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Want to add Pope Francis’ Harley to your collection?

4 December, 2014

In a special countdown to Harley Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebrations, two commemorative motorcycle petrol tanks were presented to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — they were signed, and returned to Harley Davidson’s US headquarters to be mounted to their respective motorcycles.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s signature on the petrol tank

One of these remains in the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, USA. The other — the FLSTC 103 Heritage Softail Classic, destined for Bonhams’ 2015 sale — sat awaiting a special ceremony where it would be presented to the Pope at the 110th anniversary celebration back in 2013.

Pope Benedict unexpectedly abdicated in January 2013 and, as a result, the motorcycle was presented to the newly inaugurated Pope Francis.

Entered at no reserve the motorcycle is expected to fetch €15,000–25,000 (NZD$23,800–39,700 approx.) and auction proceeds will be donated to Stowarzyszenie Przyjazny Świat Dziecka (Friendly World Association), a Polish non-profit organization that offers care and support to children and families in need. The Harley-Davidson will be sold on February 5, 2015 as part of Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.