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Fiat popemobile on the auction block in Philadelphia

The car became a symbol of his unpretentious style
Pope Francis' Fiat from Philadelphia trip up for auction 04:11

One of the two Fiats used by Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia last fall will be auctioned off Friday at the city's auto show. The car became a symbol of his unpretentious style.

The Secret Service confirmed the Holy Father used the Fiat that's on the auction block, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. Another will stay on display for the nine-day event.

Pope Francis heading to Center City Philadelphia for Mass on the Parkway, concluding his Philadelphia visit on September 27, 2015 Scott Weiner/Retna Ltd /MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx

In a room full of hundreds of bigger, faster, more luxurious cars, this small, humble one is poised to steal the show.

Simple and modest, the Fiat 500L hatchback seems to embody the spirit of its previous passenger.

Chuck Keating and Bobby Hill were honored to follow in the pope's footsteps, rolling out the Fiat at the Philadelphia Auto Show.

The two were standouts during Francis' visit to Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families, where moments like the pope kissing and blessing 10-year-old Michael Keating, who has cerebral palsy, became the hallmark of the pontiff's first U.S. visit.

"I just had to turn away because my emotions took over," Keating recalled. "My wife and I both have very strong faith ... but it just seemed like this was like the pinnacle."

Hill, a young soprano, exchanged gifts with the Holy Father after a performance at the Festival of Families.

"He's a really nice guy and he's just regular," Hill said.

And so is his ride, now up for grabs.

"I think we're going to by far break a record for the biggest attendance ever at the Philly show," said David Kelleher, chairman of this year's event.

"And because of the car?" Duncan asked.

"Yeah, no doubt about it," Kelleher responded.

"It's got a range of 435 miles. So you know besides the fact that the Holy Father sat in the back seat, it's got some practicality," he added.

Since that visit, no one has been allowed to sit in the car's sacred back seats.

The only significant change is that the windows have been tinted back to factory standards. During the pope's visit, there was less shade between the pontiff and the people.

"Is there a starting point for these vehicles?" Duncan asked Robert Dann, who's with the Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Company.

"There's no starting point. A base car like this sells for around $25,000, but the value of the pope -- it could be a lot more than that," Dann said.

The proceeds from the auction will go to several Catholic charities in Philadelphia. Bishop Timothy Senior hopes the event will rekindle the goodwill generated during the pope's historic trip.

"It's a car that tells a message," Senior said. "It calls us to think about how we're living. What our priorities are and what about the people who don't have all that we have."

As for Keating and Hill, they were having the time of their lives in the Fiat, jamming to the beat, thankful for the blessings of two chance encounters -- one with the pope, the other in his ride.

You don't have to be at the Philadelphia Auto Show to make a play for the Fiat Friday evening. The auction house is also accepting bids online.

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