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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK
Bidding brisk as Popemobile sold
The Pope at Murrayfield copyright Pontificia Felici and L'Osservatore Romano
Huge crowds turned out to see the Pope during his Scots visit
An armour-plated popemobile used by John Paul II during his visit to Britain in 1982 has sold at auction.

The 24-ton converted truck - said to be both bomb-proof and bullet-proof - sold for 37,000 ($70,500) at auction in Scotland to a man from Ireland.

A spokesman for the auction house said bidding had been brisk and the final sale price was higher than expected.

The vehicle has 11,000 miles (18,000km) on the clock and is said to be in excellent condition.

It is one of two built by the former UK motor giant British Leyland for the visit.

The Pope travelled in the vehicle to Bellahouston Park in Glasgow and Murrayfield in Edinburgh, celebrating a Mass for more than 300,000 people.

The other vehicle was used during the English leg of the papal tour when the late John Paul II visited Canterbury.

Buyer 'happy'

The Popemobile was auctioned in Dumfries, Scotland, following the death of its previous owner, transport enthusiast Mick Hayton.

He had bought it in 1998 for his museum in the Scottish town.

The vehicle had been expected to fetch 15,000 to 20,000 ($28,600 - $38,100).

"There were lots of bidders and it was a good result - better than expected," the spokesman for Thomson Roddick auction house told AFP news agency.

Little is known about the buyer, who sent a representative to bid for the popemobile.

"The buyer is very happy with the purchase," the spokesman added. "He is very happy to have bought it for his own collection."

Popemobile to go under the hammer
20 Jul 06 |  South of Scotland
In Pictures: Scottish Papal visit
07 Apr 05 |  In Pictures


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