Important people get to ride around in very special cars. The more important the person, the more exclusive the car. It’s not just a matter of picking a nice Land Rover because you’re the Queen of England. Heads of state ride around in armored fortresses designed to keep them safe in the event of an attack. The Pope is a pretty important guy and he has the Popemobile to ferry him about town, but he favors cars that are much more humble. Case in point, the Fiat 500L that picked him up when he landed in the United States.
There’s something charming about seeing the Pope sitting in the back of a wee little Fiat. That guy could pick any car on the planet as his set of wheels. He chose the Fiat because he doesn’t want to ride around in big, environmentally unfriendly SUVs while he’s touring the US. It’s also in line with his mission to remain humble and avoid the ostentatious trappings of being the Pope. Fiat is no luxury brand.
There were many small cars he could have chosen, but the $20,000 Fiat couldn’t have been a better choice. It’s small and cute and unassuming. Watching the Pope drive off with the windows open as he waved from the back seat is a very memorable image. The giant Secret Service SUVs surrounding him on his trip made his choice all the more striking.
According to Daily Mail, the Pope said, “‘A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world.” Nothing like a little guilt to make your reconsider your car purchase.
It’s not solely about being humble, but also about climate change. This is an issue that is important to the Pope and one he’s expected to discuss with President Obama during his five-day US visit. The pair has a private meeting scheduled with only interpreters there to help them communicate.
The Pope will be visiting New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia and will have six different Fiat 500Ls for the trip. He’ll also be riding in a special white, open-topped Jeep that will let the crowds see him better.
The Popemobile may be a larger and fancier vehicle, but seeing the Pope in a tiny Fiat leaves a much bigger impression.