By Steve Brawley
1961 Lincoln Continental (SS-100-X)
This is the most famous car in U.S. history. Since this was the car in which John F. Kennedy was riding in on
November 22, 1963 when he was assassinated, it will forever be entangled
with tragedy. Still, it's a car worth appreciating outside the context
of that grim day. The deep navy blue color was part of JFK and Jackie's new "branding" of the Presidency, along with the "blue" theme for Air Force One.
Starting with the truly beautiful, new-for-1961 Lincoln Continental
four-door convertible, Hess and Eisenhart of Cincinnati stretched the
car a total of 33-inches both between the front and rear doors and
behind the rear doors to both add space to the passenger compartment and
make the car a true limousine. A metal hoop just behind the driver and
over his head gave the President something to hold onto while standing
during parades (as Kennedy did while visiting Germany during the summer
of 1963). In addition, the rear seat could be raised in order to give
crowds a better view of the President. Power came from a standard
430-cubic inch Lincoln V-8.
After the assassination, the SS-100-X was rebuilt, armored, fit with a
permanent bulletproof hardtop, and returned to the presidential fleet.
Though superseded by another Lincoln in 1967, both presidents Johnson
and Nixon used the SS-100-X before it was retired to the Henry Ford
Museum in 1977. The company also made a car in 1962 for Jackie.
Jackie's 1962 Lincoln Continental (297-X)
Jackie's 1961 Crown Imperial
For Jackie's use, the White House leased a 1960 black Crown Imperial
Ghia limousine. She was often
photographed near this car. And
it was, in fact, the lead limousine in President Kennedy's funeral procession.
Chrysler described these elegant vehicles
in its advertising as follows:
"The styling theme of the Imperial line has been set against
a background of sweeping length. Front end appearance is
by a grille of unique texture, and refinement of detail has been executed
in medallions, tail lights,
and other ornamentation in keeping with
the quiet dignity of this custom-crafted automobile.
The doors extend into the curve of the roof line and blend smoothly
with its contour to add an original styling note
and provide generous
door openings for ease of entry and exit. The distinctive stepped rear canopy is covered in black
to match the black exterior paint on the limousine.
Two unique designs of interior trim arrangement have been specially
created for the Crown Imperial Limousine.
Available in either gray or
beige, the designs are executed in the finest quality broadcloth. Glove
grade milled leather,
cabinet woods, and tastefully styled metal mouldings
are used to accend the basic design. Sheared mouton carpeting in
gray or beige covers the passenger compartment floor. Eight-passenger
seating is provided by jump seats
which fold flush with the compartment
partition when not in use.
All chauffeur compartments are finished in narro-piped black leather,
and the floor is covered with fine nylon
carpeting in matching black.
Luggage compartments, too, are completely carpeted." The car leased to the White House
was uniquely fitted with a black
interior exclusively for Jackie.
Jackie's 1974 BMW (Passing Lane Motors Photos)
Jackie's 1992 BMW (Sold at Sothebys)
The "Jackie" Inspired Caddy
The unique 1961 Cadillac ‘Jacqueline’ Coupe, which was created by the
Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina in honour of America’s First Lady,
Jackie Kennedy, the year that her husband, John F Kennedy, was elected
President of the United States, is to be sold in Bonhams’ Paris sale of
Motor Cars at the Grand Palais on 5 February 2011.
Cadillac ‘Jacqueline’ Coupe, which was first displayed at the same venue
as this sale, the Grand Palais,
during the 1961 Paris Salon, has
attracted a pre-sale estimate of €200,000 – 300,000.
One of four Cadillac-based styling exercises made by Pininfarina between 1958 and 1961, the
car enjoyed time on the show circuit in the early 1960s, before being
consigned to the Pinnfarina Museum where it remained for the next thirty
In the mid 1990s, it was bought by the President of Cartier and
noted car collector, Alain Dominique Perrin, who sent it
to the U.S. to be
made roadworthy on a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz chassis.
JFK's 1963 Lincoln
1961 Lincoln Continental White House Staff Car
JFK's 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
JFK's 1961 T Bird (Seeking Photos of JFK in this Car)
JFK's 1957 Cadillac Limo (Purchased by Joe Kennedy)
Joe Kennedy's 1954 Packard Caribbean
JFK and Jackie touring around in an MG on their 1953 Honeymoon in Acapulco
Newport (Driving a Mercury Marauder)
On Squaw Island. (Driving a Mercury Marauder)
Jackie with Prince of Greece 1961
JFK Leaving Church in Hyannis Port 1961
Touring Gettysburg 1963 (Driving a Mercury Marauder)