse Media properties. He welcomes reader questions and input on auto nostalgia, collector cars and old time racing at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pa. 18840 or email at greg@gregzyla.com.