While it’s doubtful you’ll ever get the chance to ride shotgun with Papa Francesco, you just might get to rev up and hit the open road on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. That is, if you can book it to Paris’ Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in time for the Bonhams Auction February 6. That’s where the famous European auctioneer will place Pope Francis’ Hog up for bids.
Papa Francesco, as he’s affectionately known throughout Europe, is perhaps the coolest guy yet to rock the Papal robes. He does his own bidding, actually picking up the phone calling people himself rather than having a paid assistant handle his communications. He’s been known to switch out his Papal vestment for plain ol’ priest garb and sneak out of the Vatican in the wee hours of the night to visit with, feed and minister to Rome’s homeless. And, he famously chose to forgo pricey Vatican rides, which typically have been Mercedes-Benz or Lincoln Continental models, for arguably humbler choices. He tooled around town in a Ford Focus for a while and recently accepted a friend’s offer of a 1984 Renault 4, in which he reportedly gives his security team a regular scare hopping in and cruising around Vatican City sans-chauffeur. Not surprising when you consider that the guy once worked as a bar bouncer before joining the Jesuits and eventually landing his current gig.
But back to that sweet bike. Harley-Davidson donated the Dyna Super Glide and a leather Harley jacket to Pope Francis during the company’s 110th anniversary celebration last year. Upwards of half a million leather-clad bikers lined the streets of Vatican City for a chance at a momentary face-to-face with Papa Francesco during a Blessing of the Bikes ceremony. The Pope graciously accepted the offer, but has decided to part with the gifts (both of which now sport his autograph) for a great cause. Proceeds from the sale of the motorcycle and jacket will benefit a hostel and soup kitchen at Rome’s Termini railway station run by Caritas Roma, a charitable organization.
The heavenly ride is expected to fetch upwards of $20,000. Will you make a bid? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.