54 years ago this week the United States was faced with the loss of its President. On Friday November 22nd 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, he was traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife, Nellie, in a presidential motorcade.
Only minutes after Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy from the sixth floor of the book depository building, he casually walked out the front door, hailed down this Checker cab #36 and had the driver William Wayne Whaley drive him back to his rooming house.
Whaley tried to make conversation with Oswald. “What the hell you think happened out there? he recalled asking Oswald as an opener. Oswald didn’t answer him back. He asked to be dropped off two blocks past his rooming house. The fare was $0.95 he gave him a dollar and said keep the change.
After exiting the Checker Cab, Oswald would then kill J. D. Tippit a uniformed on duty police officer who was an 11-year veteran with the Dallas Police Department.
Two years later, in 1965 taxi driver William Wayne Whaley would die In an unfortunate accident in his Checker Cab. The surprise to many is that the 1962 Checker driven by Whaley in 1963 still exists. The crash Checker from 1965 was not cab 36. Cab 36 served the city of Dallas until 1969. The Checker Cab Company of Dallas would later sell the Checker to The Pate Museum in Fort Worth. In 2010 the Checker taxi number 36 sold for $35,750 and is now on display at Historic Auto Attractions of in Roscoe, Illinois.
The Checker is in very good condition and appears to be original. Looks like it just came out of service. The Checker is indeed a Model A11 taxicab and it is equipped with the rare rear seat forward option. The Checker is equipped with a flathead six Continental engine.
For more information on the actual ride with Oswald, here is a CBS video from 1964. Whaley and cab 36.
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