Friday, January 21, 2011

So called "JFK ambulance," is a fake

JFK Ambulance is a Fake


The boys over at Jalopnik have done us proud this week: They found out that the “JFK Ambulance” scheduled to go on sale tomorrow at the Scottsdale Auctions is a fake.

The 1963 Pontiac Bonneville was expected to bag more than $1 million at auction, but members of the Professional Car Society became suspicious when it was announced in December because they had dealt with a possible counterfeit 10 years ago in California. Some FOIA research, matching of serial numbers and retouching jobs, and digging around for old photos led to the discovery that the original ambulance had been crushed in a Boston junkyard in 1986. Read the full account here

Ray Wert, editor-in-chief of Jalopnik, says he doesn’t consider this to be a case of “fraud” per se, since it doesn’t seem likely that Barrett-Jackson was attempting to deceive anybody.

“The car was a fake, but that doesn’t mean B-J was acting in a fraudulent manner in marketing the vehicle,” Wert wrote me in an email. “Nor does it mean that the seller was necessarily acting in a fraudulent manner–at least not yet. We’re working on the ramifications as we speak.”

But Wert added that while Barrett-Jackson may be able to claim it went beyond the minimum legal requirements to verify authenticity, there are ethical considerations to account for when it comes to the company’s marketing practices, especially on historic vehicles like this.

A spokeswoman for Barrett-Jackson declined to comment but said the auction house will provide a statement regarding the case later this morning. Stay tuned.

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