Sunday, January 23, 2011

What is a reputation worth?

Yesterday at the Barret Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, an ambulance crossed the block for $132,000 in what is a sad display of greed. The seller claimed the ambulance was the one that carried President Kennedy's body from Andrews Air Force base to the Bethesda Naval Hospital for autopsy on the afternoon of November 22nd, 1963 and provided a number of documents to validate his claim making this a very significant vehicle. However, a dedicated group of experts and members of the Professional Car Society (a group of enthusiasts that restore and research professional cars; Ambulances, Hearses and the like) have provided unequivocal evidence that this ambulance is NOT the one to carry the President's body, and that the documents in support were likely forged, but they produced pictures of the actual ambulance being destroyed by the Kennedy Family trust in 1986.

The PCS provided this information to BJ prior to the auction and yet they did nothing to address the inconsistencies. I just watched video of the woman who won the auction claiming that she is convinced it is authentic and wondering if the Smithsonian would be interested. I'm not sure which fits better here, "There is a sucker born every minute" of "A fool and her money as soon parted". In the collector car world where reputation is everything, Barrett Jackson seem to have decided that money is more important that their reputation on this day.

Read all about it on the Professional Car Society forums HERE

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