Jackie Kennedy’s ’61 Lincoln convertible set for Mecum auction

The Lincoln convertible was lent to First Lady Jackie Kennedy by Ford Motor Co. | Mecum Auctions photos
The Lincoln convertible was lent to First Lady Jackie Kennedy by Ford Motor Co. | Mecum Auctions photos

In the sparkling days of Camelot on the Potomac, when John and Jacqueline Kennedy had taken up residence at the White House, Ford Motor Co. smartly lent a new 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible in white to the glamorous First Lady for her personal use.

The historic Lincoln that recalls the excitement and tragedy of the too-brief Kennedy years will be auctioned in Monterey, California, in August at Mecum Auctions sale during Pebble Beach concours week.

The '61 Continental is today an iconic design
The ’61 Continental is today an iconic design

Now restored, the Continental has been relieved of the Secret Service equipment that was installed while Jackie Kennedy was using it in Washington, D.C. The car was later purchased by Steuart Ford in Lanham, Maryland, and is documented with a copy of a letter from the vice president and general manager of the dealership.

Mecum has placed a value estimate of $100,000 to $125,000 on the Lincoln, which is about double the value listed in the Hagerty Price Guide for a ’61 Continental convertible without the Kennedy aura.

The Lincoln Continental was completely restyled for 1961 and was a fashion statement in itself, a now-iconic mid-century design that heralded the clean, unadorned styling trends of the era. As Ford had hoped, Lincolns became emblematic of the Kennedy White House, though sadly also forever linked with the Dallas assassination.

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The Secret Service gear has been removed from the First Lady's Lincoln
The Secret Service gear has been removed from the First Lady’s Lincoln

The Continental was the subject of an older restoration, according to Mecum, that seems to be holding up well. In gleaming white with a black-and-white interior, the car was kept in its original configuration, including all of its lavish power and convenience features.

Power for the two-ton convertible is provided by a 430 cid, 300-horsepower V8 with a three-speed automatic transmission. The car rides on correct wide-whitewall tires with full wheel covers.

The Mecum collector car auction takes place August 18-20 at the Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey. For information and a list of auction cars, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Despite the pedigree, the price seems high for the older restoration. Take a look at the wavy sheet metal on the door lowers. Will need more refinement to live up to its previous owners.

  2. I pray that Melania Trump’s vehicle will never have in significance in American history. However, if her vehicle is auctioned off it would likely payoff one of the many lawsuits made against her con man husband.