In the car world,Â Pope Francis is most famous for abandoning the popemobile to drive himself around in various small hatchbacks. Perhaps thinking he was an automobile enthusiast, Lamborghini gifted him a whiteÂ HuracÃ¡nÂ RWD Coupe with gold detailing to match his catholic dressings on Wednesday, just outside the Vatican hotel where he lives.
Unfortunately, while he blessed the crap out of the car, he doesn’t want to keep it. Instead, the church will auction it off to fund the Nineveh Plains Reconstruction Project â€” a group primarily focused on helping women who were victims of trafficking at the hands of ISIS.
While we wish they would have orchestrated a photo shoot where His Holiness performs a burnout, turning to the camera to look over a pair of wraparound sunglasses whilst uttering “Good God,” we understand he’s supposed to remain reverent â€” or whatever. It just seemed like a missed opportunity and could have upped the resale value of the car the pontiff laid rubber with. Besides, it would have been for a good cause.Â
However, good taste prevailed and the Lamborghini will be sold withÂ Francis’ blessing (and autograph) via Sothebyâ€™s auction house. With a starting MSRP around $200,000, we would expect the ultra-rare papal custom to sell for substantially more. Interestingly, the Catholic News Agency said it was an all-wheel drive model, while Lamborghini indicated it was rear-drive. Based on our tire-shredding fantasy, we’re more inclined to believe the automaker.
A portion of the funds raised from the auction will also go towardÂ supporting missionary work in Africa. But the bulk will be used on rebuilding homes, churches, and public buildings in Iraq that were devastated during three years of fighting by the Islamic State group. The Vatican said the purpose is to allow Christians who were forced to flee Nineveh “to finally return to their roots and recover their dignity.”
This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has auctioned off a used vehicle.Â In 2014, he sold a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to aid a homeless shelter in Rome, and it has been a longstanding practice for popes to sell popemobiles for charitable causes.
Lamborghini definitely knew that this car would change hands quickly. The presentation ceremony was attended by Stefano Domenicali, chairman and chief executive officer of Automobili Lamborghini, some of the companyâ€™s management board, and two technicians who built the special edition HuracÃ¡n.Â Sothebyâ€™s said the car will be auctioned onÂ May 12th, 2018Â â€” which should give you just enough time to get your finances in order.