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The licence plates from JFK’s limousine go to auction. They were stashed in a Cincinnati kitchen for decades

Boban Docevski

The licence plates from JFK’s limousine, the one in which he was shot in November 1963 were found after all this years and, yes, they are not false. They sat in Jane Walker’s kitchen drawer in Cincinnati. She decided finally decided to part with them and soon they will go back in Dallas for an auction. Last time the plates were in this city they were attached to the car that made them famous, the Lincoln Continental model 74A. The auction will be held at Heritage Auctions, Saturday morning at 10.


The Lincoln Continental pictured on the day of the assassination, with the plates visible

Don Ackerman from Heritage auctions said: “Sometimes you can’t know 100 percent for sure. In this case, we do know 100 percent for sure, These are the plates that were on Kennedy’s limousine.”

Up until now, nobody except Jane’s closest friends and family hasn’t seen the licence plates. She was showing them occasionally but only if she happened to be talking with someone about it. Everybody who saw them felt goose bumps. Nobody else knew that they even existed. She told reporters that her grandsons wanted her to put the plates in a deposit box and she jokingly said: “I figure if anyone ever came in and saw them, they wouldn’t know what they were.” That is why she kept them safely at her kitchen.

After the assassination, the car was sent back to Hess & Eisenhardt in Ohio, where it was modified rebuilt from the ground up. The Lincoln received titanium armour plating, bullet-resistant glass and a bulletproof permanent roof.


The district of Columbia black and yellow licence plates with a personal note from Mr Hess

Mr Hess, the owner the company was actually Jane’s father and she had a really good insight on things when Mr Hess was working on the car back in 1963. Jane was a 20 years old student back then:

“I remember when the car was flown back, it still had some blood in the back of the car. I was in on every aspect of the reconditioning and rebuilding the car. It was really sort of part of my life at that time.”

Don Ackerman from the auction house explains how the plates were kept from ending up in garbage:

“These plates were about to expire, so the FBI agent [overseeing the work] took the new plates, installed them on the 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.'”

A picture showing Mr Hess holding the licence plates

Mr. Hess kept the plates in his study room, between some books on the bookshelf. He gave them to his daughter in 2000, before he died. After so many years, Jane decided that is time to get them out so that others could see them. The license plates will be sold together with a set of pictures showing Mr Hess with the licence plates and the car. The estimated price for the lot is $40 000, but it is more likely that it will reach six figures.


Source: wfaamyfoxbostondallasnews

Boban Docevski

Boban Docevski is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News