The Bonhams American Presidential Experience Auction will be offering two historically significant Lincoln limousines that transported President John F. Kennedy.
The first one is a white 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible, “Limo One,” estimated to bring about $300,000-500,000. It was the final vehicle to safely carry the President on the fateful morning of November 22, 1963, in Fort Worth.
The second is a black 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V Executive Limousine, estimated to be worth around $200,000-300,000. This was the car that President Kennedy used for personal journeys around the White House and Washington.
Three weeks before the US Presidential election, the two historic cars will come under the hammer.
1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible “Limo One”
There are a lot of photographs that show the President, the First Lady, and Texas Governor John Connally in the white Lincoln as it was being driven past waving crowds. The party was en route to Carswell Air Force Base from the Hotel Texas Ballroom in Fort Worth, where the President delivered his last speech.
It was Bill Golightly of Golightly Auto Sales who loaned the Lincoln for the Kennedys while at Fort Worth. Dubbed the “Fort Worth Limo,” it carried the party on the evening of November 21st and on the morning of November 22, 1963.
The limousine has had a body and paint restoration done, with its engine replaced. Most of the interior, however, including the red leather seats, is in original condition.
1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V Executive Limousine
Hess and Eisenhardt customized this Lincoln that features bulletproof doors, divider window, power steering and brakes, passenger air controls, and though it was uncommon at the time, a two-way telephone in the back seat – the Continental Mark V was a vehicle fit for a President.
Ford leased the Continental Mark V to the White House for $500 a year, and it was the limousine that the president used for personal journeys around Washington, DC. After President Johnson decided to replace the White House cars, the Continental Mark V was returned to the public market through secondary dealerships.
In March 1964, Dr. James C. Walsh, a personal acquaintance of the President, purchased the Lincoln and confirmed that the late President Kennedy “did use this car for his own personal uses in contrast to the official use of the larger White House limousine.”
Considerable amounts of the body have been restored, costing approximately $35,000. It should be noted that the interior, including the beige leather seats, matching carpeting, and the aforementioned telephone, remains in its original condition.
The American Presidential Experience Collection are offering both limousines, sourced from the eponymous traveling educational exhibition. It was the entrepreneur Jim Warlick who founded the exhibition after realizing that his childhood hobby of collecting political memorabilia could be turned into a business, which in turn became a museum exhibition of Presidential memorabilia, unmatched by any other.
Replicas of the two most recognizable symbols of the American Presidency, the Oval Office and Air Force One, will also be offered in the New York Sale.
Kennedy-era Air Force One Replica
The SAM 26000, also known as John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One, was the first jet engine to be fitted as a Presidential plane. Up for auction is the exhibition quality full-scale Boeing 707 which was retrofitted to be a replica of the same.
The replica also includes the full cockpit and crew officers’ workstations, President’s quarters, as well as the state room where Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President. Every minute detail was recreated from the original designs by Raymond Loew, including the blue livery which has since been used for all Air Force One airplanes.
The Kennedy-era Air Force One Replica is estimated to fetch from $200,000-300,000.
The Oval Office
A full-scale replica of one of the most famous rooms in the world, the Oval Office, will also be auctioned. It is complete with wooden panels, fireplace, and furniture. The replica also includes a scale fine wood reproduction of the Resolute Desk, the desk that the President uses to conduct his business, and where he normally addresses the nation. Television programs such as Saturday Night Live and The Today Show have used this replica.
The Oval Office is expected to sell for $40,000-60,000.
In addition to the Warlick’s collection, there will be other fascinating artifacts that will be up for grabs at the Bonhams auction, including the Air Force One Bomber Jacket that John F. Kennedy gave to David Powers.
The jacket is an original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, sewn with a patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast. It was owned originally by President John F. Kennedy until he gave it to David Powers around 1962-1963.
Powers was a close friend of President Kennedy although he was officially known as the President’s ‘Special Assistant,’ and he was often called by White House colleagues as “John’s other wife.”
Following the death of President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy appointed Powers as the lead of the Kennedy legacy as well as the first curator of the JFK museum when a nascent collection traveled the world back in 1965. He retired from the JFK Library in 1994.
The Bonhams American Presidential Sale will be held at the Bonhams New York saleroom in Madison Avenue on the 14th of October.
More details of this Auction can be found at Bonhams