Pope Paul VI was the first pope to travel the world, visiting Asia, Africa, and the Americas extensively. When he came to the USA for the first time, he needed something fitting to represent the Catholic Church—and this Lincoln Continental served nicely.
This Continental was built upon a request from the Vatican, who needed a ride for Paul VI’s address to the United Nations in 1965. To fulfill the order, coachbuilder Lehman-Peterson built it in just two weeks. They stretched it to 21 feet and added a removable roof section, with a PA system to address the huddled masses and a removable transparent window, more to shield the pope from the weather than from the likes of Carlos the Jackal.
When Pope Paul VI came to New York, he addressed the United Nations, attended the World’s Fair, and witnessed a Yankees game, to the chagrin of Red Sox fans. After his whirlwind New York tour the Pope and his Continental went to Bogotá, Colombia, where the car was modified to fit in with the city’s 8,000-ft elevation.
The car never made it back to Italy after the South American trip, but rather to Chicago where, given the right series of events, it could have become the Bluesmobile. Instead, it carried a series of astronauts: Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anderson after they orbited the moon, and then the Apollo 11 crew after the 1969 moon landing.
Just another example of a Lincoln Continental becoming part of world history. And this bit of history could be yours at Pebble Beach, where it will go up for auction on August 19th. Auction house Bonhams believes it will go for $250,000 to $350,000, which seems low for a car that’s a genuine holy roller.
GALLERY: 1964 Lincoln Continental Pope Mobile
[Source: New York Times]