It is well known that Al Capone built a fortress just south of Rosarito in the late 1920’s as a party house for his friends from Hollywood. The Castle is now known as El Castillo Restaurant. It is also known that Capone was involved in a yacht club and casino built on the Los Coronados Islands offshore of Imperial Beach.
Capone owned a fleet of Ford Model A delivery trucks each painted with the name “Jake’s Moving Company.” Model A Fords had a fuel capacity of 11 gallons of gasoline. It is approximately 136 miles from Los Angeles to Rosarito. Ford Model A trucks had a rating of 24 miles to the gallon.
So a trip from Los Angeles would necessitate refueling before completing a round trip to Rosarito and back. It would seem likely that the greatest number of gas stations in the 1920’s were north of the border. Interstate 5 did not exist at the time.
Would Al Capone have refueled in Imperial Beach and spent time here? Maybe some of our senior citizens could provide additional information on what the area was like during that period of time.
Some people do recall spotting him: A lady from Ensenada once said Capone frequented a restaurant called Fleur de Italia.
John Haupt contributes to a blog on Imperial Beach Patch.