1964 Presidential Limo From JFK’s Funeral Procession Is Up for Sale

Bodied by Ghia in Italy, this limo carried Jackie Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to JFK’s funeral.

byKristin V. Shaw|
black limousine
Mecum Auctions


Once upon a time, an Imperial LeBaron hardtop destined for history was mounted on a convertible frame, assembled at the Chrysler plant in Detroit. It was shipped to Turin, Italy to be bodied by Carrozzeria Ghia. There, this now-classic 1964 Imperial Crown Ghia Presidential Limousine was transformed into the six-window custom stretch car it is now.

One of only 10 Ghia limousines produced, this particular model carried American royalty: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. And it’s going to cross the auction block today with an estimated price of $125,000-$150,000.

The Detroit News reported that this vehicle was in the funeral procession to Arlington Cemetery for President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963. His widow Jackie reportedly used the limo as her personal vehicle for under a year, and it carried Lyndon B. Johnson to his second inauguration in 1965 (the first was aboard Air Force One when JFK was assassinated). Then the Imperial Crown became part of the White House fleet until 1969.

With only 15,109 miles on the odometer, this beauty is a rare find. Finished in black with gray upholstery inside, this limo has been well kept. Auction house Mecum says the vehicle’s original MSRP was $18,500, which is nearly three times the cost of a 1964 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron when new.

Mecum says the limousine was sold by the Chrysler Corporation at auction to Hugh McVeigh, the owner of Redford Chrysler in Michigan. The car had only 9,000 miles on it at the time, and McVeigh had no idea of its historical significance, so he took it on family trips to northern Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reported that one thing McVeigh liked about the limo was the power divider window between the driver and passenger section, which he could activate to muffle the noise of his children playing in the back seat.

A few years down the road, Chrysler offered to repurchase it from him and he refused, but from that point on McVeigh shelved the vehicle in his garage until he sold it to the Eppert Oil Company in 1979.

The Imperial Crown Ghia Presidential Limousine is powered by a 340-hp V8 mated to a pushbutton three-speed automatic transmission. Most of the Chrysler/Ghia seems to be original except for new fuel lines, fuel tank, and badges. It rolls on magnificent whitewall tires and features red parade headlights.

If only this car could talk. It's definitely keeping some secrets within its black lacquered body.

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