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2nd Hand Leno-Astro-Pope-Mobile for Sale.
August 18, 2011 5:30 AM   Subscribe

A 1964 Stretch Lincoln Continental rebuilt and customized by Lehmann Petersen (clippings and history) for Pope Paul VI's visit to New York in 1965 (more history, pics); transported to Colombia and used by the Pope during his 1968 visit to Bogota; ridden in by astronauts from Apollo 8, 11, 13, and 15; and once owned by Jay Leno is to be auctioned (cat. listing, history, pics) at Bonham's Quail Lodge Sale in Carmel, California, today. Via The Register
posted by Ahab (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Rich Toy Blue
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:45 AM on August 18, 2011


Looking through that auction reminds me of how you can get some really awesome old cars for about the price of a modern BMW.
posted by smackfu at 6:09 AM on August 18, 2011


This comes at an opportune moment. I've been working on new Popemobile jokes to replace the old ones.

The Pope walked into a car dealership one day to buy a car. A young salesman came out just as soon as the Pope walked onto the lot.
''Hello, can I help you?''
''Yes, I'm looking for a car to drive to the Vatican.''
The salesman says "Then you want one that can go cross country."

The Pope walked into a car dealership one day to buy a car. A young salesman came out just as soon as the Pope walked onto the lot.
''Hello, can I help you?''
''Yes, I'm looking for a car to drive to the Vatican.''
The salesman says "Then you want one with a rosary engine".

The Pope walked into a car dealership one day to buy a car. A young salesman came out just as soon as the Pope walked onto the lot.
''Hello, can I help you?''
''Yes, I'm looking for a car to drive to the Vatican.''
The salesman says "Then you want a car that can only pick up boys."

The Pope walked into a car dealership one day to buy a car. A young salesman came out just as soon as the Pope walked onto the lot.
''Hello, can I help you?''
''Yes, I'm looking for a car to drive to the Vatican.''
The salesman says "Well, I have the car for you. This car embodies the relationship between an all powerful deity and ordinary mortals, a relationship which has fallen into disharmony."
The Pope says "I'm not interested in automobiles made in Detroit."

Two Popes and a Rabbi walk into a car dealership. The salesman says...

Well, you get the idea.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:34 AM on August 18, 2011


"Yes, I'm looking for a car to drive to the Vatican.''
The salesman says, "Holy crap, a talking pope!"
posted by PlusDistance at 7:35 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This FPP is an interesting example of "burying the lead."
posted by swift at 7:54 AM on August 18, 2011


and once owned by Jay Leno

So that's gonna knock a bit off the price.
posted by three blind mice at 8:06 AM on August 18, 2011


They spend all that time fixing up the back seat and the pope walks in and yells "Shotgun!" and four car designers and seventeen secret service agents pile on top of him and he poops himself a little cause he hasn't had a chance to get near a toilet all day but he laughs his hat off.
posted by pracowity at 8:10 AM on August 18, 2011


So that's gonna knock a bit off the price.

Possibly, but just because if it's not good enough for Jay Leno to keep, it must not be that great a car. Dude knows cars.
posted by smackfu at 8:40 AM on August 18, 2011


Weird, I totally missed this ... I've been writing some articles for a client about some of the more interesting cars in and around Monterey this week (including a Ferrari 750 Monza that Fred Astaire drove in the movie "On The Beach"), and this one slipped by me. So thanks Ahab, I think I just got a topic.
posted by Relay at 9:39 AM on August 18, 2011


You could write a whole article on the guy who owned the car before (not Leno). He decided to collect cars in 2003 after making billions in product litigation and tobaccos suits, bought 800 of them including scores of super rare ones, planned to start a museum, was killed in a car accident in 2009 (irony!) and now the estate is auctioning some off, possibly to get money to create the museum.
posted by smackfu at 10:00 AM on August 18, 2011


Thanks Relay, but I would take the Leno ownership claim with a grain of salt. It's there in the first article, vaguely supported elsewhere on the net, and it was too good not to include in the post, but the Bonhams catalog suggests that the car was owned 2006 to the present by the O'Quinn collection. It's also not in lenosgarage.com. Whether that means Leno flipped it fairly rapidly back in 2006, or that he never owned it, I don't really know.

Still, it's one hell of design/customisation/repair under pressure story, has some beautiful dodges in it (the not fully plexiglass canopy being bolted on as the car rolled through the tunnel into yankee stadium, running it on avgas in Colombia) and there seems to be some suggestion that at least two presidents also rode in the thing. And then, as smackfu says, there's the whole weird O'Quinn collection aspect. So I reckon you've still got a story if you want it.

For the record, this is my favourite pope joke. (NSFW, the devout, people who don't like swearing and all that.)
posted by Ahab at 1:21 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


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