STRANGE BUT TRUE: History Buff Shells Out $120,000 for Purported JFK Ambulance - BodyShop Business
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STRANGE BUT TRUE: History Buff Shells Out $120,000 for Purported JFK Ambulance

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A woman with a passion for history paid $120,000 at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance that reportedly carried the body of President John F. Kennedy after he was assassinated, despite reports the vehicle was a fake, Reuters reported.

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The Navy ambulance was advertised as the vehicle that met Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base and transported Kennedy’s flag-draped casket to Bethesda Naval Hospital for his autopsy and later to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state.

The vehicle’s authenticity was called into question days before the auction by the automotive website Jalopnik.com, which said the real ambulance had been crushed in 1986. However, auction officials maintained that the ambulance’s authenticity was independently verified.

A photo posted on the auction website advertising the sale shows Jackie reaching to open the rear passenger door of the ambulance, with Robert Kennedy behind her.

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The ambulance was offered for sale by John Jensen, an anesthesiologist from Kansas. Jensen bought the vehicle in 2009 for an undisclosed price. Estimates of the vehicle’s value varied widely, with some projecting it would fetch over $1 million at auction.

Purchaser Addison Brown of Paradise Valley, Ariz., who collects cars with her husband Walt, said she’s convinced of the vehicle’s authenticity and that she’s lucky to own "a piece of history."

"(There is) absolutely no doubt in my mind," she told reporters following the weekend sale. "If they couldn’t find a flaw, nobody will."

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Brown said she will keep the vehicle for now and possibly see if the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is interested in displaying it.

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