The armored vehicle maker that customized the limousine in which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 is shutting down its operations. The O’Gara Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Company filed a notice in March that it will lay off all of its employees in Fairfield, Ohio, and close permanently.

The military contractor with a long history of building armored cars for world leaders and celebrities traces its roots back to the late 1800s. The company said it had been trying for months to raise enough capital to stay open but no longer has the money to keep paying its workers.

The company is probably best known for reinforcing Kennedy’s presidential limousine after it was built by Ford Motor Co. at its plant in Wixom, Michigan, in 1961. The car was cut in half and extended by 3 1/2 feet at the coachbuilder’s Cincinnati factory, according to the Henry Ford Museum, where the car is on display.

Among the modifications to the vehicle were removable transparent roof panels, a hydraulic rear seat that could elevate the president and steps for Secret Service agents. Kennedy, at the urging of local politicians, ordered the reflective glass shield atop the limousine removed for his visit to Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

After Kennedy’s assassination, the limousine underwent more modifications at Hess & Eisenhardt and was returned to the White House in 1964, according to the Henry Ford Museum.

Source: ABC News