License plates from JFK’s limo sold for $100,000 at auction image

At a recent auction in Dallas, the license plates from the limousine in which JFK was assassinated in 1963 were sold for 100,000 dollars.

The plates were saved half century ago in Cincinnati after an FBI agent discarded them while JFK’s limo was being retrofitted after the President’s 1963 assassination in Dallas. The man that rescued the plates from the trash 52 years ago was Willard C. Hess, the owner of Hess & Eisenhardt, the company that retrofitted presidential limousines. Recently, those DC government tags were sold for 100,000 dollars at an auction in Dallas, more than doubling the $40,000 opening bid. They were consigned by Jane Walker, Hess’s daughter, who kept the license plates for the last half century in a drawer in her Ohio kitchen. While her father was alive, he kept them between a pair of books on his bookshelf. “I was very aware of their significance,” said Walker. “On occasion, I would take them out and show them to friends.”

“The response to these license plates was immediate,” said Don Ackerman, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. “Kennedy collectors from all over, as well as historians and admirers of the late president, expressed their amazement that these plates had survived in such great condition for so long.” The Presidential limousine was ordered from Ford’s Advance Vehicle Group and outfitted by Hess & Eisenhardt of Cincinnati. Known within Secret Service circles as SS-100-X, it was placed in service in March 1961. After the assassination, it was sent back to Hess & Eisenhardt for upgrades (additional armour plating and a bullet-proof roof), painted black and used through 1977. It now resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.