• Jan 9, 2011
1963 Pontiac Bonneville JFK ambulance – Click above for high-res image gallery

Few ambulances have ever been as well-known as the Pontiac that transported the remains of the late President John F. Kennedy after his assassination. And now it's going up for auction.

The 1963 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance was one of only 69 of its kind built, and only 15 commissioned for military application. This particular example was assigned to Bethesda Naval Hospital in DC, and was sent to collect the flag-draped casket of the slain commander-in-chief from Air Force One upon its arrival at Andrews Air Force Base and bring it, accompanied by grieving widow Jacqueline and brother Robert F. Kennedy, to the hospital and then on to Capitol Hill.

The ambulance was retired from service several years later and sold as surplus before landing in the collection of its current owner, who is now putting it up for auction at the 40th-anniversary Barrett-Jackson extravaganza in Scottsdale later this month. It's in apparent immaculate original condition and has been featured in magazines and at the 2010 national convention of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, where it was lauded with the Gold Award.



[Source: Speed | Images: PontiacsOnline]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I might be interested if it had a 421 and a 4 speed...what a sleeper!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember hearing about this going up for auction a couple of years ago. Living in Dallas, anything JFK-related is news here. Oswald's original coffin sold at auction for $87k last month. His brother Robert, who lives here in TX, was upset, and wanted to see the coffin destroyed. The coffin held Oswald's remains until they was exhumed in the early '80s for tests related to a new assassination inquiry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it creepy for me to say that this is quite a stylish vehicle for being a hearse/ambulance?

      It's too bad that modern day ambulances, hearses, and other vehicles of similar type didn't incorporate so much style where it didn't block the function of the vehicle's purpose too much.. I would rather my last ride (it's gonna happen) be in one of these over your usual Econoline ambulance.
      • 4 Years Ago
      MMmmm... Ghostbusters anyone?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I actually saw this hearse back in July maybe on it way from where it was to Arizona, took some pictures, at that time I didn't realized it was a piece of history, literally.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No there are only 15 stupid
        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah, because there's only one gray, Pontiac hearse in the world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      what a different time, "no smoking while patient in ambulance" haha
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hehe, yeah I noticed that sign too. Not strictly forbidden to smoke inside the ambulance, just when there's a patient in it! Certainly in the spirit of Don Draper.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A Pontiac wagon....

      Imagine if there was such thing in the 21st century. No, it's neither a crossover nor a minivan. It would have been one heck of a sexy car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      ....who the hell would want this?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A piece of American history.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You'd be shocked how many collectors would love to have this car. Hopefully someone will win the bid and donate it to where it belongs. The Smithsonian.

      Noah, I'm curious about the 15 that went to the military. I remember seeing the 63 in Navy bases almost everywhere with at least two in Subic bay, a couple in Sasebo, at least one in GTMO and two without a doubt at the Yorktown weapons station. I know the ones at Yorktown were 63's, I drove them in 1970. After watching hours upon hours of live tv coverage the 63's are an impossible car year to forget.
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