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Friday, June 4, 2010

I Carried The President Of The United States!

My name is SS-100-X Car and I carried The President of the United States!

John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter

 November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas:  We were on parade and I was carrying my precious cargo: The modern president that held the world in the palm of his hand.

Jackie screaming and reaching back across my trunk lid for the secret service member... "Help!" I can feel her still and hear the terror in her beautiful voice!

Oh! What could I have done?

I am a 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible and I came equipped with a Plexiglas bubble top in the event of inclement weather. I was delivered in Midnight Blue and I was a gorgeous sight if I do say so myself!

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, I was brutally stripped down and was custom re-built in Cincinnati, Ohio by Hess and Eisenhart and the rebuild was reported to cost a whopping $500,000.00! My regal navy blue was covered with black and I was slung with armor plating, (1,600 lbs worth, increasing my overall weight to 10,000 lbs. )

Solid aluminum rims inside the tires to make them flat-proof, a permanent sedan roof, a new interior, an improved, two unit air-conditioning system with the extra unit in the trunk, my fuel tank was filled with porous foam to prevent an explosion in case a bullet penetrated me, electronic communications equipment, bulletproof glass and cosmetic alterations to remove damage incurred during the assassination. They also beefed me up with a more powerful motor with 17% more power.

My rebuild finished in May of  1964, I was placed back into service and carried President Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter before thankfully being retired in 1977. My odometer showing over one hundred thousand miles!

I have done more than I ever thought would be asked of me, but isn't that how a life of service is?

These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.


The Lucy and Dick Show said...

This is from Dick:
At the tender age of almost ten, I was told of this killing. My family sat and watched the newscasts each day for each update and we were also there, in front of the set for the President's funeral.
I was just a schoolboy here in Canada at the time and I was deeply affected and have never forgotten.
Since this major event of my life, I have read and watched everything I possibly could about the event and when I first walked into the museum, several years ago and saw this very same car, I was so surprised because we hadn't known it was in there!
Immediately, in my mind, the movie played of Jackie in her beautiful, pink suit, reaching back across the trunk lid of this car, her dead husband slumped on the navy blue leather seat. Reaching for help towards the Secret Service men. When I look at this car I see her, hear her and I am there on Dealey Plaza with her.
Lucy and I spent about half an hour that day, just sitting on a nearby bench, watching the car. You can feel it... Enough said...
When we visited last week, I wondered if I would again feel the same and yes, I was engulfed in emotion and sensation. The second Lucy and I walked through the entrance and looked to our right towards the row of Presidential cars, I started to shiver and felt the cold.
...And even just reading Lucy's post, I feel the waves of sadness.

From Lucy:
Dick doesn't read everything on this Blog, but I had to pass the laptop over tonight and let him read what I have posted about this very famous limo.
...Yes, the car moves him. No wonder I love him!

There are two things in the museum that move me and I am posting those later.

Brian Miller said...

that line about te life of service...brilliant...nice car too. smiles.

Eva Gallant said...

That was such a horrible day in history; it's no wonder the car affects you. Thanks for sharing this series of photos with us.

Jenn Jilks said...

Incredible shots. Many in Canada follow and followed this story. Thank you for visiting My Muskoka !

Jenn Jilks said...

Oops, meant to write great photos!

Lori E said...

It is as if the car has a life of its own. Like it knows its place in history.

Land of shimp said...

Do you know, I've heard of the museum in Dearborn, but I've been, nor would I have been likely to go. I've never been a car enthusiast, and I suppose I thought I wouldn't find it interesting.

Your photographs had me unwavering attention, though. You made me realize something I previously thought would likely be dull is actually a very interesting place.

Thank you for sharing these.