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Les Gold, 'American Jewelry and Loan,' has a buyer for Jack Kevorkian's vehicle

NEW YORK - JUNE 24: Film subject Dr. Jack Kevorkian attends the HBO Documentary Screening Of 'Kevorkian' at HBO Theater on June 24, 2010 in New York City.
Photo by Michael Loccisano

The Daily News reports that Les Gold has his most unusual pawned item, Jack Kevorkian’s 1968 Volkswagen Microbus, also dubbed the Deathmobile, on Lay-away at his pawn store.

The deathmobile is in the back room at American Jewelry and Loan in Southfield, Michigan, waiting for the new owner to pay off the $25,000 in full. The buyer, who remains undisclosed, is said to be a car dealer in Detroit. The new owner wants to display the Volkswagen in his store when he gets it paid off.

The Deathmobile was the vehicle that Jack Kevorkian traveled in as he helped many people pass away peacefully in their sleep. He had a homemade euthanasia machine that he used to do the deed. In the 1990s, Jack helped over 130 terminally ill people commit suicide. He allegedly never did the deed himself.

Les's blog post stated, "According to his (Jack Kevorkian's) lawyer, well-known Detroit attorney, Geoffrey Feiger, each of the individuals that Dr. Kevorkian worked with took the final action which resulted in their own deaths, using a euthanasia device that he had designed and built and installed in the van that is now a part of American Jewelry and Loan’s collection."

In 2011, Jack Kevorkian passed away at the age of 83. He served 8 years in jail for helping people commit suicide. Jack sold the vehicle to a scrap yard in 1997, just before he was convicted of second-degree homicide, but the Volkswagen wasn’t scrapped out. A Volkswagen parts collector, Jack Finn, operating out of Ferndale, bought the vehicle and then tried to sell it on EBay. However, EBay forced him to take the listing down because it was associated with murder.

On January 23, 2013, a man came into Les Gold’s pawnshop to sell the Volkswagen. He was asking for $40,000, but Les offered him $20,000. After some haggling, they decided to leave the amount on a coin toss. Less won the gamble and paid $20,000. The "Hardcore Pawn" episode aired on TV in January 2013, on episode 24 of Season 6.

The vehicle is authenticated. The VIN number on the police logbook matches the VIN of the vehicle Les bought. The title, has Jack's signature and is dated on the reverse side. Les also has copies of Jack's registration and driver's license. The vehicle does not run and it is in bad shape. There is no Jack memorabilia or tools left inside the vehicle.

Les said that the buyer continually makes payments. "He just wants it because he collects strange and unique items; and what's more strange and unique than Dr. Jack Kevorkian's, Dr. Death's, assisted suicide van."

Les also said that he had trouble finding someone to buy the Deathmobile. He couldn't even give it away to any museums.