For over 80 years, Mercedes-Benz has been providing vehicles for the official appearances of the leader of the Catholic Church. The first one was a Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460 Pullman Saloon, provided for Pope Pius XI in 1930. After three decades, Pope John XXIII received a 300d Landaulet model in the 1960s. A landaulet or landaulette is a vehicle body style with the features similar to a VIP long-body limousine but the passenger section is covered by a convertible top. It is usually built for use by public figures for formal processions. The next limousine given to the Vatican was used by Pope Paul VI, a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet. After which it was changed to a 300 SEL model.
In the 1980s, Pope John Paul II was the first Pope to adopt the use of the “Popemobile” name, which was a modified G-Class Mercedes-Benz that ferried him to the celebrations at St. Peter’s Square. All the Pope’s public vehicles are now part of the collections on display at both the Vatican and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart once they have been decommissioned from the Vatican.