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This 2015 Fiat 500L Used by Pope Francis Could Sell for 100,000 USD

The 2015 Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis | Photo: RM Sothebys
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Daniel Rufiange
The car has just 773 miles on it since being put into service

•    The Fiat 500L that transported Pope Francis during his visit to the United States in 2015 will be sold at auction.

If there's one used model that's worth very little on the market, it's the Fiat 500L. Launched in 2014, this model didn’t exactly build a solid reputation on the market, notably due to a questionable engine and transmission combination, not to mention rather dodgy reliability. 

What a surprise it was to discover that a 2015 model about to go up for auction could sell for as much as $100,000 USD. Estimates for the final bid are ranging anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000.

What could justify such a price increase for a car like this? It's simple: look at its history. 

2015 Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis
2015 Fiat 500L used by Pope Francis | Photo: RM Sothebys

First of all, the odometer shows only 773 miles. But that doesn’t explain the potential selling price. Here’s the real reason: back to September 2015, this 500L was provided to the Catholic Church for Pope Francis' visit to the United States.

You might be asking yourself, why this car? Well the Fiat 500L was Italian-made, for one, and for another, it was conceived to be relatively spacious in back. 

Pope Francis always said that he wanted to be as humble as possible when traveling. It’s hard to take humility any further than in a Fiat 500L. 

Interior of 2015 Fiat 500L
Interior of 2015 Fiat 500L | Photo: RM Sothebys
2015 Fiat 500L sold at auction
2015 Fiat 500L sold at auction | Photo: RM Sothebys

The car didn’t undergo any modifications, so it’s still equipped with its 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that provides 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is also fitted. No, neither the windows nor the bodywork are armoured.

This Fiat 500L was also used in New York's St. Patrick's Day parade in 2016. It had been donated by the Archdiocese of New York to benefit Catholic causes, and acquired by the Dare to Dream collection. Included in the current sale is a copy of a previous registration certificate listing the Archdiocese of New York as the legal owner.

The vehicle will be offered for sale by RM Sotheby's in Toronto on May 31. It will share the stage with some decidedly non-humble cars there, for instance a 1972 Lamborghini Miura (estimated price $3.5 million), and a 2008 Bugatti Veyron (estimated price $1.75 million). 

Finally, it's worth noting that the Fiat 500L will be offered without a reserve price, meaning that if bidding caps at $10,000, that's what it will sell for. 

We'll see how far the madness goes.

2015 Fiat 500L black
2015 Fiat 500L black | Photo: RM Sothebys
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists