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10/30/2005

Pope's 1975 Escort Auctioned For $690,000


(Las Vegas, NV) A light blue 1975 Ford Escort GL once owned by Pope John Paul II sold for $690,000 Saturday. John O'Quinn, a Houston multimillionaire, said he plans to put it in a proposed museum in his hometown.

"To me, it's a piece of history," O'Quinn, 62, a Baptist who said he owns about 600 vehicles. "To think, Pope John Paul once cruised the streets of Kracow in this ugly car, and it still even has the dashboard bobblehead of the Virgin Mary."

O'Quin says that the car is not without its faults.

"The damn thing reeks of cheap Iron Curtain-era tobacco, and there was a half-eaten fish sandwich under the passenger seat," he said. "Still, John Paul's ability to get 400 miles to the gallon in this thing probably qualifies as the first miracle in the quest to make him a saint."

Built 30 years ago at a Ford plant in Cologne, Germany, the car sold in original condition -- no hubcaps, no air conditioning, and no radio. The car was also sold with papal memorabilia, such as carved wooden rosary beads, a medallion bearing the likeness of St. Maria Goretti, and purple dashboard carpeting.

"Yeah, the pope was pimpin' it," said O'Rourke. "There was also a moldy set of fuzzy purple dice, but I couldn't see saving those."

Part of the charm of the car, said O'Rourke, was the late Pope's 8-track tape collection.

"Damn, this cat had some real soul," he said. "The car is loaded with Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye, and Funkadelic tapes. The dude was kickin' it!"

Comments:
Holy crap - what an ugly car.
 
Holy crap is often mistaken for an ugly car.
 
who's O'Rourke????
 
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