Texas History

We're About to Find Out How Much Someone Will Pay for JFK's Ride Back to Love Field

This is the week Barrett-Jackson auctions off the 1964 Cadillac Hearse that transported President John Kennedy from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Love Field. Me, I've got my eye on this sweet '75 Pacer. But the rest of the car world -- or, at least, the 1,200, give or take, who make up the Professional Car Society -- is awaiting the hearse, which has changed hands only a few of times since it was originally bought by Vernon O'Neal for his Oak Lawn funeral home in October 1963.

This evening, The Los Angeles Times checks in with Steve Lichtman of the Professional Car Society, which has done is due diligence and vows this is The Real Deal, no doubt about it. The real question is: How much will it go for?

How do we know this is the actual hearse that transported Kennedy's body?
We have kept track of this car over the years. People have seen it; they know that it has the correct serial number. Various members of the club have seen it, and the history is correct. We know who has owned it and where it has been. ...

How much do you think people will bid for it?
It's hard to say the value. The value that is going to come with it is the value that people place on a collectible that relates to President Kennedy's assassination. There's nothing to compare it to. It's going to be a wait-and-see thing what the value is.
I just asked Kennedy Assassination Fetishist (his word) Gordon Keith how much he'd bid. His answer: "Since I'm a man of limited means, I would bid $10,000 on the Kennedy hearse and $20,000 on the Lee Harvey Oswald hearse. As a man of limited means."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky