Auburn Fall | Lot 2128
1976 Ford Escort 1100 GL Sedan
Formerly owned by Saint Pope John Paul II
$121,000 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
31 August 2018
- Offered from the John M. O’Quinn Collection
- The last automobile personally owned by Pope Saint John Paul II
- Still in its original condition, as used by the Pope
- 1.1-liter inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission
- Proceeds to benefit the O’Quinn Foundation
Inarguably the most famous Ford Escort of all time, this appropriately humble 1976 1100 GL sedan was owned by Karol Cardinal Wojtyła, Archbishop of Krakow, until his election as Pope John Paul II in 1978. Upon his elevation to the papacy, the Escort was put into storage at the Vatican and remained hidden away until 1996, when it was auctioned to benefit Vatican charities.
At that sale, the Escort was purchased by Jim Rich, in whose ownership it was displayed at his Chicago-area restaurant. Rich owned the car for nine years before selling it in 2005 to the late John M. O’Quinn, in whose esteemed collection it was inarguably the centerpiece and a favorite of visitors, for its unique and truly special story.
Pope Saint John Paul II’s Escort remains in largely original condition, with 42 years of character earned since it was built at the Ford Saarlouis assembly plant in West Germany. A “high-level” version with power brakes, a driver’s side mirror, and a clock, but no radio, air conditioning, or even hubcaps, it is finished in thoroughly patinaed Astral Silver with a grey velour interior, both of which are the original materials from the Pope’s ownership. Under the hood is a 1.1-liter inline four-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission.
The last automobile personally owned and used by a modern Saint, and one of the most beloved world figures of our times, this car is a truly special item for the dedicated collector – whether seeking something just a little different, or whether wishing to honor the memory of John Paul II. It has a provenance that is truly impossible to equal.