Art Market: Gangster's car for sale complete with guns

A THIRTIES gangster car covered with 105 bullet holes is to be sold at Christie's at Pebble Beach, California, next month. The armour-plated Lincoln sedan is said to have belonged to 'Dutch' Schultz, once the FBI's public enemy number one, who was immortalised on screen recently by the actor Dustin Hoffman in Billy Bathgate.

Although it has done only 35,291 miles, the 1931 car may not be roadworthy: as an outlaw car, it is still illegal to drive it on public roads without a special permit.

However, once inside, passengers are entirely safe. Luxurious camel-hair upholstery covers the armour-plating; even the radiator and petrol tank, as well as the windows, are bullet-proof. It also has four built-in Thompson sub- machine guns and space for more weapons under the floorboard.

'Dutch' Schultz's misfortune was getting out of the car. He was gunned down in 1935, at the Palace Chop House and Tavern in Newark, New Jersey, by Charlie 'The Bug' Workman. The car was apparently seized first by Al Capone's mob and later by the police who sold it at public auction. Christie's are expecting it to make between pounds 15,000 and pounds 20,000.

A major Gainsborough drawing of a peasant family going to market yesterday sold to an anonymous telephone bidder at Christie's for pounds 352,000.

The 1770s drawing passed from the collection of Gainsborough's widow to their daughter; in 1947, it was acquired by Sir Kenneth (later Lord) Clark, the distinguished art historian, for his collection at Saltwood Castle. The trustees of the family settlement brought the drawing to auction.

Phillips in Scotland has broken the world auction record for a golf ball. A rare example, made in 1849 by Allan Robertson, of Scotland, fetched pounds 19,250.

Letters, page 20

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