• ETC
  • Sep 12, 2013
Pope Francis has a new car. It's not bulletproof, it isn't made by Mercedes-Benz and it doesn't require that we attach the inglorious suffix "-mobile" to it. In fact, the Pope's new ride is a 1984 Renault 4 that fully lives up to the pontiff's recent urging that we drive "humble" vehicles.

Not that the Pope has shipped in the Renault to hammer home his point. The Renault was reportedly a gift from priest Fr. Renzo Zocca, who put some 190,000 miles on the odometer while tending to the needs of his flock in the northern Italian city of (fair) Verona. It was the car's noble role in working to help poor Italian Catholics that caused Zocca to offer it to Pope Francis in a letter, as the story goes.

Built and sold from the early 1960s thru the 1990s, the 4 may not be very well known in America, but Europeans in general (and the French in particular) are likely to understand just how humble a vehicle this is. More than eight million Renault 4s were built, sold in markets from Australia to South America, all utilizing engines that hovered around the 1.0-liter mark in terms of displacement.

By contrast – and there are many between this Pope and his predecessors – Pope Benedict XVI was often seen riding in BMWs, Mercedes and even grander cars, and he certainly wasn't the only one. Francis has been said to be more of a "populist" Pope than many of those who came before him, which makes the idea of his riding/driving in the Renault that much more cogent. We just hope the Vatican has a good mechanic.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm a raging atheist, but I like this new Pope fellow. Nice man.
      Ok
      • 1 Year Ago
      I doubt he has to worry about the good mechanic. There are no doubt countless mechanics is Rome who would consider it an honor to repair the pope's car for free.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ok
        [blocked]
      aatbloke1967
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a couple of others on here who actually know something about the automotiveworld have indicated, the R4 was one of the greats. Very comfortable, with handling similar to Citroen's 2CV. The car pictured is a 4GTL and would have been shod with the 1108cc engine as used in some versions of the R5.
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hhmm. He's got a background in chemistry and was a researcher, and wants to follow a sustainable lifestyle. There's hope for humanity after all.
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lasertekk
        In case you have not noticed, who has established the most universities over the longest period of time in most countries?
          Aussie Aspie
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          And who limited enrolment to those universities, for centuries, to only ordained members of their faith?
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jesus must drive a Deux Chaveux
      GV
      • 1 Year Ago
      No mechanic needed for a 4L, nothing there that wouldn´t be fixed with a hammer
      Steve H
      • 1 Year Ago
      I suppose it wouldn't be appropriate for me to be jealous. But I might be, just a little.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      About the only place many Americans would know the Renault 4 from is the movie Romancing the Stone.
      churchmotor
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can you imagine Lord, King, Obama stooping down to something like this.
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @churchmotor
        No, I can't imagine Obama using religion as an excuse to justify slavery, bigotry, hatred for other religions.
          dukeisduke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @knightrider_6
          What garbage. You really are ignorant, not mention bigoted.
          churchmotor
          • 1 Year Ago
          @knightrider_6
          knightrider, I suggest you go read up on Obama's "mentor" as Barry called him, the Rev Wright. Wright is an extreme racist, bigot, using "religion" . . . And Obama's entire family uses their Islam to enslave people in other countries. One, Obama's brother is a slave owning bigot using his religion as justification. Class over.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a good first step, but they will have to do a lot more to pay for the sins they have done in last 2000 years.
        AwolG5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Protestants burned catholic as "witches" a couple hundred years ago. Does that mean people alive now should be at fault? The answer is no.
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        No one joins the Church becouse they are saints. Even Judas believed in Christ. So, Yes, the weeds you will always have among you, and the poor. Jesus came first and foremost for the biggest sinners, so you will expect to find them in the Church.
      bookemd
      • 1 Year Ago
      This the more I find out about his holiness, the more I appreciate. Really a genuinely nice man on a quest to help better the world as much as he can. As well as saving face for the catholic faith of which I am a part of. Can't believe their going to let him drive...but whose going to stop him!
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