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Kennedy’s Lincoln

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Welcome back, Cocomats family! Today we have our Saturday edition of our 13 Cursed Cars of Halloween. We are back stateside for this car with an event that shocked and disturbed the entire nation: the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Most of us either witnessed Kennedy’s assassination at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald either on live television or through pictures and videos in sophomore American history class in high school. Many of us are also familiar with the various conspiracy theories surrounding the shooter, such as the widely debunked theory of a second sniper, or we’ve heard about the strange coincidences between Kennedy’s assassination and that of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.

However, what many don’t know is the history of Kennedy’s haunted convertible limousine. In a previous post, we explored the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand while he was in his personal limousine, and given the circumstances of Kennedy’s death, it would seem that heads of state in motor vehicles are often particularly vulnerable. The key factor in both of these incidents is the convertible top. Both Francis’ Gräf und Stift Double Phaeton and Kennedy’s SS-100-X were ragtops, which left both men particularly vulnerable during parades or just driving around town. However, where the Archduke had terribly bad luck to run into his shooter on a side street, Kennedy’s assassination was thoroughly planned and executed during a parade in Dallas.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Lincoln 74A Convertible that the Secret Service nicknamed the SS-100-X was its $200,000 worth of upgrades and modifications - none of which included any bulletproof panels or glass - that would equal just short of $1.68 million in 2019’s dollars. It wasn’t until Lyndon B. Johnson was set to take office that the vehicle received titanium armor, bulletproof glass, and a bulletproof roof. Johnson had the car painted black in remembrance of his predecessor and to dissuade any latent feelings of association with the previous navy blue.

Many people claim that it was simply the fact Kennedy was in a Lincoln in the first place that was a bad omen, while others feel that the Secret Service should have learned from Franz Ferdinand’s assassination. Either way many individuals have reported seeing an ephemeral man in a gray suit near the vehicle or even reflected in the mirrors or the gloss from the paint, especially during the month of November.

-Trey Fennell



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