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The Pope’s Fiat 500L Could Sell For An Eye-Watering $100,000 At Auction

Key Takeaways

  • Fiat 500L, once used to transport Pope Francis, heads to auction.
  • Estimated to sell for $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Has just 773 recorded miles on the odometer.

If you’re a collector of unusual motorcars, pay attention: A Fiat 500L, once used to transport His Holiness Pope Francis during a visit to New York City in 2015, is heading to auction with an estimated selling price of $50,000 – $100,000 – enough for a really nice BMW, or three Fiat 500e city cars and change.

It’s rather unusual for such a respected figure like the Pope to drive around in a Fiat. After all, the papacy usually drives around in something slightly more prestigious, such as a custom Mercedes-Benz.

While we will never know the reason behind choosing the humble 500L, author Ken Gross surmised that the Fiat is a “compact sedan large enough to ferry His Holiness in luxury but plebian enough to placate [those] who believe a man of the people should be seen in a car that most people can afford.”

Underwhelming Car With A Special History

Priced just under $20,000 when new, the peculiar-looking compact car would be worth around $10,000 were it not for its divine connection.

Despite its history, the 500L looks like the example any eccentric art teacher would be happy to drive. Black paintwork, demure wheels, and chrome detailing tone down the wacky styling somewhat. Unlike official Popemobiles, the 500L doesn’t have the special glass-enclosed room that sits on the rear of the vehicle.

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At least Pope Francis had the pleasure of driving around in the Lounge trim, which includes heated front seats, cloth/leather upholstery, climate control, and more. The quirky minivan-cum-hatchback is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter, four-pot motor that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That doesn’t make for blistering performance, but if it’s good enough for His Holiness, it’s good enough for the rest of us.

After having the honor of transporting the Holy Father, the Fiat 500L was driven by Monsignor Robert Richie, the rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Cardinal Timothy Dolan reviewed the vehicle before it was included in the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is clearly the world’s most famous 500L.

Not The Most Exciting Papal Car, But Special Nonetheless

The car was later auctioned off for charity and was acquired by the Dare to Dream Collection, where it has remained until now. This is believed to be the first Papal vehicle ever to be sold off by the Archdiocese.

Unsurprisingly, it has covered barely any distance, with a recorded 773 miles on the odometer. Serious collectors will be pleased to know the Fiat comes with a copy of the old title that lists the Archdiocese of New York as the owner. While it won’t appeal to most monied gearheads, this 500L would make a fine addition to many museums or collections of celebrity-related vehicles.

If you’re interested, the special Fiat will be offered by RM Sotheby’s between 31 May – 1 June 2024.

A few years ago, Lamborghini gifted His Holiness a one-off Huracan. Of course, a car of this stature is far too flashy for a man of the cloth, so the car was given away via Omaze, with contestants donating $10 for the chance of winning the Italian supercar.

#Popes #Fiat #500L #Sell #EyeWatering #Auction

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