Wed | Jan 16, 2019

The popemobile is staying in Philadelphia

Published:Sunday | January 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Pope Francis looks over a wooden chair made for him by inmates during his visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia.


The black Fiat 500L, one of two used by Pope Francis during his trip to the city in September for the World Meeting of Families, sold at auction last Friday night.

Michael and Kate Chapman, owners of Chapman Auto Group, secured the winning bid of $82,000 at a black-tie event kicking off the weekend's Philadelphia Auto Show.

The Chapmans own seven Philadelphia area showrooms. The auction started at 9 p.m. and lasted for only 11 minutes. Kenneth Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said more than 19 bidders from around the country participated.

"We are so heartened by the fact that this extraordinary gift will go on to enrich the lives of so many individuals," said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families.

Chapman will put the car on display at his dealership in Horsham, he told

The second Fiat that Francis used in Philadelphia will remain on display at the auto show running until February 7.

The Archdiocese said all auction proceeds would benefit charities and the archdiocese's special education schools.