The iconic Colonel Sanders suit has been sold, and it’s staying in the family. Sort of.
The president of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan bought the suit worn by company founder “Colonel” Harland Sanders at auction on Saturday for $21,510, and wasted no time trying it on.
Masao “Charlie” Watanabe was photographed (below) wearing the suit, giving a thumbs up, and grinning ear to ear. He was in town for a company marketing meeting in Dallas, but showed up early when he found out that Colonel Sanders’ suit was to be auctioned off.
Hundreds of people in-person, online and over the phone were bidding on various items, including a gun belt owned by Jesse James and leg irons belonging to legendary abolitionist John Brown.
But Watanabe was just there for the Colonel Sanders memorabilia. He also walked away with the Colonel’s 1973 driver’s license, which sold for $1,912.
Colonel Sanders is actually a hugely popular icon in Japan, with most KFC restaurants there hosting statues of him out front. After he’s done wearing the suit, Watanabe said that he plans to display it at a Tokyo restaurant.
“Every child in Japan knows Colonel Sanders’ face and his uniform,” Watanabe told The AP.
According to the KFC website, Colonel Sanders was named a “Kentucky colonel” by the state’s governor in 1935, an honorary title. In 1930, he started his business by cooking meals for travelers who stopped at his gas station.
You can check out a photo of Masao “Charlie” Watanabe looking happy as a clam in Colonel Sanders’ suit below:
[Top image via: Chris Gladis]