Although it would increase his cool factor, Pope Francis isn’t replacing his popemobile with his Harley-Davidson motorcycle anytime soon. Instead, he’s actually selling the hog.
A Harley-Davidson that belonged to the two most recent Popes is up for sale in Paris Thursday and could break a new record for the most valuable motorcycle sold at auction.
At the beginning of last year, a 2013 Harley-Davidson 1,585CC FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom, formerly the property of Pope Francis, sold for about $330,000 in Paris, making it the 19th most valuable motorcycle sold at auction at the time.
Auction house Bonhams, which his holding a sale of historic cars, Les Grande Marques Du Monde Au Grand Palais this week, estimates the motorcycle will sell for anywhere between $17,000 and $28,000, but this is conservative.
“There's every reason to believe the bike in question will sell for a lot more than its book value and given its association with two Popes, maybe even more than last year's bike,” Gizmag wrote in a January article. Just as with last year’s sale, the proceeds from the sales will go to charity.
Two commemorative motorcycle fuel tanks were presented to Pope Benedict XVI in a special countdown to Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary celebrations, according to Bonhams.
His signature was added serigraphically since he was too ill to sign it himself, and the tanks sent back to the company's U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee where they were fitted to their respective motorcycles.
One remains in the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee while the other motorcycle, the FLSTC 103 Heritage Softail Classic on sale this week, was retained for a special ceremony where it would be presented to the Pope in front of tens of thousands of Harley-Davidson riders at 2013's 110th anniversary celebrations.
However, since Pope Benedict XVI abdicated in January 2013, the Softail Classic was duly presented to the newly inaugurated Pope, his holiness Pope Francis, at a ceremony in Rome together with the FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom sold by Bonhams in 2014.
The Harley sold last year was presented to Pope Francis at a ceremony in Rome in 2013 where he blessed a gathering of some 800 bikers and their machines in St. Peter’s Square.
UPDATE: The motorcycle sold for nearly $52,000.
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