The proceeds of an auction for the only known vehicle to have been signed twice by a U.S. president will now benefit an Iowa museum named after Dan Gable – the most dominant wrestler in history.
The highlight of the April 8th Barrett-Jackson auction in West Palm Beach turned out to be a white 2009 King Ranch F-150 4X4 pickup autographed twice by President George W. Bush and owned by Allan Jones, the founder and CEO of Check Into Cash. Jones is a longtime wrestling philanthropist both nationally and in Tennessee, where he resides.
The Barrett-Jackson event was broadcast nationwide on the Velocity channel and generated tremendous interest on social media.
The biggest news from the sale of the truck was that $25,000 of the proceeds would go to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo that benefits youth wrestling for boys and girls.
Gable weighed in on the significance of $25,000 going to the museum in his hometown that bears his name.
“Thanks to Janie and Allan Jones and the new purchaser, this money will help countless young boys and girls participating in many wrestling programs,” said Dan Gable. “It will also benefit the Dan Gable Museum’s expansion of its Teaching Center, Wrestling Room, Theater and Museum.”
“The $25,000 from this auction will benefit thousands of youth wrestlers in the next few years as well as the museum,” Gable added. “This is history.”
For Jones, the gift to the Gable museum needs no explanation.
“The work Dan Gable is doing with young boys and girls is important because the youth wrestlers develop a love for the sport and build a strong work ethic that will carry them through life,” said Jones. “Dan and his team also strive to teach the young athletes moral character and good sportsmanship. Winning starts at this level.”
Steve Scoggins, Check Into Cash president, noted that Gable is a wrestling legend whose name is famous all over the world – but especially in Iowa.
Gable had a high school and college record of 181-1 and as an Olympic competitor in the Munich Games of 1972, he brought home the Gold Medal and was undefeated and unscored upon. As a college wrestler at Iowa State University, he was a two-time NCAA champion/three-time finalist and as a coach brought Iowa 15 NCAA titles – nine in a row from 1978 to 1986 – and 21 straight Big Ten conference titles, not to mention Coach of the Year three times.
“It is the pleasure of Check Into Cash to honor this legend and help continue the fine work that he does,” said Scoggins. “Dan Gable is a man who stands in a class of his own and we respect that. He is a great American.”
Prior to the auction in April, the Bush truck was purchased by Jones in 2013 at that year’s Palm Beach Barrett Jackson event. Before selling the truck, Bush kept it at his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX after he left the White House in 2009. It still has the original license plates.
“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.
Along with the $25,000 to the Gable Museum, the remaining money raised from the auction – $65,000 – was designated for the Higher Calling Youth Wrestling Club in Cleveland, TN (the hometown of Jones). Higher Calling is a wrestling program that gives young wrestlers of all skill levels, grades K through 5, a chance to learn the essentials of practice and competition.