ACD Museum to display 1933 Ford stolen by John Dillinger; owner to host Q&A

Local News

Courtesy of the Auburn Duesenberg Automobile Museum

AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – The Auburn Duesenberg Automobile Museum (ACD) has announced that it will host the 1933 Ford V-8 in its first-ever public display.

This Ford was owned by Crown Point sheriff Lillian Holley and stolen by John Dillinger when he escaped from the county prison. Sheriff Holley’s Ford will be on display along with a collection of other John Dillinger related artifacts including:

  • A pair of Sheriff Holley’s handcuffs
  • A revolver owned by Holley
  • A Thompson submachine gun that was stolen by Dillinger and his gang from the Auburn police department in 1934
  • A variety of other small artifacts
Notorious gangster John Dillinger was at large in the 1930s. Image courtesy of AP.

John Dillinger enthusiast and expert, Mark Love, will be at the museum on Oct. 27 beginning at 5 p.m. for a Q & A session and to introduce the collection on display. The free event will take place inside the Museum.

Vehicle background

On March 3, 1934, Dillinger broke of the Crown Point jail and stole a 1933 Ford V-8 for his escape, taking fellow prisoner Herbert Youngblood, mechanic Edwin Saager, and Deputy Sheriff Ernest Blunk as prisoner. The stolen Ford belonged to Indiana sheriff Lillian Holley, who was stationed at the Crown Point jail. Dillinger had Blunk drive the Ford, where 23 miles west of Crown Point, the Ford skidded off the road and into a ditch. Blunk and Saager were dropped off south of Peotone, Illinois. Dillinger and Youngblood proceeded to Chicago where he was met by Detective Lerimer Hyde, who gave chase. Dillinger stayed in Chicago for two days, evading police while still using Holley’s Ford. Two days later, the car was found abandoned at 1057 Ardmore Ave. It is theorized that Dillinger and his gang was able to use the car in Chicago for two days was because early reports of the stolen car stated the incorrect license plate number.

The 1933 Ford and related artifacts will remain on display to the public until September 2022 courtesy of Mark Love of Litchfield, Arizona.

Visit automobilemuseum.org or the museum’s Facebook page for details and more information.

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