Pope Receives Harleys as Part of Company’s 110th Anniversary
As part of Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebrations (to culminate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the company presented two Harley-Davidson’s to Pope Francis. One of the motorcycles has been signed by Pope Benedict XVI and will go to auction; the second will go to the Vatican Museums. His Holiness was also presented with a black, leather Harley jacket, but don’t expect to see him celebrating mass in it anytime soon.
Harley-Davidson may have performed a marketing miracle being granted an audience with his Holiness, but there’s more. A few hundred Harleys were given special permission to enter St. Peter’s Square on Sunday morning, where they and their owners were blessed by the Pope as part of his regular Angelus appearance.
The motorcycle manufacturer geared up for a huge, four-day event at the largest-ever celebration outside the United States. Rome and the nearby Mediterranean port city of Ostia was inundated by an estimated 100,000 Harley owners, along with their friends and family. There was huge beach party at Ostia with concerts (featuring Adam Ant, Bonnie Tyler and Mike and The Mechanics), Oscar-Mayer hotdogs, a custom bike show and a 40 km parade of Harleys from Ostia into central Rome. Harley CEO Keith Wandell and several family members of the company’s co-founder, William A. Davidson also participated in the festivities.
When you think of Italy, you don’t usually think of Harley-Davidson, but the company has a long history on the Italian peninsula. The first Harley was sold in the country in 1914 and for two decades starting in 1960, Harley-Davidson controlled the motorcycle company that was created by Italian airplane maker Aermacchi, which supplied Harley-Davidson with small engines.
The Harley brand is a powerful force in Italy and has always been one of the Milwaukee Company’s top ten markets; however, the company admits that the deep Italian recession has not been good for sales. Perhaps pictures of the Pope standing next to a Harley will give new life to an old love.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® are looking forward to celebrating 11o years of Harley-Davidson. Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® will be giving away a 2013 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Motorcycle at the House of Harley-Davidson during the 110th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to one lucky BAM member. BAM, free breakdown and legal assistance for motorcyclists, is the Nation’s largest rider helping rider program available to riders 24-7. Motorcyclists can Join BAM at one of the Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® booths at bike shows throughout the country to become eligible for the motorcycle giveaway.
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