Thursday, October 21, 2010

Capitoline Museums: Pius XII's American Sedan (Graham-Paige from Detroit)

Simply gorgeous: the custom Graham-Paige Landaulet which was made in 1929 for Pope Pius XI.  It was the earliest version of the "popemobile." 

It was given to Pius XI by three brothers, each a Knight of Columbus, who were the owners of the Graham-Paige Auto Co.

Ten years later Pius XII was elected to the Chair of Peter and of all the autos in the Vatican garage, this was his favorite.  He even took it to San Lorenzo after that neighborhood was bombed.

The carriage-work is by LeBaron, silk upholstery and metal works in gold. 

This auto can ordinarily be seen in the carriage museum of the Vatican Museums.  On November 9, 1929 it was given to the Pope.  It was used by Pius XI the first time he left the Vatican after his election.


  1. Instead of purchasing a new vehicle in the future they should just restore the Landaulet. It would be a significant improvement, at least in appearance, over the current "popemobile".

  2. What a cool car!
    JK-if this was going to be used instead of the current 'popemobile', it would have to get bullet-proof glass, for one thing.
    But they sure knew how to build a classy set of 'wheels' back then!

    Barb in NY