LBJ 1964 Lincoln goes to auction block

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Lydon Baines Johnson was one America's most colorful latter-day presidents. Image: kevin dooley/Flickr/CC BY

Former president and Texan icon Lyndon Baines Johnson’s personal convertible 1964 Lincoln Continental is going to the auction block. The sale should attract car enthusiasts as well as history buffs.

Drove car on his ranch, top down

Johnson, America’s 36th President, served between 1963 and 1969. He assumed office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, under whom he served as Vice President. He was famously fond of cruising around his sprawling 1,500-acre ranch in Stonewall, Texas ,with the top down, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a scotch in his hand. Johnson was born at the ranch, died there and is buried there.

Now Johnson’s personal white 1964 convertible Lincoln Continental — that he drove until his death in 1973 — will be going to the auction block. On March 3 the car will be sold by Dan Kruse Classics auctions, along with 92 other classic cars.

Dan Kruse, head of the auction house, said:

“LBJ was and is still one of the most significant Southern Presidents ever, and this is the vehicle he loved to personally drive around his ranch. He loved the 1964 Lincolns because they were large and powerful and got him across the fields when needed.”

The late President’s luxury car packs a 320 HP, 430 cubic-inch-displacement V-8 engine and an automatic transmission. It is white with tan interior. It is currently being displayed at the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History in Rosansky, Texas. The museum, founded by car collector Dick Burdick, will also serve as a venue for the auction. Rosanky is located about 35 miles south of Austin.

Proceeds of sale to benefit LBJ Foundation

All proceeds from the sale will go to the LBJ Foundation. The foundation raises money for the University of Texas at Austin, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Historical value

Other 1964 Lincoln Continentals of similar quality have been know to sell for up to $35,000. However, with its added historical significance, this one is expected to fetch more. Just how much more remains to be seen. However, the auction house estimates it will bring $25,000-$50,000.

Mark Logan, president of Nevada Classics, Inc., pointed out the value is in the history, not in the car itself:

“The value of a classic, vintage or historical vehicle is based far more on the provenance than the quality of the restoration. One-of-a-kind presidential limos have a grand story to tell, which is why they are sought after in the first place. In part, prices are a function of what went on in the back seat and with whom.”

Other recent presidential vehicle sales

There have been several presidential cars going up for sale in recent months. The 1964 Cadillac hearse that carried the body of Johnson’s one-time boss, John F. Kennedy, to the Dallas airport sold for $160,000 in January.

President Obama’s 2005 Chrysler 300C was recently offered for sale on eBay. With a minimum price of $1 million, it received no bids.


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