(FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS) — A bizarre piece of Texas history is expected to bring as much as $60,000 when it is sold at a classic car auction in the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg on Saturday.
The black souped up Chevy Camaro owned by Branch Davidian leader David Koresh will be sold as is, complete with damage it suffered when it was run over by an FBI tank as the cult‘s compound near Waco burned around it on April 19, 1993.
“This is the car that he drove every day between the compound and downtown Waco, it’s still titled in David Koresh’s name,” auctioneer Daniel Kruse of Kruse International told 1200 WOAI news.
Kruse identified the car as a 1968 Chevy Camaro two door, four speed, 500 horsepower car, with the words “DAVID’S 427 GO GOD” stamped on the engine block. 427 is a reference to the car’s 427 c.c. engine.
The car was seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration after Koresh and more than eighty followers died in the fire that destroyed the Branch Davidian compound, and sold to a Waco wholesaler, which repainted it and sold it to a private owner who will sell it on Saturday.
“This is exactly the way he had it, other than the repainting, it has not been changed from the way he had it.”
Kruse said there is a ‘fascination’ with events which played a role in historical events, pointing out that the handgun Jack Ruby used to kill Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $220,000 in 1991.
“This is history,” he said. “If you think about it, this really is history. This is what David Koresh was all about.”
Koresh, an aspiring rock and roll musician who’s real name was Vernon Wayne Howell, was portrayed by federal officials and fellow members of the Branch Davidian cult as a fast living manipulator who used his charm and wit to obtain complete control over more than 100 people who drifted into his bizarre brand of Seventh Day Adventist evangelism. On February 28, 1993, four DEA agents were killed in a shootout with Koresh and his followers, leading to a 51 day siege which ended with the spectacular fire which destroyed Koresh’s rickety compound.
Kruse says the car was parked in front of the compound throughout the siege, and he figures that will add to its value.
“Camaros, of course, aren’t made any more, and a 1968 Camaro in this condition can be expected to sell for #0 to 40 thousand dollars anywhere. With this historic connection, who knows how high it will go.