JFK assassination inspired heightened security measures for presidential vehicles

November 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Today marks the 48th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death. The former leader of the free world was shot when his motorcade was slowly winding through downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963. Back then, automotive security was not of much importance, but following JFK's assassination, the government stepped things up.

The year following JFK's tragic death, the 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible was converted to a permanent hard-top, with bullet-proof glass and titanium armoring. It was used by Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter before it was retired. AOL Autos reports that the presidential vehicle needed a bit of car repair after President Johnson dented the trunk lid while campaigning, and Nixon had a hole cut in the glass-top roof so he could stand up and wave to crowds during his presidency.

Now, the famous vehicle is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan, alongside the limo that carried former President Ronald Reagan, which is the last presidential car to reach public retirement.

Bob Casey, the museum's curator, told AOL that the government holds onto retired cars to keep the secrets of vehicular security measures under wraps.

Back to news