Historic J.F. Kennedy Cadillac hearse set for Arizona auction

James Raia

The 1964 Cadillac Hearse used to transport President John F. Kennedy’s body to Air Force One following his assassination in Dallas, Texas in 1963, will be auctioned Jan. at the 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Jan. 15-22 in Arizona.

The sale of hearse follows the 2011 sale of an ambulance used to transport John. F. Kennedy’s body from Air Force One to the Bethesda Naval Hospital. The ambulance sold amid worldwide attention, despite unproven claims the ambulance was another naval ambulance.
The hearse was built by the Miller-Meteor Company in time for display at the National Funeral Home Directors Association Convention in Dallas in October, 1963.

Historic J.F. Kennedy Cadillac hearse set for Arizona auction 1

At the close of the trade show, the hearse was purchased by the O’Neal Funeral Home in Dallas. A few weeks later on Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was mortally wounded and taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The O’Neal Funeral Home was summoned to supply the finest casket it had available, as well as an appropriate conveyance.
The hearse then made the historic trip carrying the President’s body as well as the First Lady from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Love Field, where Air Force One was waiting to transport the casket to Washington, D.C.
While the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and the handling of the investigation has persisted since those dark days of late 1963, the O’Neal Funeral Home retained the hearse until the late 1960s when it was purchased by Arrdeen Vaughan, who is believed to have been an employee of O’Neal Funeral Home. Vaughan owned the car for more than four decades until it was sold privately to its current, third owner. As a hearse distributor and early collector, Vaughan is responsible for the preservation of this incredible piece of history.
Barrett-Jackson is currently accepting bidder applications. For more information, visit: www.barrett-jackson.com/bid.

Article Last Updated: January 10, 2012.

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