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Holy Power: Pope's Lamborghini sells for €810,000 at auction

BEAM Staff
May 14, 2018

Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church, has sold his custom designed, Lamborghini Huracan RWD Coupé for €809,375 at auction earlier this month. The proceeds have been donated to charitable causes chosen by His Holiness.

Put up for sale during a high profile auction held by RM Sotheby's in Monaco on May 12th, the 2018 Lamborghini Huracan was amongst other significant cars to be sold, that racked in a total of €23.3 million in one night. Initially estimated at €250K to €350K, the supercar gifted by Lamborghini to the Pope sold for nearly triple its starting value at €809,375.

The most expensive car to be sold at the event was a 2015 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, initially valued at €1.2m to €1.5m, which eventually found a buyer at over €1.7 million. Barely used, with just 840km on its engine, the car was heavily modified with Transformers-themed details, including blue light that contrasted with blue carbon fibre.

"Once again, we have enjoyed a strong sale in Monaco." commented Augustin Sabatie-Garat, auction manager at RM Sotheby's Europe. "We offered some fine cars, and it was a particular privilege to sell the Lamborghini Huracán for such an incredible charitable cause. We saw strong individual prices achieved across the board, and it is clear the market is still robust enough for world-record results to be achieved."

Taking its inspiration from the Vatican City flag, the Lamborghini is styled in white and yellow. Signed by the Pope, the proceeds from the sale will be distributed to the city of Nineveh, Iraq as well as 3 different charitable organisations hand picked by the Vatican. The Huracan's base price sits at €180,000 for normal editions.

The Huracan in question was originally gifted to the famously frugal Pope back in November 2017 by the Italian manufacturer. Shortly following Lamborghini's donation, the Pope said he would sell the car for charity, which he now has. A Harley-Davidson motorcycle that had been donated to the Pope was also sold for charity back in 2013, netting $327,000, 25 times it base value.

The Lamborghini auctioned by the Pope was created by Ad Personam, the Italian manufacturer's customisation department. Unique in nature, the car is, however not the only asset that the Pope has sold for charity in recent years. A Harley Davidson motorcycle jacket he once signed was sold for $68,000. One of his iPads sold for $30,500, ie nearly 30 times face value.

Produced since 2014, the Lamborghini Huracan is amongst Lamborghini's most popular cars. Reaching a top speed of 320 km/h in just over 10 seconds, the supercar is built out of aluminum and carbon fiber to ensure lower weight and faster speed. Typically priced at around €180,000, near 10,000 of them are on the road worldwide.

At 610 horsepower, the Huracan is one of the fastest cars that Lamborghini has ever created. It's sales price is, however, more of a testament to the selling power of the Pope's signature, which had a similar effect on the Harley-Davidson. "I’m not sure that the company had an expectation about what the bike would get, but if we did, it certainly exceeded it." one of their executives said.

Such privileges are also not only reserved for high value cars and motorcycles. In January 2016, a Ford Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis during his trip to Philadelphia was sold at auction for $82,000. All auction proceeds from that sale were also donated to charity, similarly to the Harley and the Lamborghini.

Smaller items auctioned off by the Pope can also, sometimes, generate as much of mainstream attention, as a custom designed Lamborghini. In 2015, an iPad, which was used by Pope Francis sold for $30,500 at auction in Montevideo. The iPad was given to the Uruguayan priest by the Pope during his visit, according to the priest, "May you do something good with it" he reportedly told him.

Founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, a former tractor producer, the Italian manufacturer's initial goal was to produce grand touring cars capable of competing with established brands such as Ferrari. 

After an initial successful 10 year run, Lamborghini sold the company to entrepreneurs Rossetti and Lemier in 1974, following the economic crisis of 1973. In 1980, Lamborghini went bankrupt and acquired out of receivership by the Mimran brothers.

The Mimrans heavily invested into the company and grew its product line. By 1987, they sold it to the Chrysler Corporation. Having introduced the Diablo, Chrysler flipped the company to Malaysian investment group, Myocom Setdco and V'Power in 1994. These themselves sold it to Lamborghini's current owner, Volkswagen in 1998, which developed the brand all through recent years.

Rather interestingly, despite most car enthusiasts knowing what a Lamborghini is, less than 30,000 Lamborghinis have been sold since the brand was created. A small figure when compared to the 100,000+ electric vehicles that BMW sold this year, which represent just a small portion of their production. The price tag is, of course different, with some Lamborghinis commanding base prices of over €2 million. 

Photos via RM Sothebys and Wikipedia Commons