“Pope” and the specially-designed “automobile” seems like a brilliant idea for Pope Francis to make his pastoral trips and public appearances within the grounds and outside of the Vatican in a Pope-mobile.
There have also been questions as to whether the Pope had any special papal plane or special cars to make short trips. Other than the important features imbued in the Pope-mobile, aimed to provide optimal security, there has been no specific Vatican plane or car designated for the Pope.
Lately the Holy See has announced that French automaker Renault gifted His Holiness an electric car, called “white pope-carrier” to shuttle between places outside the Vatican and his summer home of Castel Gandolfo. The new pope-carrier was even custom-made to bear the pontifical crest of arms on its side.
Prior to that, when Lamborghini presented the Pontiff a Huracan sports car, said to worth around 200,000 euros ($237,000), it has brought about much hype on the internet. As Lamborghini is a bespoke luxury- and sports- car maker, the special edition of the pope-mobile was custom-designed to pair with the Pontiff’s white stole, making this one-off car model a precious gift from the automaker to the Pope.
The Huracan sports car is bespoke, featuring 610 metric horsepower with breath-taking V10 engine under its hood, offset by the gold-rimmed wing mirrors and wheels and gold-stripes running across the centre part of the exterior, completed in white finish.
Historically, the Popes have been moving around on a ceremonial “red silk-covered throne” which was carried on shoulders. Until the 20th century, the “red silk-covered throne” swapped to pope-mobile. “From 1930, the Popes have been using Mercedes-Benz vehicles when travelling and the car bears the license plate SCV1 (Vatican City 1),” according to the Vatican.
But for the Pontiff, it’s all about modesty over pomp.
This is not the first time he had received a high-speed gift; in 2014 he was presented a Harley Davidson motorbike and jacket, both of which he auctioned off to raise funds for charity. The motorbike was expected to fetch a sales price between $16,400 and $20,500 at Paris’ Grand Palais.
News reports also stated that “the famously humble pontiff is more of a fan of buses.” Instead of taking a limousine on the day after his election in 2013, the Pontiff opted to ride on the bus, and he did so even on a regular basis in his homeland Argentina instead of hailing taxis.
And so, it is the same for the high-speed Huracan sports car.
The Pope penned his signature on its gleaming bonnet before sending it to Sotheby to put it up for auction to raise money in four charitable projects. Some of the money will channel towards rebuilding the homes and churches in Iraq, some will go to help sex trafficking victims as well as support vulnerable women and children in Africa.