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This nearly 30-year-old car is set to replace the Popemobile*

*Well, the Pope will drive it around the Vatican, at least.

Pope Francis, right, speaks with Rev. Renzo Zocca, second from right, and owner of the Renault 4L seen at left, his assistant Luigi Macchioni, and car-body repairer Stefano Veronesi, fourth from right, after he was donated the car by Zocca.
Pope Francis, right, speaks with Rev. Renzo Zocca, second from right, and owner of the Renault 4L seen at left, his assistant Luigi Macchioni, and car-body repairer Stefano Veronesi, fourth from right, after he was donated the car by Zocca.
Image: AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho

REPLACING AN ICONIC car is no mean feat, just ask the makers of Batman movies.

However, Pope Francis has found a successor to the Popemobile and plans to drive it himself.

A priest from northern Italy has given the pontiff a 1984 Renault 4, which the Pope plans to drive around the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman, the Reverend Ciro Benedettini, says the four-door car, which is conveniently painted in papal white, is manual transmission and has a new engine fitted.

Benedettini told The Associated Press on Wednesday: “The pope intends to drive it.”

The donor, a 69-year-old Reverend Renzo Zocca, says he took Francis for a short drive in the car at the Vatican on Saturday and that Francis told him he knows how to drive it.

Zocca said he thinks Francis will use it for short commutes on Vatican grounds.

Associated Press contributed additional reporting.

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