The Fiat Popemobile (maybe two) set for charity auction

Michael James

Pope Francis waves as a passenger in a Fiat 500L.

How cool would be to own a Popemobile or two?

A 2015 black Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis on his trip to the United States in September 2015 is being auctioned off at the Gooding & Co., to benefit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.

A gray Fiat 500L used by the Pope will also at the auction. But no there’s no confirmation if it will also be auctioned.

The Fiat or Fiats, used at Popemobiles, will be available January 29 at the Black Tie Tailgate event, scheduled during the Philadelphia Auto Show. The midsize 500L crossover was introduced in 2014. Its MSRP is at just under $20,000.

According to Kelley Blue Book, a well-equipped used Fiat 500L model is price at $15,000.

Pope Francis waves as a passenger in a Fiat 500L.
Pope Francis waves from in a 2015 Fiat 500L used as a Popemoible during his 2015 visit to the U.S.

According to pre-auction speculation, the Fiat from the Pope’s U.S. may attraction twice the mew sticker price.

Fiat was a surprising choice for the Pope for his visit, since previous Holy Fathers who visited the United States rode in limousines. Paul VI had a special Lincoln Continental limousine built for him in 1965. Successive popes have since enjoyed the comforts of Mercedes models, custom-built trucks, and even a Ferrari.

When the Argentinian Cardinal ascended to the papacy, he wanted to drive himself around the Vatican, not be chauffeured like previous Popes. His current rides in a 1984 Renault 4 with 186,000 miles on it, which he regularly drives.

When he must be driven in a a stretched Jeep Wrangler or a a custom open-topped Kia Sedona and Hyundai Santa Fe.

The Pope’s transport in the Fiat gave massive publicity. But the vehicle hasn’t fared well, with few than 30,000 units Fiat 500L units sold since it debut three years ago.

Perhaps its odd heritage is part of the issue. The Fiat 500L is built in Serbia in a former Yugo factory.

Article Last Updated: January 23, 2016.

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