Home Latest News Bronco Faithful Excited About Custom Pope Francis Center First Edition to be Auctioned for Charity at Barrett-Jackson
Bronco Faithful Excited About Custom Pope Francis Center First Edition to be Auctioned for Charity at Barrett-Jackson

Bronco Faithful Excited About Custom Pope Francis Center First Edition to be Auctioned for Charity at Barrett-Jackson


By Becky Celestini

We can’t help the love we have for the Ford Bronco, but we can help in the fight against homelessness. And that’s exactly what Ford Motor Company and the Pope Francis Center in Detroit plan to do with the proceeds earned at this Thursday’s Barrett-Jackson auction. On the auction block? A one-of-a-kind 2021 Bronco paying homage to a first-generation 1966 Bronco.

All proceeds from the sale of this Pope Francis Center First Edition four-door custom build will benefit Detroit’s Pope Francis Center and its fight against chronic homelessness.

Ford Motor Company Fund, which works closely with the Pope Francis Center on annual programming, helped bring the one-of-a-kind vehicle to auction. The Bronco four-door was donated by David Fischer Jr., president & CEO at The Suburban Collection Holdings, LLC.

“It’s an honor to be able to help support a great charity like the Pope Francis Center,” said Steve Gilmore, chief designer, Ford Vehicle Personalization. “Father Timothy McCabe and the team at the center were really instrumental in this project, collaborating on theme ideas and colors. The key was finding those special touches that really speak to the heritage of the ’66 Bronco, and then combining them with some of the modern features on a Bronco First Edition.”

The Pope Francis Center First Edition Bronco will be on the block at 4:30p.m. (MST)/6:30p.m. (EST) this Thursday at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
• Thursday, January 27, 2022
• 4:30p.m. (MST)/6:30p.m. (EST)
• Auction will be broadcast live on FYI,™ television
For more information, please visit the Barrett-Jackson auction website. If you are not planning on bidding on this vehicle but would like to contribute to the cause, you can do so by clicking on the “Donate” button on Barrett-Jackson’s site.

The Pope Francis Center

Serving Detroit’s most vulnerable citizens for more than three decades, the Pope Francis Center is committed to eradicating chronic homelessness in Detroit by 2030. It began in 1990 with a pot of coffee and a warm place to stay for those seeking refuge from a brutal winter storm.

This single act of kindness has blossomed into a day center providing an expanding scope of services and tools to help the homeless, including:

  • nutritious meals
  • laundry facilities
  • housing assistance
  • hot showers
  • grooming services
  • free medical, dental, and legal clinics

Spinning off into an independent nonprofit organization in 2016, the program was renamed the Pope Francis Center, in honor of Pope Francis’ deep commitment to the poor.

The 2021 Custom First Edition

From the classic Wimbledon White exterior paint to custom wheels from Detroit Steel Wheels, the custom Pope Francis Center First Edition Bronco is definitely a modern interpretation of a first-generation 1966 Bronco. Some elements of this heritage-inspired look include:

  • Wimbledon White exterior, a color featured on the 1966 Bronco but not available on today’s Bronco lineup
  • Wheels with matching Wimbledon White finish and a Rapid Red stripe to match striping on the bodysides and hood corners
  • Iconic silver-painted elements, such as the face of the one-piece grille and the upper portion of the front metal bumper
  • Unique Rapid Red graphics place the Pope Francis Center name alongside First Edition on the vehicle’s hood and bodyside
  • Multiple accessories including a rooftop lightbar, side pod lights, wheel-well rock lights, tube doors, an in-vehicle safe, MOLLE strap system, plus full vehicle cover and garage storage bags for the tube doors
  • Wimbledon White instrument panel with vent accents, grab handles and signature Bronco brand lettering in red
  • White vinyl contrasting the black seat surround and interior trim

Is this four-door custom build a prophecy for heritage Broncos to come? Time will tell.

Don’t miss the Bronco Pope Francis Center First Edition on the auction block at 4:30p.m. (MST)/6:30p.m. (EST) this Thursday! For more information, please visit the Barrett-Jackson auction website.

Did You Know?

Bronco and the Pope go way back.

Ford provided a specially modified 1980 Bronco for use by Pope John Paul II on his visit to the United States, Oct. 1-7, 1979. The vehicle, in Wimbledon White, featured an open-air rear compartment, allowing the Pope to stand and greet his friends and followers. After the Pope’s visit, ownership of the Bronco was turned over to the United States Secret Service.

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