Media Release


Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona

Armor-Plated Bulletproof 1942 Lincoln Custom Limousine Built by Ford Motor Company For President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be Offered For The First Time at Auction at RM’s Arizona Biltmore Auction in Phoenix, Arizona

BLENHEIM, Ontario (November 15, 2006) – In private hands for 44 years, the armor-plated, 1942 Lincoln bulletproof limousine offered here was engineered and built by the Ford Motor Company, under the watchful eye of the FBI and Secret Service, for use by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and subsequently President Harry S. Truman. This special White House vehicle will join many other important and historical classics, racing and sports cars on the block at RM Auction’s annual multi-million dollar “Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona” auction at the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, January 19, 2007.

This rarely seen limousine was the first armored car ever commissioned for White House service and transported the both President Roosevelt, President Truman and many important international dignitaries in its world travels until the car was officially retired in 1949.

Prior to the White House acquiring this monumental automobile, it is well known that another armored vehicle used by President Roosevelt for a short time, happened to be once owned by the notorious gangster "Al Capone". A factory stock 1928 Cadillac was retrofitted with boiler plating, bulletproof glass and painted to resemble a typical Chicago Police car which provided Capone security and anonymity. After Capone's indictment for tax evasion, the 1928 Capone Cadillac became Federal property and is believed to have been used by President Roosevelt for a time, which did not favor well in Washington for obvious reasons.

Ironically, the Capone Cadillac was sold at RM's 2006 Arizona auction for $621,000, joining another Presidential Limousine that was built for President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline that sold for $632,000 at RM’s 2005 Arizona sale.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the White House required a vehicle that offered the President the most state-of-the-art protection, comfort and communication during his duties at home and overseas. This car, offered by RM for the first time at auction, is known as Serial #H-135600, or its Secret Service designation, “S.S. 470”, and was the 59th of only 66 Lincoln Custom Limousines built in 1942, and the only one designed with special armor plating and bulletproof glass. The steel plating is 3/16-inch thick, and the windshield and side windows are 9-ply safety glass measuring 1 1/8-inch thick. The stock 1942 Lincoln Limousine weighed about 4,400 pounds, but this Presidential Limousine completely armor-plated and with the bulletproof glass weighs in at nearly 7,000 pounds.

Now since removed, it is believed the car’s two-way radio system was the first FM radio ever used and the most technologically advanced radio system for its day. Other specially designed features of the car included extra heavy-duty radiator, generator and brakes. The Secret Service also equipped the car with flag mounts, hand and foot grips, and a double tone siren.

Following WWII, the limousine received a major styling upgrade, including a 1946 grille and front bumper. The rear and side running boards were removed and the rear fender skirts modified to accommodate heavier-duty multi-piece truck wheels and commercial-grade tires.

Following several private post-war owners, the car was purchased by a Colorado collector and has remained in their family since 1962. The historic 1942 Lincoln Armored Presidential Limousine is now being offered at auction for the first time.

"Our annual Arizona event has seen many important vehicles from the history books cross the auction block, like the James Bond Aston Martin, the ’48 Tucker, the Kennedy Bubbletop, the Capone Cadillac - all which have set sales records,” said RM founder Rob Myers. "The Biltmore itself is a great historic venue in itself for this event and offers guests a comfortable atmosphere in a world class setting.” “Being a car enthusiast himself, I’m sure Frank Lloyd Wright would be very impressed,” adds Myers.

“Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona” begins with a preview on Thursday, January 18 from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m followed by the auction on Friday, January 19th, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission is by catalog ($80) which admits two people. Event and catalog information is available at

Celebrating nearly 30 years in the collector car industry, RM Auctions Inc. and its sister companies are responsible for acquiring, restoring and selling the world’s rarest and most expensive vintage automobiles. Renown for setting international records, RM has recently established offices in the U.K. to provide auction and restoration services for clients in Europe and Asia. In 2006, RM Restorations won the unprecedented "triple crown" for receiving “Best of Show” honors at the world’s top three international collector car events - the Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. For additional information on RM Auctions Inc. and this event, visit: or call toll-free: (800) 211-4371

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Jake Auerbach

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more