Panamanians already have the official Popemobile that Pope Francis will use, during his apostolic visit, on the occasion of the World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama City, from January 23-27, 2019.
The delivery of the automobile, which will transport Pope Francis from January 23-27, 2019 in Panama City, was held on January 6, 2019 in Cinta Costera one of the principal venues of the imminent 2019 WYD. The Archbishop of Panama, Monsignor Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, together with those responsible for the project, took part in the event.
The elaboration of the Popemobile was possible thanks to the work of two companies: Distribuidora David, which donated the car, and Tri-Star Central America, in charge of the design and production, which enabled the Popemobile to be made by Panamanian hands.
The car is a double cabin Ford Ranger XLT, of automatic transmission, with all the specifications requested by the Vatican, to ensure the safety and comfort of the Supreme Pontiff.
Image of Holy Mary of Antigua
The Popemobile has electric steps, a 360 degree rotating chair, red carpet, railings for greater support and sustainability of the Pope while standing, and a window in the back of the main cabin so that Francis can communicate better with the driver.
Behind the Holy Father’s seat is an image of the Patroness of Panama, Holy Mary of Antigua.
Design and Assemblage
Ana Victoria Taboada and Edwin Chaverra headed the team of young people, who worked on the design and assemblage of the vehicle. They said they took pointers from other Popemobiles built for papal visits, redesigning and improving each detail,” and thus complying with the requirements.
Working on the production of the Popemobile were designers, mechanical engineers, architects, technicians and welders, among others.
“This was an incredible experience and a great honour. The fact that we are young people doing this for the WYD, shows that we young people are capable of doing great things,” said Ana Victoria.
A 100% Panamanian Company
For his part, Jorge Batinovich, President of the Distribuidora David said that for this 100% Panamanian company and for his family, “it’s a reason for pride and celebration to leave this contribution to our country’s history.”
The business man added that the Popemobile was achieved thanks to Panamanian professionals, who “complied with all the Vatican’s specifications,” and followed step by step the process of the vehicle’s modification.