Avid Luxist readers may recognize this vintage ambulance from our article earlier this month. The 1963 Pontiac Bonneville is one of only a handful converted to an ambulance and commissioned by the U.S. Navy. It was said to have carried out the solemn duty of transporting the remains and bereaved of the assassinated president John F. Kennedy, and was slated for the auction block under the auspices of Barrett-Jackson at its recently-concluded auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The story sounded credible and straightforward enough, but before the auction took place, reports surfaced to question the authenticity of the vehicle's provenance. It seemed, according to the reports, that the vehicle that actually carried JFK's remains and grieving widow and brother from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was actually destroyed several years ago.
Authenticity notwithstanding, Barrett-Jackson elected to auction the vehicle just the same, where it promptly sold for a high bid of $120,000 – less than it probably would have fetched if not for the question of its provenance, but more than if it were indeed just an ordinary ambulance. The buyer stated her intentions to donate the car for display at the Smithsonian, but to make the story all the stranger, ended up reportedly selling it for little more than she paid for it to the daughter of a limousine collector in Colorado whose father is presently incarcerated for bribing Alaskan legislators.