A story with a surprising twist
Whole story link at the bottom
The ambulance from JFK's assassination has its own conspiracy theories
Tucked in the corner of the truly remarkable Allen Unique Autos Allen Autos may sit one of the most historically significant, yet morbid automobiles in America: the hearse that transported President Kennedy’s body and Jackie when Air Force One arrived back at Andrews Air Force Base following his assassination. We say may because years after the assassination, the question remains, is this the real ambulance or an elaborate hoax? We’ll give you the facts and let you decide…
In January of 2011 Barrett-Jackson auctioned off this ambulance with the claim as being the ambulance that received JFK’s body back in D.C., but as Jalopnik reported extensively that month, car historians at the Professional Car Society immediately raised doubts about this claim, having dealt with a similar claim a decade earlier. (PCS had good reason to believe this was the same car a man claimed was the ambulance until later dropping the claim.)
The wheels of media coverage, however, were already in full swing as major news outlets such as CBS News profiled the vehicle and proclaimed it as a genuine piece of history. The Professional Car Society, however, kept doing their due diligence and additional people joined the discussion like Dan Brintlinger who produced a letter from the Department of the Navy detailing the eventual destruction of the hearse at the request of the Kennedy family:
But Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis, still hoping the car would fetch at least 7 figures, replied to the doubters by saying the seller had proved the car is genuine through the Freedom of Information Act:
Barrett-Jackson has in its possession copies, supplied at our request by the consignor, of recently uncovered documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the Department of the Navy/Surgeon General, as well as Superior Coach Corporation, that for the first time, ties the Navy registration number and the VIN number of the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville chassis together.
Barrett-Jackson was previously offered this ambulance for auction, by a different owner, but we refused to accept it, based on the fact that there was no VIN documentation, or provenance, that linked this specific ambulance to the Kennedy ambulance.
Subsequently the new, and current owner, through an extensive investigation, was able to uncover documents, that, as I stated, for the first time, tie the VIN, and Naval registration numbers together.
Documents show, Superior Coach Corporation, in response to a investigation by the Navy, confirmed the Navy registration number, 94-49196, as well as the Navy contract number, DA-20-113-AMC-1236-X, and the serial (VIN) number, 863P198767, of the ambulance that transported JFK, his wife, and brother from Andrews Air Force Base.
Then a new twist, a historian came forward to discredit some of these documents, noting the letters were dated 1963, but the sender no longer worked for the Navy, having retired in 1961.
The final move by the PCS was to get “proof” the car was actually destroyed, and these pictures, they hoped, would be definitive proof to discredit the ambulance up for auction’s provenance:
Of course, it wasn’t. In an assassination still swirling with conspiracy theories, it appears the vehicles aren’t immune from their own conspiracy theories either. People have claimed the photos are fakes, and Barrett-Jackson was quick to point out they thought the seller was a real good guy and wouldn’t sell a fake, but eventually they issued this statement:
We are unable to either confirm or refute with certainty whether the vehicle offered for sale at auction tomorrow was in fact the vehicle that transported President Kennedy's casket and his family members. Based on all research and our conversations with experts around the country, we do not believe there is a person alive who can answer this question with certainty
With a blanket, “Who the heck knows,” issued by the auction house, the hammer fell at $120,000, and this controversial ambulance found its way to Allen Autos. Is it real? Is it a fake? Either way, its display at Allen still gives you goosebumps as you look at the newspaper clippings and think back to the tragedy of JFK’s assassination.
And keep in mind, Allen Autos isn’t built around this vehicle. Oh no. This places has so many rare, valuable, and straight-up awesome vehicles the JFK ambulance probably generates very little attention for them. See more pictures from our visit to Allen with MINI Takes the States.
https://roadtrippers.com/stories/jfk-am ... .67528&z=5
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