Pope Benedict XVI now has a Racine connection.
Here's a hint: It can lift 20 tons.
Stumped? It's a New Holland tractor that will be used to move the stage in St. Peter's Square when the Pope addresses the faithful.
The New York Times reports that the Vatican recently began using a new, bigger stage (weighing 17 tons) that could not be moved by its previous equipment, so representatives went to a New Holland dealership in Rome in search of a tractor. Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat chief executive, decided to give the tractor to the Vatican and handed the Pope the keys on Wednesday.
The Pope's new tractor is painted white, has custom trim and the Vatican coat of arms on the front. If you want one just like his, be aware it costs $173,000.
Fiat, the Italian carmaker, owns CNH Global, the maker of Case and New Holland tractors. It purchased Case in 1999 for $4.3 billion. Case began in 1842 as the Racine Threshing Machine Works