November 22, 1963 was marked on the calendar for all of history. Especially for Americans. It was the day that Lee H. Oswald shot John F. Kennedy, killing him and causing one of the popular assassinations in history.
The scenes have been repeated countless times. And in them there is a protagonist, beyond all people: the Lincoln Continental.
The Secretary of Defense’s car
In 1961, US Defense Secretary Robert Strange McNamara, who was also President of Ford, decided to modify an old design to create this vehicle. The old design, by Elwood Engel (which was to be for a new Ford Thunderbird), became this Lincoln Continental.
The car was a 4-door, convertible, measuring up to 6.5 meters and was equipped with a Ford MEL of 7,044 cc and 366 HP. Other outstanding features were its rear-wheel drive, maximum speed of 185 km / h or its consumption (excessive) of 20.8 liters / 100 km.
Ford was very proud of this car, as the change in design compared to other Lincoln was spectacular. In fact, this model marked the design of vehicles in the 60s and 70s for all brands.
How much is JFK ‘s Lincoln Continental Car?
Kennedy’s vehicle was specially engineered for use and had its own name (X-100). It had certain extras such as greater length (1.07 meters), a much higher seat to highlight Kennedy himself or removable ceilings. The funny thing is that it did not have a single additional security element.
The improvements increased the price of the car to $ 200,000. The car was worth $ 7,400, so you can imagine the difference.
Ford charged the US government a modest amount of $ 500 a year for its use. Advertising was more than enough payment for the brand.
Ford retained ownership of the vehicle, renting it to the White House for the modest amount of $ 500 a year ($ 3,886 today, or 3,661 euros).
What happened to the Lincoln Continental car after Kennedy’s death?
The car continued to be used for more than 10 years. After Kennedy’s death, the Lincoln Continental was cleaned and restored by spending more than $ 500,000 on the operation called Quick Fix.
The rear seats were armored, a roof and windows were fitted with bulletproof glass and any possible way for bullets or other objects to enter the president was eliminated. In addition, the car was repainted and its engine increased to 415 hp. Everything to protect the President.
And why didn’t the car change? Because there was no money to do it. The US coffers were more than empty because of the Cold War and there was no other choice but to continue using this car for future presidents (Johnson, Nixon and Ford). It wasn’t until Jimmy Carter ruled that he changed.