Pope Francis Touring the United States in Jeep, Fiat Vehicles
This week, Pope Francis has been making his historic visit of the United States, today he meets President Obama, and on Thursday he addresses Congress. It is a historic occasion, and we’re happy to report he chose a Jeep as his ride of choice for his American tour.
We’ve known about his specialized “Pope-mobile” since July, but now those looking to get a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church this week will also get to see his specially designed Wrangler.
In Rome, Francis tours in a custom-built Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. The Pope considers the bulletproof glass protection typically provided to be too restrictive, and opts to greet the masses free of obstruction. The glass protection was in response to the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II in 1981. The Jeep Wrangler will have some form of protection, from the front and top, leaving the sides exposed. Those associated with the tour say it raises some safety concerns, however the NY Post says the Secret Service has been running training drills, using a replica vehicle.
Before the Hyundai and the Jeep, the Popemobile had long been a custom Mercedes-Benz G-Class, while the previous Pope, Benedict, used a custom Mercedes M-Class SUV. The first official Papal vehicle was a Mercedes-Benz 460 Pullman 1930, but as late as 1978, the Pope would sometimes get around on a throne carried by Vatican footmen.
The Jeep is the vehicle that has us the most excited, but that is not the only vehicle the Pope will be riding in this week. According CNN Money, the Pope Francis will be riding in a Fiat 500L. The Fiat has a decent amount of rear seat space, making it an ideal vehicle for getting to events. We're sure Fiat-Chrysler America is happy to see the Pope riding in their vehicles. We're sure the “People’s Pope” (as Francis is often referred) enjoyed the nimble Fiat, but we love the idea of the Pope riding in a custom Wrangler!