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Monday, November 07, 2005
LAS VEGAS -- A light blue 1975 Ford Escort GL, once owned by Pope John Paul II sold for US$690,000 to a Houston multimillionaire who said he plans to put it in a museum he wants to build in his hometown.

"To me, it's a piece of history", said John O'Quinn, 62, a Baptist who said he has a collection of about 600 vehicles, "What a great human being Pope John Paul was".

Built 30 years ago at a Ford plant in Cologne, Germany, the car sold Saturday in what auctioneer Dean Kruse said was original papal condition -- no hubcaps, no air conditioning, no radio, but with several nicks and dents.

Seller from Sugar Grove

"The car will never be driven", said O'Quinn, who said that at least temporarily it will be ware hosued with his other cars. "But hopefully, in my life, I'll be able to go back and touch this car and feel the pope's spirit".

The seller, Jim Rich, 41, of west suburban Sugar Grove, beame emotional about giving up the car to pay bankcruptcy debts to his father. "I've been smothered by greed and courts'", he said.

Rich biugth the car for US$102,000 at an auction in 1996 and said he promised the pope when he received the keys at the Vatican that he would display the vehicle at his Cicago West restaurant and never part with it.

Standing with boles in his shoes, he pulled a food stamp card from his wallet.

"The pope would think this is something I should do under extraordinary circumstances," he said.

(Associated Press/by Ken Ritter/CHICSUNTIMES)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:25 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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