• Dec 18, 2011
There was a touch of controversy when Barrett-Jackson auctioned what had been purported to be the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance that transported John F. Kennedy to the hospital the day he was assassinated. There is no such doubt about this (at least, not at the time of writing): the 1964 Cadillac Hearse (Lot #1293) that carried JFK's casket to the Dallas airport.

Built as a showpiece for a funeral director's convention that took place just before the assassination, it was bought by a Dallas funeral home when the convention ended. The very next month it was put to a use no one could have expected. It has has just three owners, and will be up for auction at the 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Jan. 15-22, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona. Follow the jump for a fuller history of the car.
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Historic Hearse that Transported President John F. Kennedy to Sell at 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Dec. 16, 2011 –Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, host of "The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions™", will sell another piece of John F. Kennedy history at its 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Jan. 15-22, at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, Barrett-Jackson will sell the 1964 Cadillac Hearse (Lot #1293) used to transport President John F. Kennedy's body to Air Force One following his assassination in Dallas. The sale of this piece of history from that fateful day follows the 2011 sale of an ambulance used to transport John. F. Kennedy's body from Air Force One to the Bethesda Naval Hospital. The ambulance sold amid worldwide attention, despite unproven claims that the ambulance was another naval ambulance.

"It's an honor to be able to offer a vehicle of this stature," said Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. "While its duty was solemn, it was also extremely important and played a crucial role in transporting the president so he could be laid to rest."

The hearse is chassis 64Z000050, which was mated to body #64001. It was built by the Miller-Meteor Company in time for display at the National Funeral Home Directors Association Convention that took place in Dallas in October, 1963. At the close of the trade show, the hearse was purchased by the O'Neal Funeral Home in Dallas. A few weeks later on Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was mortally wounded and taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The O'Neal Funeral Home was summoned to supply the finest casket it had available, as well as an appropriate conveyance.

The hearse then made the historic trip carrying the President's body as well as the First Lady from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Love Field, where Air Force One was waiting to transport the casket to Washington, D.C.

"The eyes of the world were on this car on that unforgettable day in American history," said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "It's one of the most significant and historical vehicles ever offered for sale."

While the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and the handling of the investigation has persisted since those dark days of late 1963, the O'Neal Funeral Home retained the hearse until the late 1960s when it was purchased by Arrdeen Vaughan, who is believed to have been an employee of O'Neal Funeral Home. Vaughan owned the car for more than four decades until it was sold privately to its current, third owner. As a hearse distributor and early collector, Vaughan is responsible for the preservation of this incredible piece of history.

Barrett-Jackson is currently accepting bidder applications. For more information on how to own this piece of American history, please visit www.barrett-jackson.com/bid.

About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the "World's Greatest Collector Car Events™" in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla. and Las Vegas. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit www.barrett-jackson.com or call (480) 421-6694.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      FaM
      • 3 Years Ago
      Blah blah...all I see when I lok it this is the ectomobile.....bring back ghostbusters 3!!!!!
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FaM
        Bring back Ghostbusters 3? When did they ever make one to begin with?
      karlInSanDiego
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buyer would have to top an FBI watch list. Not a useful car and not any more significant than a limo he would have used when he was alive. Hearse collectors need to get a life!
      Elliott
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why isn't this hearse in the Kennedy Presidential Library? Why weren't the other vehicles there as well? His library lacks hard objects. Unlike the Regan Library, the JFK Presidential Library is mostly video screens and bare walls.
      ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Give it to a museum, who would wanna own this anyway?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      Um... It's cool and all, but is it really THAT famous?
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        Uh yeah... It IS the hearse that carried the body of one of the greatest US presidents of all time and it's one of the most famous unsolved cases in world history.
      Kent Kangley
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love how Barrett-Jackson turns the Pontiac controversy around. "...despite unproven claims that the ambulance was another naval ambulance." Great reverse logic there. Barrett-Jackson doesn't have to prove it's provenance. It's everyone else who has to prove it's not the car they say it is.
      Justin
      • 3 Years Ago
      Turning this car into the Ghostbusters car would be wildly inappropriate. That's just my two cents.