Branch Davidian Leader's Car to Be Auctioned

A souped up Chevy Camaro owned by David Koresh, the slain leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect, will be sold at a Texas auction this weekend, the auctioneer said on Wednesday.

The 500-horsepower Camaro was Koresh's everyday car and has dents from an FBI tank that struck it during the April 19, 1993 raid in which he and 80 Davidians died and their Waco, Texas compound burned to the ground, said Daniel Kruse of vintage car firm Kruse International.

The 1968 model "muscle" car with a powerful 427-cubic-inch motor has the words "DAVID'S 427 GO GOD" stamped on the engine block.

"This is history," Kruse said. "This is what David Koresh was all about."

Koresh, an aspiring rock and roll musician whose real name was Vernon Wayne Howell, was portrayed by federal officials and fellow Davidians as a fast-living manipulator who used his charm to control his followers.

On Feb. 28, 1993, four Drug Enforcement Administration agents were killed in a shootout with the Davidians, leading to a 51-day siege that ended with the spectacular fire.

Kruse says the car was parked in front of the compound throughout the siege, then seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration and eventually sold to a private individual who will sell it on Saturday at a classic car auction in Fredericksburg in central Texas.

Normally, the car, which is good condition other than the tank damage, would sell for $30,000 to $40,000, but $60,000 or more is possible, he said.

"With this historic connection, who knows how high it will go?"