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09/10/2019

A Harley-Davidson signed by His Holiness, Pope Francis, will "bless" the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale when it is auctioned on 20 October. It has an estimate of £50,000 – £100,000, with the proceeds going to charity.

Known as the "White Unique", the 1570cc machine was customised at the suggestion of Dr Thomas Draxler, founder of the Jesus Bikers’ group in Austria, as a fundraising vehicle to be donated to the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio), the official support for Catholic overseas missions.

Bavarian-based Harley-Davidson dealer Würzburg Village supplied the motorcycle and collaborated with the Jesus Bikers on its customisation. As the name suggests, the machine is finished in pearlescent white, with Chicano (Mexican American) style detailing, numerous gold-plated components, a Dorne wreath ornament, a sunken cross and Pope Francis’ signature on the tank.
The Harley-Davidson was unveiled to the public in Würzburg on 29 June before being accompanied by the Jesus Bikers to the Vatican, via Assisi, where the ‘Pope Bike’ was handed over to the Vatican at a ceremony with His Holiness in St Peter’s Square on 7 July.
 
The ‘Pope Bike’ being presented to His Holiness, Pope Frances’ in Rome

The motorcycle is the latest in a short succession of motorcycles and cars that have been donated to the Papacy and sold on for charity, including the 2013 Harley-Davidson FXDC sold at Bonhams 2014 Paris Sale for €241,500. In this case, the proceeds are to benefit a mission to build an orphanage and a school in Uganda.

The Autumn Stafford Sale takes place alongside The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, over two days.

www.bonhams.com/autumnstafford