Joining the 1963 Lincoln Continental Coupe that drove JFK to his final flight from Fort Worth to Dallas at an upcoming auction is this black 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V used from the late President’s Washington, D.C. motor pool, mostly for his personal needs around the city.
The bulletproof six-passenger Limo was converted for Lincoln by Hess and Eisenhardt of Cincinnati, Ohio. Notable features of the Limo include a divider window, passenger air controls, power steering and brakes, and a unique two-way telephone in the back seat. Most of the car’s body has been restored to the cost of roughly $35,000 but the interior, complete with its beige leather seats, matching carpeting, and the telephone are in original condition.
The limo was leased to the White House for $500 a year from Ford/Lincoln. After the lease, the car made its way to the public market through dealerships, where it was purchased by Dr. James C. Walsh in March of 1964.
Dr. Walsh offered to include the limo in the Kennedy Library, but wasn’t due to space constraints. Instead, it was donated to Kirkland Hall College in Easton, Maryland. A letter to the institution provides some addition information and context:
“I spoke to Mr. Campbell Schmidt Jr… an official of the Washington office of the Ford Motor Company. He told me that President Johnson had switched all the White House cars… As a result the Ford Motor Company was going to sell this car and at my wife, Mary’s, insistence I purchased it on the spot… The late president who had been exceptionally gracious to our son…who had attended the White House school. It is because of this association that I had the opportunity to meet the late president and to know in fact that he did use this car for his own personal uses in contrast to the official use of the larger White House limousine.”
Later on, the limo was sold in a fundraising auction by the college to George W. De Franceaux, who in turn leased it to the Allstate Exhibit Company for an exhibition “of the John F. Kennedy automobile.” The black Linoln was then displayed at the Museum of American Tragedy in St. Augustine, Florida, until the museum’s owner passed away in 1998. At that time, it was sold at another auction.
The classic vehicle will be auctioned by RR Auction on October 24th in Boston. Let us know in the comments if you want to go halfsies, just to test out the phone.
October 24, 2013
Omni Parker House
60 School Street
Boston, MA 02108