Pope Mobile-Sports Will Be Auctioned in Philadelphia Next Week

By Staff Writer

Jan 23, 2016 03:51 AM EST

Two of Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis during his historic visit to U.S. in September will be auctioned in Philadelphia next week. One of the cars will be displayed in the Philadelphia Auto Show.

During his visit in U.S. September last year, Pope Francis used six cars, three usual Popemobile and three Fiat 500L. Each car is prepared in three cities where the Pontiff visited in his 5-day trip: Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia.

Normally, the Pope always use the usual white jeep with open side, called Popemobile. The Popemobile is a formal name for the specially designed automobiles used by the Pope during outdoor public appearances. The Popemobile was designed to allow people see the pope when he greets the crowd.

Diverge from the tradition, Pope Francis used a small Italian-made sportscar, Fiat 500L during his U.S. visit last year accompanying the official Popemobile. Well-known for his modest and simplicity, Pope Francis selection of an ordinary car in his trip is his bold statement to show his modesty.

During he visit, the Secret Service's giant Chevrolet Suburban cars surrounded a petite compact-sport car made a whimsical view. NBC News reported, amid heavy security and typically surrounded by the large, armored black limousines and SUVs preferred by traveling American politicians, the Fiat was very visible for its small size and ever-open rear window from which the Pope waved to crowds.

Two of Fiat 500L the Holy Father used will be auctioned after the carmaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles donated the cars. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the automaker selected to manufacture both cars used by Pope in his U.S. visit: Jeep Wranglers that were modified with a glass roof and open sides as Popemobile, and Fiat 500L.

In final day of his U.S. trip, Pope Francis celebrated the closing mass for the World Meeting of Families 2015 conference in Philadelphia on Sunday September 27. The organizer of the conference will also be responsible for auction of Fiat 500L, the "Popemobile-sports."

Regarding the auction, Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families told Philly, "We can think of no better way to officially close the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia than to have his papal Fiat drive off into the sunset while benefiting so many people in need.It's exactly what Pope Francis would have wanted us to do."

USA Today reported that no estimates of how much it is expected to fetch, although off-site bidding will be allowed. Proceeds from the auction will benefit and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

The auction of two Fiat 500L used by the Pontiff will be held at the Philadelphia Auto Show on Friday, January 29. Following the auction, the second car will be kept on display until the end of auto show on February 7.

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