Custom Bike Donated to Vatican, Proceeds to go to Charity

White Unique: A Harley-Davidson 1,570cc Custom Cycle

A 1,570cc custom Harley-Davidson signed by Pope Francis will “bless” the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale in England when it is offered for sale on October 20 with an estimate of £50,000–£100,000 (approximately $61,000–$120,000), with all proceeds to be donated to charity.

Known as the White Unique, the machine was created at the suggestion of Dr. Thomas Draxler, founder of the Jesus Bikers group in Austria, as a fundraising vehicle, to be donated to the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio), the official support for Catholic overseas missions.

German dealer Harley-Davidson Würzburg Village supplied the motorcycle and collaborated with the Jesus Bikers on its customization. As the name suggests, the machine is finished in pearlescent white, with Chicano style detailing, numerous gold-plated components, a Dorne wreath ornament, a sunken cross, and Pope Francis’ signature on the tank.

The Harley-Davidson was unveiled to the public in Würzburg on June 29 before being accompanied by the Jesus Bikers to the Vatican, where the “Pope Bike” was handed over to the Vatican at a ceremony with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square on July 7.

The “Pope Bike” being presented to Pope Francis in Rome

The motorcycle is the latest in a short succession of motorcycles and cars that have been donated to the Papacy and sold on for charity, including the 2013 Harley-Davidson FXDC sold at Bonhams 2014 Paris Sale. In this case, the proceeds are to benefit a mission to build an orphanage and a school in Uganda to provide shelter for abandoned and deprived children

James Stensel, Head of Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles UK, said, “We are incredibly proud to be entrusted with the sale of this unique motorcycle, set to benefit such an important cause. It’s fitting that a Harley-Davidson motorcycle should bring so many like-minded people together. This incredible machine would be a worthy addition to any collection, while raising a substantial amount for a very worthy cause.”

The Autumn Stafford Sale takes place in England alongside The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, over two days, starting with Lot 1 at 12 p.m. on October 19 and at 11 a.m. with Lot 301 on October 20.

All sale lots can be viewed online: www.bonhams.com/autumnstafford.