Pope’s Lamborghini sold at auction

Jason Tesauro
Bloomberg News

“And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.” Genesis 50:9

In this case, the very great company is Pope Francis and Automobili Lamborghini, and the chariot is a 610-horsepower, one-off Huracan with a top speed of 202 mph. A product of the Italian automaker’s Ad Personam customization program, the supercar came in Vatican City colors, “Bianco Monocerus” white with “Gallo Tiberino” gold leaf accents, and was presented to His Holiness last November.

This past Saturday, Rent Car Deluxe, a Spanish rental car agency, bought it for 809,375 euros ($960,797) at an RMSotheby’s auction in Monte Carlo.

Proceeds from the special edition exotic are slated for reconstruction of Christian communities along the Nineveh Plain near the Tigris River in Iraq, among other charities. And in keeping with the spirit of the sale, Rent Car Deluxe plans to donate future rental proceeds to charity as well. (Which begs a listen to that classic joke about the Pope Chauffeur.)

Marketing and communication director Victor Masip said there will be no fixed cost for the Huracan rental: “We want people to suggest a price.” But expect to offer at least 3,500 euros per day, the current rate of their Huracan Performante and that one doesn’t have any holy provenance.

After picking up the car in Monaco, chief executive officer Martin Lpez said he’ll drive to the Vatican in hopes of gaining an audience with the Pope, before returning to Spain. RCD plans on making the Pope-mobile available immediately, first in Murcia and then at the company’s Barcelona and Madrid locations.

“It will be exactly as we get it,” said Masip over the phone.

“Help the poor children by renting the blessed car,” added Lpez.

If co-branding with the Pope seems like a smart idea, consider Martin Luther’s Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgence. Better known as his “95 Theses,” Luther warned against a Papacy that sold its influence. In 1517, Pope Leo X began offering his now-infamous Indulgences to raise money for renovating St. Peter’s Basilica. On the plus side, Leo X preserved the world’s largest church and most sublime example of Renaissance architecture. On the minus side, it led to a colossal splintering of the Church and tainted Leo X’s legacy with corruption forever.

Pope Francis’s Huracan isn’t quite a Reformation-sized storm, but for lucky drivers, it can surely speed you toward temptation and deliver you from evil in an awful hurry.