JFK’s Limo License Plate Sold For $100,000
A pair of GG 300 license plates that were affixed to the limousine that was carrying President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963 was sold at an auction for $100,000 on Saturday.
Heritage Auctions on Maple Avenue, Dallas auctioned the plates with other JFK and memorabilia. Also, sold was a menu from the last dinner served on the Titanic before it sank.
The initial bid started at $40,000 and then the price rose to $75,000 on Internet bidding before live bidding began. Finally, the bid managed to reach $100,000 and was sold to a “high-end Kennedy collector” who requested anonymity.
The yellow District of Columbia plates with “GG-300” in black lettering are still in excellent condition, considering they are more than a half-century old. However, it is unclear whether the artifacts will remain in Dallas.
Heritage says that after the 1963 assassination, the limousine was sent for upgrades to a Cincinnati company that retrofitted presidential limousines. When a new set of plates arrived, the old plates were discarded. But the company’s owner, William Hess retrieved them from the trash. Hess saw the importance where these plates are concerned, and since then, this is the first time they have entered the public domain.
According to Heritage Auction consignment director Don Ackerman, whose company helped facilitate the auction, “These plates were about to expire, so the FBI agent (overseeing the work) took the plates, installed them on the new car, and threw out the old plates, and Mr. Hess got them out of the garbage. He wanted to keep them as a souvenir for his files. He asked the agent, ‘Is it all right if I take these?’ The agent said, ‘What do you want them for?’ He said, ‘I’d like to have them for my files.’ The guy said, ‘Fine. Go ahead and take them.’”
Hess kept the plates between two books on the top of his bookshelf. Mr Hess’ daughter, Jane Walker, who inherited the plates from him, later kept them in a drawer in her Ohio kitchen for many years.
“My sons always wanted me to put them in a safe deposit box,” 72-year-old Walker said earlier this week. “I figure if anyone ever came in and saw them, they wouldn’t know what they were.”
No one outside Walker’s close friends and family knew they existed and which vehicle they came from and what happened to the person inside it.
“Anytime anybody saw them, it made their heart flutter,” Walker said in a telephone interview from her Cincinnati home.
“I was aware of their significance,” said Ms Walker, who offered the plates for auction. “On occasion, I would take them out and show to friends.”