15 Images

The popemobile through the years

In August 1969, Pope Paul VI acknowledges the crowd from an open car on his way to Kampala, Uganda. (Associated Press)
Pope John Paul II is out in the open during a visit to the U.S. in 1979. (File)
Pope John Paul II visits Harlem in October 1979. (Associated Press)
In Mexico City, Pope John Paul II is driven around the Zocalo near the Metropolitan Cathedral in January 1979. (Associated Press)
A bodyguard holds Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, after an assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square, Rome. The pope survived the shooting, but his mode of travel amid crowds was profoundly altered. (Agence France-Presse)
Pope John Paul II waves to the crowd of onlookers assembled on the edge of the Rideau Canal from a specially constructed papal barge during a visit to Ottawa in September 1984. (Associated Press)
Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II ride in the bulletproof popemobile in Kolkata, India, in February 1986. The windows of the protective vehicle were sometimes left open. (Associated Press)
Police on horseback and Secret Service agents surround Pope John Paul II as he rides in the popemobile on Spring Street in Chinatown during his visit to Los Angeles in September 1987. (Bob Carey / Los Angeles Times)
Pope John Paul II rides around St. Peter’s Square in October 1998 after an open-air Mass celebrated by Polish Primate Cardinal Joseph Glemp. About 20,000 fellow Poles came to Rome to mark John Paul’s 20th anniversary as pontiff. (Plinio Lepri / Associated Press)
Pope John Paul II is back in his protective popemobile as he makes his way to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City in January 1999. (Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press)
The pontiff rides in his open popemobile in October 2002 in St. Peter’s Square. (Gabriel Buoys / Associated Press)
Pope Benedict XVI’s car is escorted by bodyguards on the way to St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome in May 2005. (Giulio Napolitano AFP/Getty Images)
In St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from a partially enclosed popemobile after attending Palm Sunday Mass last month. (Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images)
The throne inside the dome of the new Popemobile is embroidered with the coat of arms of the pontiff. (Mercedes-Benz)
Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, stands with Pope Benedict XVI in front of the new Popemobile.  (Mercedes-Benz)