Pope Francis Sells Vatican's Harley-Davidson To Give $52K to Charity

Feb 05, 2015 03:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma


Pope Francis just sold his motorcycle to give €46,000, or $52,651, to charity.

The Vatican auctioned off a Harley-Davidson FLSTC 103 Heritage Softail Classic today as part of a Bonhams sale of historic rides. The motorcycle's selling price surpassed earlier estimates that put the vehicle between $17,000 and $28,000, according to the Fiscal Times. Proceeds will go to the Friendly World Association, a Polish nonprofit.

Pope Benedict XVI received two commemorative motorcycle fuel tanks to help celebrate Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary. Due to illness, he couldn't sign the tanks, so his signature was added serigraphically. When he abdicated in January 2013, the gesture by Harley-Davidson was extended to his successor.

One of the motorcycles fitted with a signed fuel tank remains in the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wis., while the Softail Classic was presented to his holiness Pope Francis after his inauguration in 2013.

At a ceremony in Rome, both the Softail Classic and a 2013 Harley-Davidson 1,585CC FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom were presented to Pope Francis; the latter was auctioned off by Bonhams in 2014, bringing in $330,000.

The Bonhams auction house sale of historic cars follows an exhibition of vintage models featured at the Grand Palais in Paris this week.

Another intriguing vehicle sold today was the 1938 Lagonda LG6 Short Wheelbase Drophead Coupé, which was auctioned off for €287,500, or $328,037. The LG6 has been recently redone in British Racing Green livery, while brown leather interior trim and a beige "double duck" convertible hood complement the paint job.

Built with Lagonda coachwork, the coupé is quite rare as just 63 short-wheelbase production LG6s were built between 1937 and 1940, with only 50 known to have survived. Of those 50, about half were drophead coupés.

The LG6 is known as the "ultimate expression" of the large Lagonda models equipped with a 4.5-liter Meadows engine that could hit 90 mph.  

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