Pope John Paul II’s 1976 Ford Escort 1100 GL Sedan for sale

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Pope Ford Escort Pope Ford Escort

Thanks to RM Sotheby’s you can now buy a MkII Escort 1100 for upwards of $150,000

The MkII Ford Escort isn’t much to write home about; especially in pokey humdrum 1100 GL guise, and triply so in sedan form.

So why is RM Sotheby’s offering one up with a pre-auction estimate of $150,000-$300,000!?

Well they claim this is the most famous Ford Escort of all time; owned by the Archbishop of Krakow – until his election as Pope John Paul in 1978.

| FORD ESCORT - BUYER'S GUIDE CHECKLIST

Upon gaining papacy, the little ‘Eskie’ laid rest in storage within the Vatican, until it was auctioned off in 1996 to benefit Vatican charities.

The "Eskie" was bought by Jim Rich who displayed it at his Chicago-area restaurant. After nine years of ownership, the car was sold in 2005 to the late John M O’Quinn, Texas trial lawyer and owner of one of the largest car collections in the world.

Pope-Ford-Escort-rear.jpg

Within O’Quinn’s collection, the Pope’s Escort was one of the centrepieces.

In largely original condition, the car shows 42 years of patina and age. Still in its factory-delivered specification, the car features; a 1.1lt inline four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Options included power brakes, a driver’s side mirror air-conditioning and hubcaps.

Sotheby’s claim the little "Eskie" to be "the last automobile personally owned and used by a modern Saint", and while we might hope for something with a little more stonk than an Escort 1100 for that much money, the car’s historical provenance can’t be denied.

We have no doubt that one collector will snatch this up for a princely sum of dough, we’ll be watching once the hammer falls at RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall auction on August 30.

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