Pope's New Ride: Car With 186K Miles

It's a 1984 Renault

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 11, 2013 8:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pope Francis' new car almost certainly lacks that fresh-from-the-dealer scent: It's pushing 30 years old and has already covered 186,000 miles. Catholic News Service explains that a 69-year-old Italian priest on Saturday gave his white four-door 1984 Renault to the pontiff. In an Aug. 10 phone call between the two (the result of a letter Father Renzo Zocca sent Francis about his work in Verona), Francis told him to give the vehicle to the poor. "I answered that this car had already given much to the poor and now it had to go to the pope," says Zocca.

So it went to Francis instead, much to the possible consternation of his security staff, who the BBC reports were "amazed" when Francis got behind the wheel. "I watched him drive off in that car as if it were the most normal thing in the world," says Zocca. He tells Catholic News Agency, "When I gave it to him, we got into the car, but I didn't have to explain anything to the pope because he told me that he also used a Renault 4 in Argentina and that it never left him stranded."

In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture, Pope Francis speaks with Rev. Renzo Zocca, second right, after he donated the car to Francis.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
Rev. Renzo Zocca, parish priest of Santa Lucia di Pescantina, pats his Renault 4L as it is brought inside the Vatican to be donated to Pope Francis.   (AP Photo/Fondazione L'Ancora ONLUS, ho)
Pope Francis walks out to look at a Renault 4L donated to him by Rev. Renzo Zocca, parish priest of Santa Lucia di Pescantina, at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
In this Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 picture, Pope Francis looks at a Renault 4L donated to him by Rev. Renzo Zocca, not pictured.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis needn't sit in the backseat anymore.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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