Fiat 500L Used by Pope Francis Sells for $82,000 at Auction, All for Charity

Fiat 500L Popemobile 1 photo
Photo: AP
The Fiat 500L in which Pope Francis rode back in September 2015 was sold at auction this weekend.
The car the Pope rode in on all his official trips through Philadelphia last fall went under the hammer at a black tie event during the Philadelphia Auto Show. The auction had 19 bidders and took 11 minutes to reach the $82,000 top bid. The proceedings from the sale will be donated to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which will distribute the funds to their special education schools and other charities.

The winning bid was placed by Michael and Kate Chapman of Chapman Auto Stores, Automotive News reports. The new owners of the car have not specified what they will do with the vehicle. After all, using it would significantly drop its value, so there’s a chance it will be placed in an exhibit. The Chapman Auto group sells Nissan, Ford, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Mazda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles.

A new Fiat 500L starts at almost $20,000 in the United States of America, so the Chapmans paid four times the starting price of the car just because the 79-year-old Pontiff was its passenger. This particular unit was part of a six-vehicle motorcade, but only the one utilized by the Pope was sold at auction. The other car Pope Francis rode in, a white Jeep known as a “Popemobile,” will not be sold.

Back in September 2015, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church used the Fiat 500L instead of bullet-proof limousines in a bid to make a point of his environmental concerns. Pope Francis is known for his desire to live a moderate lifestyle and to impose such values on the Church he leads. Since personal example is a big thing in any culture, what better way to show you are humble than giving up on armored cars for a regular Fiat MPV?

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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