July 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM ET
Fried chicken fans can get a little closer to the person behind the poultry now that one of KFC founder Colonel Sander's signature suits is going up for auction. No price can get you his coveted list of eleven herbs and spices but the starting bid for this slice of Americana is $3,000.
The suit is up for bids at Lelands.com. The full suit, with white frock coat and pants, also comes with a clip-on string tie. The suit was owned and worn by the Colonel but the tie was not. In the last 20 years of his life, suits like this were the only thing he would wear in public.
Born Harland David Sanders in 1890, he held several jobs, including ash pan cleaner, fireman, lawyer, and gas station owner. At the last one, in 1930, he began serving fried chicken to guests using a pressure cooker method he perfected that fried it faster than a pan. The roadside stopover made its way into guidebooks and eventually became a highly successful franchise operation, one of the first to go international, with Sanders as the licensed spokesman. The honorary title of "Colonel" was bestowed upon him by Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon in 1935.
The last time one of these suits went up for auction, in 2013, it fetched $21,150. And in 2002, at a charity auction held at an annual Association of KFC Franchisees Convention, of the colonel's suits sold for $80,000. Bids close July 25.
Hey, it's never too early to start planning for Halloween.