StaffAllpar HomeMore NewsCarsTrucksUpcomingRepairsTest drives

Pope in Jeep, Fiat during US trip

by Bill Cawthon on

This morning, Pope Francis traveled from the Vatican Embassy to the White House in a Fiat 500L bearing the Vatican flag and “SCV 1” license plates. He also rode it yesterday from Andrews Air Force Base. The papal Fiat was dwarfed by the big SUVs used by the U.S. government security detail.


Pope Francis reported does not like his official, modified Mercedes SUV, calling it a “sardine can” in a 2014 Vatican Radio interview. He prefers less ostentatious vehicles that allow him to be closer to people.

He will use a modified Jeep Wrangler on this visit to the U.S., as he did during a recent trip to Ecuador. In 2013, he had a Fiat Idea for his 2013 visit to Rio de Janiero.

The Pope’s choices often create problems for government security agencies, but the 78-year-old pontiff said, “It’s true that anything could happen, but let’s face it, at my age, I don’t have much to lose.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

Know & Go screens
Employees created new FCA US app—first available to Ram TRX

Newest Ram Built to Serve models honor the U.S. Air Force

Former Ram chief engineer Michael J. Cairns

More Mopar Car
and Truck News

Some popular Allpar pages

Dodge Demon

2018 Wrangler JL

Staff details/contactsTerms of ServiceInformation is presented to the best of our knowledge. Plans change and sometimes mistakes are made. Decisions or purchases made based on this site's verbiage or images are done at the reader's own risk. Also see the Allpar News archives, 1997-2008 • Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. • Mopar, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, HEMI, and certain other names are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.