AUBURBN, Ind. (AP) — A 1976 Ford Escort GL once owned by St. Pope John Paul II is hitting the auction block in Indiana for the second time.
The light blue car has a worn interior and no hubcaps but its storied history could help it bring up to $300,000 during the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival that began Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The Journal Gazette reports the Escort was first auctioned in Auburn in 1996, then became entangled in litigation. The latest auction comes after the car’s Texas owner died, leaving others to liquidate his massive auto collection.
Per RM Sotheby’s:
Pope Saint John Paul II’s Escort remains in largely original condition, with 42 years of character earned since it was built at the Ford Saarlouis assembly plant in West Germany. A “high-level” version with power brakes, a driver’s side mirror, and a clock, but no radio, air conditioning, or even hubcaps, it is finished in thoroughly patinaed Astral Silver with a grey velour interior, both of which are the original materials from the Pope’s ownership. Under the hood is a 1.1-liter inline four-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission.
John Paul used the four-door car when he was known as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, prior to his elevation to the papacy. He died in 2005.