Barrett-Jackson celebrates 40 years in the automotive auction business in 2011 and given the company’s reputation over the last decade there’s no doubt it will be pulling out all the stops this year.
Among the high profile cars hitting the auction block at the 2011 event will be this, a somewhat somber reminder of America’s past. It’s the very 1963 Pontiac Bonneville Naval Ambulance that carried President John Fitzgerald Kennedy from Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, following his assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
It then transported his casket, along with the late President’s wife Jackie and brother Robert to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC, where JFK was later buried.
The Bonneville was one of 69 207G Superior high roof ambulances converted at the firm’s Mississippi facility and completed on February 6, 1963. Once its military service was up, the ambulance was sold as surplus. However, unlike many of its contemporaries, it was mothballed and survived the next four decades untouched. Purchased a year ago by collector John Jensen, the ambulance remains totally original and displays just 38,000 miles on the odometer.
It has been documented by Pontiac Historic Services and won a Gold award at the 2010 Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s National Convention. For the B-J auction it has been assigned lot number 1277.
Said Barrett-Jackson’s Steve Davis, ” the ambulance is not just a historical vehicle, it represents one of most significant moments in the 20th century. Most Americans remember when and where they were when they heard the tragic news of JFK’s assassination. His death was a turning point and those of us who watched it on TV or witnessed it firsthand were affected. It will be an honor to have a vehicle cross our block that once transported one of our most celebrated presidents in U.S. history.”
[Source: Pontiacs Online]