Friday, September 7, 2012

Popes and Cars: It's not just about the 'Popemobile'

At 85 years old, the Pope may not drive, but he's constantly in a car-moving from one point, to another. When at the Vatican or even in Rome, he's usually seen in this black Mercedes, with dark tinted windows. It's easy to spot his car, since the license plate reads SCV 1, meaning State City Vatican. But over the years, the pope has been given many vehicles, as gifts.

It may seem odd, but back in 2007, Benedict XVI was given a tractor. The Italian car company 'FIAT' gave it to the Pope as a gift, so the Vatican could move the 17 ton mobile platform it uses during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Italy of course is known for its fast cars, so it's not that surprising that the president of Ferrari, gave the Pope a race car wheel, which of course, got quite a reaction from the Pope. 

Among the cars that have the Papal Seal is this electric City Car. Italian company NWG gave it to the Vatican's Press office, after the Vatican took several steps to become 'green.'

Under that same theme of going green, the Pope personally received a white Renault car with the Papal Seal. It was designed specifically for him, so he could move freely through the gardens of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

But the Pope wasn't always used to the passenger seat. In fact, this four door Golf Saloon was the car Cardinal Ratzinger used before being elected Pope. Eventually it was sold on E-Bay.

In general, recent popes and cars have quite a long history.Back when John Paul II was Pope, he was given this Volkswagen.

But when it comes to cars and the Pope, the first word that comes to mind is the now famous 'Popemobile.' There are several versions of course, but perhaps the most famous is the customized Mercedes-Benz, with bullet-proof windows. It's the one the Pope uses when he takes trips outside the Vatican, as he greets hundreds of thousands of people.


Angie @ Beauty of One said...

I love learning facts like this! I can just imagine going around his gardens in his green Renault.

Helen Gonsalves said...

Thanks for your comments Angie.