Pope’s Harley brings $404,500 for charity at auction

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Photo copyright L'Osservatore Romano | courtesy of Bonhams
Photo copyright L'Osservatore Romano | courtesy of Bonhams
Photo copyright L’Osservatore Romano | courtesy of Bonhams

After six minutes of bidding earlier today, the hammer fell and Pope Francis’ 2013 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide sold for $404,500 at Bonhams Paris sale. A Harley-Davidson jacket donated by the pope brought another $78,000. Proceeds of both sales go to the renovation of Caritas Roma’s Do Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen in Rome’s Termini railway station.

The hostel opened 30 years ago to help the homeless, jobless and poor.

The Harley and the jacket, both signed by Pope Francis, were given to the pontiff by the American motorcycle manufacturer during the company’s 110th anniversary celebration last summer.

“I am thrilled with the result achieved and am very pleased for the charity,” said Ben Walker, head of motorcycle sales for Bonhams. “It has to be a world record for a twenty-first century Harley-Davidson and certainly for a Harley-Davidson leather jacket.”

“We are delighted with the results of the sale, which far exceeded any of our expectations,” said Enrico Feroci, director of Caritas Roma. “We would like to thank Bonhams for their professionalism with handling the motorcycle and for all their efforts in helping us to achieve such an amazing result.”

Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale continues today at the Grand Palais in Paris.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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