Media Release


Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction

1964 Lincoln Continental Stretch Limousine Customized For Pope Paul VI’s Historic 1965 Visit to America to be Offered at RM Auction’s Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction, August 18 & 19, 2006

BLENHEIM, Ontario, Canada (June 27, 2006) – The whereabouts of a long forgotten papal automobile have been unknown for the past 15 years until now. RM Auctions was chosen by the car’s current owner to offer the 1964 Lincoln Continental Papal Limousine at its auction in Monterey, California on Saturday, August 19, 2006. The Papal limousine is one of the many historically significant automobiles that will be presented at the auction and is estimated to sell between $300,000 - $500,000.

The customized Papal Limousine made its debut in 1965 for Pope Paul VI’s tour of New York City - the first time a Supreme Pontiff had visited the western hemisphere. The honor and anxiety of designing and constructing a car fit for the Pope was given to custom coach builders Lehmann-Peterson.

The original plan, using a Ford LTD Limousine, was quickly changed when Henry Ford II insisted the Pope have a more appropriate luxury automobile such as a Lincoln-Mercury. Lehmann-Peterson workers had a mere ten days after plans were set to construct the car. In a time span of just over a week a list of specifications were completed including running boards and grab handles for security personnel, a public address system, interior flourscent lighting, installing the throne-like chair, a separate power supply, flag holders mounted on the front of the Lincoln, and finally for viewing protection, a windscreen and clear bubble top.

The special Lincoln was delivered to New York City on October 3, 1965 in preparation for a public mass at Yankee Stadium. It is estimated that 4 million people congregated in downtown New York during his visit.

The Lincoln was returned to Lehmann – Peterson in Chicago after its New York City appearance, with the Papal features removed. The limousine was then used for parades and official functions throughout the city and carried the Apollo 8 and 13 astronauts during ticker tape parades.

In 1968 the Lincoln was once again back in service and refitted with the Papal options for his visit to Bogota, Colombia. The car then ended up in private hands in the early 1970’s and eventually made its way to a French museum where has resided relatively unknown for the last 15 years. The car remains in exceptional original condition and is truly the most significant American vehicle in the history of Papal transportation.

The Lincoln is now ready to change owners and start a new story upon leaving RM Auctions Inc.’s August 19th auction in Monterey, California. A full history and documentation of its international history will be available in the Monterey Sports & Classic Car catalog.

RM Auctions will offer approximately 200 of the world’s finest vintage motor cars at the 2006 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction. The auction will be held at the elegant Portola Plaza Hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, California. Activities are held August 17, 18 & 19, with auction previews daily on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The auction sale times are 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m on Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19.

Admission to the Monterey Sport and Classic Car Auction sale is $30 per person, with children 12 and under admitted free of charge. An auction catalog is available for an additional $80 U.S., including shipping and handling within North America, by calling 800-211-4371 or the website below.

Celebrating more than 26 years in the collector car industry, RM Auctions Inc. and its sister companies are responsible for acquiring, restoring and selling of the world’s rarest and most expensive vintage automobiles including Best of Show winning cars at the prestigious Meadow Brook and Pebble Beach Concours. For additional information on RM Auctions Inc., and this event please contact Terrance D. Lobzun at: (800) 211-4371 or visit the corporate web site at

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more