This is a fully restored 1933 Essex Terraplane believed to have once been owned by
gangster John Dillinger. Indepth researched has been ongoing for months. The Dillinger
Gang was well known to favor the 1933 Essex Terraplane 8 - when they could get one.
n 1933, the Essex Company (Hudson), installed a huge 8 cylinder engine in their cars
- to beat Ford - and they did! This was the "hot rod" of it's day! While Dillinger
used the more common Ford V8, he did use the fast Terraplane 8.
Mr. Jones' talks with an original owner revealed that this Terraplane was pulled out
of a field, just outside of Noblesville, Indiana, after Hubert and John Dillinger had
wrecked it. Further inquiries were made to verify the story. This Hudson Terraplane
was fully restored some thirty years ago. In the process, two bullet holes were leaded
in. They were in the front lower cowl panel area. The front right fender had also been
repaired or replaced and was blue.
In the history of Dillinger's Essex T8, there were two vehicles involved, St. Paul to
Kokomo/Noblesville. Pearl Elliot was seen driving in a new automobile in Kokomo, just
prior to the Dillinger brothers wreck just outside of town. This is according to Matt
Leach and Sheriff Hattery who were investigating the wreck. After being spotted, she
sped away and was lost in traffic. Mary Kinder, who was under surveilance by the police,
even though her boyfriend was in jail for murder, had disappeared just past the city
limits very early on Saturday morning, the same morning that a black Hudson was found.
The newspapers had given two seperate accounts stating either black or black & blue
Hudson Terraplanes. One was wrecked, barely avoiding a Model T and then careened into
a field, hitting a tree stump.
The other vehicle was run off the road because of a cabbage truck, but was driven back
to Noblesville on it's own accord. The second one, the one, that was involved in the
cabbage truck collision, was more gangster related and was under suspicion as possibly
being a Dillinger car.
Recent findings: Dillinger & his girlfriend Billie Frechette had a running gun battle
with the police. Recent research revealed that they escaped in a green, blue or black
& blue Terraplane Sedan. The bullet holes were possibly made as Dillinger was driving
away and were an attempt to blow a tire by the cops (reason-the location of the holes).
Dillinger was shot in the leg. Seven days later, on a return trip from Ohio, Hubert
fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked the car. Accounts call it a '34 Hudson, Essex
Terraplane, Hudson Terraplane or Hudson! It was very confusing in those days, as the
"Essex", a subsidiary of Hudson, was the second year of the "Terraplane" and last year
of the Essex. It's confusing today. The car is listed, in all the research material
as black or blue & black. Mr. Jones' Hudson Essex Terraplane 8 had been repainted a
Burgundy color, originally black or blue and black. Papers found in the car, showed
it was possibly purchased in St Paul. Other accounts say Mankato.