Popemobiles of the past and present

For over 80 years, Mercedes-Benz has been providing the Vatican with

"popemobiles," extensively converted and customized vehicles that are

used as official cars for the Holy Father.

Popemobile

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, delivers a Mercedes-Benz M-Class to Pope Benedict XVI on December 7, 2012. The “Popemobile” was specifically produced for the Pope with special-purpose body.

Popemobile 1930

The Holy Father and his Mercedes: in 1930, Pope Pius XI, received personally his Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460.

Popemobile 1930

Pullman sedan for the pope: In 1930 the Vatican received a Mercedes-Benz Nürburg which had been individually converted as a present for the Holy Father.

Popemobile 1930

When Mercedes-Benz handed over the first popemobile, a number of photos were taken of the car in the Vatican: This photo shows the Nürburg in front of the Castel Sant’ Angelo.

Popemobile 1930

Mobile throne-chair: The interior of the popemobile had been fitted with, among other things, parament embroidery.

Popemobile 1930

Portrait on St. Peter’s Square: The Mercedes-Benz Nürburg was internally known as the Rome Vehicle. The Pullman limousine traveled to Rome under its own steam before being handed over in the Vatican.

Popemobile 1930

Saint for the popemobile: A medallion of Saint Christopher on the Mercedes-Benz Nürburg for the Holy Father.

Popemobile 1984

Return to the Vatican: In 1984, Pope John Paul II received the lavishly restored Mercedes-Benz Nürburg.

Popemobile 1984

As good as new: In 1983 and 1984, Daimler-Benz AG had the first popemobile completely restored by Mercedes-Benz.

Popemobile

Unique seat: In 1930, a single throne-chair in the rear of the Pullman limousine was created for the Holy Father.

Popemobile

Presto, adagio: The lettering on the control panel, used by the pope to convey instructions to his driver, reads like an opera score.

Popemobile

Historically correct down to the smallest detail: The popemobile of 1930 was restored at the museum workshop of Mercedes-Benz with the highest precision.

Popemobile

This Nürburg 460, handed over to Pope Pius XI in 1930, was the first popemobile from Mercedes-Benz, thereby establishing a long-standing tradition of providing the Holy Father with cars.

Popemobile

Presto! When the pope conveyed this signal to his driver, the latter would accelerate the Mercedes-Benz Nürburg up to a top speed of 100 km/h.

Popemobile 1960

Soft-top for the rear seat: The Mercedes-Benz 300 d presented in 1960 to the Vatican as a new popemobile by Daimler-Benz AG had been designed as a landaulet.

Popemobile 1960

Ceremony in the Vatican’s garages: Pope John XXIII spoke about the relationship between the Vatican and Mercedes-Benz when the car was ceremoniously handed over in 1960.

Popemobile 1960

White-walled tires and dark finish: The Mercedes-Benz 300 d provided an impressive basis for the popemobile of 1960.

Popemobile 1960

Modern times: The pope’s chair in the Mercedes-Benz 300 d was surrounded with controls for air conditioning, two-way radio and other functions.

Popemobile 1960

Running boards, extended wheelbase and a single seat in the rear: For use as a popemobile, the Mercedes-Benz 300 d had been extensively modified.

Popemobile

The Holy Father’s signet: The coat of arms of Pope John XXIII was attached to the side of the Mercedes-Benz 300 d.

Popemobile

Landaulet with long wheelbase: For the popemobile, the Mercedes-Benz 300 d was given a 450-millimeter longer wheelbase.