VATICAN CITY – Last year, Lamborghini gave an unrepeatable, special edition race car to Pope Francis. The design paid homage to the colors of the Vatican City flag. The car was detailed with Bianco Leda Sportivo leather and Giano wheels. The finishing touch was Pope Francis’ signature on the bonnet of the car.
But you wouldn’t catch the pontiff taking the sports car for a spin in the streets of Rome. Pope Francis has never driven the Lamborghini – it has sat in the Vatican garage since last fall.
This weekend, Pope Francis donated the limited edition Lamborghini to an auction. The auction of the car “represents a unique opportunity to acquire a wholly unique Lamborghini while giving back to worthy causes in the name of His Holiness,” the auction catalog description read.
With no reserve price, people gathered in the room the car was housed, online, and on the telephone to place their bids. The auction winner paid $937,845.48 for the unique car autographed by the pope.
Proceeds from the auction will go to a variety of charities. According to Sotheby’s, who sold the car, a majority of the sale will help rebuild homes and churches in Iraq. The funds will also help various charities in Africa and Asia.
Pope Francis will donate some proceeds to the Pope John XXII Community Association, an organization that fights human trafficking by counseling and housing prostitutes. The money will go towards the “Pope Francis home”, a home for refugees of the human trafficking crisis. Since 1989, the organization has freed over 7,000 women from the sex trafficking industry.
Pope Francis’ Lamborghini isn’t his first auction item to raise thousands for charity. During his second year of the papacy, he auctioned off a Harley-Davidson motorcycle for $284,000 (more than 10 times it’s worth!). A leather jacket that he signed has gone for $68,000.