Before the popemobile, the Pontiff was ferried around by twelve men on a throne with a silk chair called sedia gestatoria.
The first-ever popemobile was built as a gift from Daimler Benz AG to Pope Pius X1. It was a 1930 Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460.
The letters SCV on the custom plates stand for Stato della Città del Vaticano, or State of Vatican City.
Although there is no official name for the popemobile, the term was unpopular with Pope John Paul II. He was the first Pope to have bulletproof glass installed to protect his vehicles.
Pope Benedict XVI introduced the first green popemobile. It was a Mercedes-Benz M-Class hybrid. His Mercedes ML 430 came equipped with bulletproof plexiglass, a built in oxygen supply, could travel at speeds between 6 and 160 MPH, and cost $543,000 at the time.
Pope Francis has been known to ditch the popemobile and travel around in regular vehicles. One car used for his trip to South Korea was a Kia Soul.
Pope Paul VI was the first pope to fly in a plane. Nowadays, the Pope usually charters a Jet from Italy’s Alitalia. He normally returns on the national airline of the country he is visiting. He usually gets one seat for himself in the front row, but for long flights, sometimes a small space is created for a bed, worktable and kneeler for prayer.
The popemobile has come a long way over time as Pope Francis currently travels in a souped-up Jeep Wrangler. From the throne to the papal plane, we take a look at how the Pope gets around.