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.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.