The Ford Bronco Pope Francis Center Edition Is A One-Off Hitting This Weekend’s Barrett-Jackson Auction

This isn't a Popemobile as such, but it does throw back to earlier Bronco history

2021 Bronco Pope Francis Center First Edition
This Bronco is a modern take on the original 1966 model. (Images: Ford)

There’s the First Edition, and then there’s this one-of-a-kind modern Bronco.

Contrary to what you might think by the name, this Ford Bronco First Edition is not a modern day popemobile. It’s a shame, because I think that’d be a spectacular sight, but nevertheless this Pope Francis Center First Edition is heading to the auction block for a noteworthy cause.

The Wimbledon White Bronco is more or less a modern interpretation of the original model from 1966. Beyond the white exterior shade, you get Rapid Red accents throughout, some custom retro Detroit Steel wheels, and some components like the recovery hooks, grille and top section of the front bumper come in Iconic Silver. The Ford Performance Catalog makes an appearance as well, including the LED light bar atop the roof, two side pod lights and Rigid wheel-well rock lights.

Interior touches

The off-white and red theme carries through to the interior, but the Pope Francis Center First Edition Bronco still brings some more pieces to the table. Tube doors are included with their own storage bags, and you get an in-vehicle safe as well as a MOLLE strap system mounted to the inner swing gate.

Most of the overall look and feel of the Bronco matches what you’d expect in the First Edition, but those aesthetic touches and what the car’s proceeds support are key here. The 2021 Bronco Pope Francis Center Edition hits the auction block at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona at 4:30 PM Mountain Time this Thursday, January 27.

2021 Bronco Pope Francis Center First Edition

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Pope Francis Center in Detroit, a charitable organization that helps the city’s homeless population.

Leaning on the “Pope” connection, there is some precedent with the actual Popemobile, though this car doesn’t model that vision. In 1979, Ford provided a brand new 1980 Bronco that was converted into a Popemobile, including a custom tailgate that folded down into a small staircase so John Paul II could climb aboard, and of course the rear canopy was opened up with a railing so he could stand in the back. Check that out below:

If you want to know more about the new Bronco, we’ve also posted a 6-month update so you can see how ours is doing: