Would you buy a used truck from a former president?
That is the chance bidders will have during next weekend’s Barrett-Jackson auction to be held in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Former President George W. Bush used the white 2009 F-150 4x4 pickup at his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, from shortly after leaving the White House in 2009 until it was sold in 2013 by Barrett-Jackson. That event was a charity auction, and the buyer was Cleveland businessman Allan Jones, with the proceeds benefiting the Fisher House Foundation.
The former president and first lady Laura Bush used the truck to work around their ranch and to entertain friends, family and dignitaries visiting their ranch.
Since 2013, the truck has been used by Jones to promote national brands owned by his companies.
“We originally bought the president's truck to benefit the National Guard Youth Foundation and always intended to resell it for charity,” said Jones. "I never imagined the F-150 would become such a collectible because the president autographed it not just once —but twice!"
Jones explained that after he purchased the truck in 2013, the Bush signature was accidentally washed off during routine maintenance. When he realized what had happened, Jones asked the president if he would sign it again so that truck could be resold for charity.
“President Bush graciously agreed to help us and the rest is history,” Jones said. “He autographed the F-150 in the exact same location, on the right airbag panel. Once word got out, everyone wanted to know when the auction was taking place.”
Jones has designated that all the proceeds from the April 8 sale of the truck will go to the Community Foundation of Cleveland and Bradley County, a community based 501(c)(3) qualified charity, for the further designated purpose of supporting one of the nation's top youth wrestling clubs, the Higher Calling Wrestling Club Inc., in Tennessee, and the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, which benefits youth wrestling and is named after the most dominant wrestler in history.
The Higher Calling Kids Club promotes development of kids’ wrestling skills and competitions, from kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Programs such as Higher Calling have proven to greatly benefit children by building self-esteem and enhancing physical fitness while promoting social interaction, teamwork, and community pride,” Jones said. “Kids need self-worth and social interaction. We want tomorrow's leaders to have a healthy sense of fitness, fairness, and community. Not to mention — we love wrestling!”
He said the club is important because it provides an opportunity for kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to compete.
“We have kids who can’t afford the singlets, can’t afford their uniforms and can’t afford to wrestle the tournaments. The proceeds from the sale of the Bush truck will allow the young athletes in this community to have a chance that they would never have otherwise. It means a lot,” he said.
The Dan Gable Museum memorializes excellence in U.S. National wrestling competitions at collegiate and international levels. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame recognizes the wrestling careers of individuals and sponsors amateur wrestling tournaments developing physical and leadership skills that benefit competitors for their entire lives. Ten percent of the charitable-sale proceeds will be used to benefit the Museum and Hall of Fame.
“Dan Gable is a wrestling legend whose name is famous all over the world," said Jones. "He had a high school and college record of 180-1 and as an Olympic competitor in the Munich Games of 1972, he brought home the Gold Medal and was un-scored upon. As a college coach, he was a two-time NCAA champion and brought Iowa 15 NCAA titles — nine in a row from 1978 to 1986 — and 21 Big Ten team titles, not to mention Coach of the Year three times. It is our pleasure to honor this legend and help continue the fine work that he does.”
Gable noted even before the 2017 auction, the Bush truck had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for veterans and Wounded Warrior programs.
“Now, thanks to Janie and Allan Jones and the new purchaser, this special truck will help countless young boys and girls participating in many wrestling programs," said Gable. “It will also benefit the Dan Gable Museum's expansion of its Teaching Center, Wrestling Room, Theater and Museum.”
“The monies from this auction will benefit thousands of youth wrestlers in the next few years as well as the museum. This is history,” Gable said.
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