General Eisenhower’s jeep fails to sell at online auction
PUBLISHED: 14:04 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:04 22 July 2020
Cheffins / US National Archives/Picryl
A jeep once owned by victorious Second World War general and US president Dwight D Eisenhower was left unsold at an East Anglian auction after bids failed to reach the £120,000 reserve price.
The 1944 Willys-Overland Military Jeep – still in full working order with 33,000 miles on the clock – was the headline lot at the Cheffins’ Cambridge Vintage Sale, based at Sutton, near Ely.
The vehicle was presented to General Eisenhower by the National Trust for Scotland in 1946, along with the keys to an apartment in Culzean Castle, in recognition of his strategic brilliance as supreme allied commander during the war. He would later become the 34th president of the USA from 1953 to 1961, and used the jeep as his rural runaround when visiting the estate in Ayrshire.
Auctioneers had hoped it could fetch as much as £150,000 at the sale, which was Cheffins’ first since the lockdown and the first to accept bids solely online or by proxy.
But for now it will remain with its current owner, a collector from Buckinghamshire, who has owned it since 1978 and has demonstrated it at shows and memorial celebrations including the 2005 anniversary of D-Day at Culzean Castle, where Eisenhower’s granddaughter Susan was photographed at the wheel.
Auctioneer Jeremy Curzon said: “Unfortunately the jeep which was gifted to General Eisenhower failed to reach its reserve at auction today. Whilst it saw copious amounts of pre-sale interest, it just didn’t quite make the full price needed and this may have been due to a number of our regular buyers not being able to attend the sale in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“In spite of this, the majority of the vintage sale saw business as usual with a number of high prices achieved.”
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