Good things come to good people.
This was a big week for the Ford Bronco. The hardcore Bronco Raptor made its debut online appearance and a very special one-off example was revealed. Called the Bronco Pope Francis Center First Edition, this uniquely designed Bronco is the result of a collaboration between Ford and David Fischer Jr., president and CEO of The Suburban Collection Holdings. The plan from the beginning was simple: auction it off at the annual Barrett-Jackson event in Scottsdale, Arizona and donate all proceedings to charity, specifically the Pope Francis Center in Detroit, Michigan. Ford CEO Jim Farley even volunteers there.
And now that auction is over with the winning bid coming in at $500,000. Needless to say, a few people are kind of speechless. "I'm still kind of in shock, just in awe," the Rev. Tim McCabe told the Detroit Free Press only minutes after the auction ended.
McCabe is the executive director of the Pope Francis House and he stood next to Henry Ford III during the five-minute-long bidding war. The winner was Georgia resident Tony Townley who told McCabe he believes and his team "are doing a great job. The car is beautiful and all. Dad worked for Ford for 30 years in Atlanta and retired. It means a lot to be here and be able to donate.
As noted, every penny of the $500k will help fund a new housing campus for the homeless. Upon completion in 2023, it'll include 40 studio apartments, a cafeteria, library, gymnasium, classrooms, and even a health clinic. What's more, the winning $500k bid means the non-profit will actually be receiving $1 million thanks to a separate donor's matching gift pledge.
As for the Bronco, it's more than just painted Wimbledon White, a color that originated on the original 1966 Bronco. It features several uniquely designed elements such as custom rims made locally in Detroit, Rapid Red body stripes, a Ford Performance metal bumper, and various other accessories like a rooftop lightbar, tube doors, an interior safe, and a Molle strap system installed on the inner swing gate. The white vinyl interior upholstery has contrasting black seat surrounds as well.
McCabe told those in attendance at the auction this sale is "literally helping save lives." According to official city estimates, some 2,000 people don't have a warm place to sleep at night. This sale and the future facility will be there to make a difference.