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Rob Griffin

The world’s best getaway cars


We take a look at the vehicles criminals have long relied upon to leave law enforcement officials in their wake.

Getaway cars

The title of "world’s greatest getaway car" might not be an accolade that manufacturers are keen to splash across their advertising posters.

However, it’s certainly guaranteed to catch the eye of the criminal underworld.

Their attributes are clear: fast enough to outrun even the most persistent police force yet nimble handling to negotiate packed streets.

A sizeable boot to stash weapons and loot and the ability to escape attention when parked outside a bank may also come in handy too.

Jaguar MK2

Getaway cars

When newspapers started reporting back in the 1960s that the Jag had become a beloved tool of crime families it only helped cement its reputation as a tough, well-built, reliable and fast set of wheels.

With plenty of performance, a roomy interior, and great agility for a car of its size, it’s easy to understand why the MK2 proved as popular with those on the wrong side of the law as it has done with classic enthusiasts ever since.

Of course, those on the right side of the law, including famed TV detective Inspector Morse, have also used it.

Ford Transit

Getaway cars

Its inclusion may raise some eyebrows but believe it or not the trusty Ford Transit was once dubbed “Britain’s most wanted van” after police revealed back in 1972 that it had become the favoured vehicle for robbers.

A Scotland Yard spokesman pointed out: “Ford Transits are used in 95% of bank raids.

“With the performance of a car, and space for 1.75 tonnes of loot, the Transit is proving to be the perfect getaway vehicle...”

Millions of these amazing vans have been sold in various guises since the 1960s -although obviously not all have been used for criminal gain.

Ford Model A

Getaway cars

Arriving on the scene in the late 1920s as the successor to the Ford Model T, it was the first to sport the iconic blue oval logo and featured innovations such as a safety glass windshield.

Despite the obvious problems surrounding the Great Depression, Ford managed to sell more than 15 million by 1931.

However, it ended up enjoying a particular claim to fame in being used as a getaway car by American gangster John Dillinger.

The notorious criminal and his gang, who robbed more than 20 banks in their crime spree, successfully fled from FBI agents in a Ford Model A (not the one pictured) – despite the car being covered in bullet holes.

1930 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Armored Imperial Sedan

Getaway cars

This remarkable machine was owned by one of the world’s most notorious gangsters – Al Capone, head of the legendary crime gang known as The Outfit - and it was anything but a standard machine.

Based around a seven-passenger Imperial Sedan by Fleetwood, its doors are reinforced with steel armour a quarter of an inch thick, while bulletproof glass provided protection.

It was even equipped with a police radio.

Fully restored and authenticated, the actual car – which is pictured - went under the hammer at an auction by Bonhams in 2009 and fetched a cool £197,956.

Mini Cooper

Getaway cars

It may have earned its getaway credentials on the big screen in hit movie The Italian Job, but the little Mini Cooper has just about everything you would look for in the perfect getaway car.

It’s small enough to navigate itself round the tiniest of streets and with enough power to keep ahead of the chasing pack…even with a boot full of gold.

Okay, so it won’t suit large gangs but you can’t have everything.


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