Call the wahmbulance?
January 23, 2011 4:37 AM   Subscribe

The ambulance that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it?

Members of the professional car society who collect and restore ambulances, hearses and flower cars helped to solve this mystery, which had accusations of forgery, FOIA requests, photoshopped pictures and Kennedy family intervention.
posted by fixedgear (10 comments total)
Even if the car had been unequivocally been revealed as fake, Barrett-Jackson would have probably simply re-defined it as an "historical recreation" or a "tribute" and sold it anyway. B-J are pimps of the highest order.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:00 AM on January 23, 2011

As the years roll by, seems like the collective angst has moved on from trying to solve the assassination to dealing with all the little mysteries brought up by it, like this one.

I will admit to a bit of fascinated horror by the whole show, enough that articles like this one get me reading, mainly for all the arguments back and forth and how they reveal that there are people out there who actually know (or think they know) what coach companies did or didn't have contracts to do what for the DoD in 1960-1963, or whatever.

I sometimes think the Kennedy assassination functions as a sort of modern myth, and if so it's instructive about the nature of mythical accretion.
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:21 AM on January 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Or was it?

posted by kcds at 6:08 AM on January 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

That's a great story. Very interesting to see the library's decision to destroy it -- which also makes me wonder why they didn't play a bigger role in the uncovering.
posted by fake at 7:47 AM on January 23, 2011

Fascinating thread in the second link. And on this page, near the bottom, an incredible picture of Jackie Kennedy getting into the ambulance: opening the door herself, no gents helping out, and JFK's blood clearly still on skirt of her pink Chanel suit and stockings. More on the Chanel suit here (it's locked in the Archives until 2013).
posted by beagle at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2011

opening the door herself, no gents helping out,

Alas no. The door was locked.
posted by clavdivs at 10:05 AM on January 23, 2011

Well, since cars are my gig (more or less) I was already watching this, and my thoughts are this:

Car auction companies still make my skin crawl, and despite the bleatings to the contrary of Barrett-Jackson and the commentators on Speed, my skin crawls even worse now.

Auction companies like Barrett-Jackson are little more than remoras at best and more likely cancerous tumors on cars as a hobby in general. But as long as there are buyers willing to believe in what sleazy used car salesman pitch to them as being true, stories like this will probably continue.
posted by Relay at 10:12 AM on January 23, 2011

augmenting beages' comment with the Jackie’s grace. The men made way for her to reach that door. Rfks’' face, as if he knew he should not to reach for the handle. Watching the scene, it seems she tossed off his hand and she put strength in that pull.
posted by clavdivs at 11:52 AM on January 23, 2011

It's a fake!
posted by xedrik at 2:30 PM on January 23, 2011

Sold again.
posted by fixedgear at 6:53 AM on January 25, 2011

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