You Can Own the Pope’s Philly Fiat
Pope Francis’ four-door Fiat was the subject of much talk when he visited Philadelphia in September — stylish, yet small and environmentally friendly, the little vehicle gave off just the right vibe of humility that Francis himself has sought during his papacy.
Now it can be yours. The Fiat will be auctioned Jan. 29 at the Philadelphia Auto Show’s Black Tie Tailgate. The announcement was made today by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Proceeds will go to church ministries.
“When we learned that these vehicles would be given to us, we wanted to find some way for the public to see them and answer Pope Francis’ call to love and care for the poor,” Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a written statement announcing the auction.
Philly.com notes that the Fiat usually retails for about $20,000 — but that this particular model can be expected to fetch a few bucks more. The car gets 33 mpg on the highway, and can go 0 to 60 in about nine seconds.
NBC10 adds that the auction will be conducted by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., with both live and remote bidding allowed. A second Fiat used by the pope will be featured during the entirety of the auto show, Jan. 30 through Feb. 7, though it may also be auctioned at some point.
Just don’t expect it to be souped-up. The tiny vehicle provoked astonishment among observers when Pope Francis used it during his trip to Philly, Washington D.C. and New York last September.
“While most of the motorcade was made up of enormous blacked-out SUVs, the Pope was greeted on the tarmac by a little black Fiat 500l,” The Telegraph observed. “Astonishment among the US press was audible – one CNN anchor informed his audience that there must be must be some ‘bells and whistles’ of which the public was unaware. The choice of vehicle, however, simply reflects many of the values which Pope Francis holds dear.”
The sale will benefit the archdiocese’s ministries, including Catholic Charities Appeal, Catholic Social Services, Mercy Hospice, Casa Del Carmen, and the Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education. It takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday, January 29.