When Pope Francis stepped off of the plane into the United States, many expected to see him get into a limousine. However, the car of choice for Pope Francis in the United States: a black Fiat 500L. The car retails for as low as $19,995.00 in the United States. The average new car price in the United States is $33,650, according to a USA Today report about 2015 Kelley Blue Book pricing.
We all know that Pope Francis has a commitment to the poor, so a modest car would not be much of a surprise. The Vatican reportedly ordered six cars for use in the United States, four of which Pope Francis ended up riding in. But now that Pope Francis has left the United States, what will happen to the cars Francis drove?
Jim Donovan of CBS Philly reports that interest of Fiat 500L cars in the area has spiked, but also that the cars Francis drove were basic models and will be auctioned later for charity:
“We’ve been told the Pope rode in 4 of the 6 Fiats and that most likely they’ll be auctioned off for charity at a later date. But don’t expect any kind of James Bond extras. Sources tell us that it is likely they weren’t modified and were likely not bulletproof.”
Auctioning off items is not unusual for Pope Francis. It is not even the first time he will have auctioned a Fiat.
Daily Mail reported last year that Francis auctioned off several gifts he received, including a Fiat:
Since his appointment last year he has been showered with lavish gifts from royalty, world leaders and luxury goods makers.
But in keeping with his famously frugal reputation Pope Francis has declined to keep the generous presents for himself and is to raffle them off for charity, according to reports.
The top prize is a Fiat Panda in papal white, with four runners up winning one of a selection of bikes including a tandem and a racing bike.
The Panda is larger than the 500L Pope Francis rode in while in the United States.
Fiat is one of the best-selling cars in Italy. The company, however, has plants in Pope Francis’ native country of Argentina and 14 other countries. Fiat is currently owns the Chrysler corporation.