The elusive "Diana" number plate to go under the hammer - November 2009
Another Prestige Private Plate Reserved for the "Popemobile"
The latest 'Popemobile' has been unveiled, which will transport the Pope on the forthcoming UK tour. It's a Mercedes M Class designed to travel at just 6mph but it is capable of scooting away at speed if there is an emergency or security scare.
Pope Benedict XVI will stand to wave at the crowds as he placidly passes by in this customised machine featuring the usual secure pod. Representing 'Stato della Citta del Vaticano' which translates to 'Vatican City', the vehicle, which has been used on earlier state visits around the world, will bear the registration number SCV 1.
In the past, a simple sedan chair was pulled along by the papal entourage and it wasn't until the 1980s that motorised carriages were first engaged by Pope John Paul II. Due to the 1981 assassination attempt, the first custom-built vehicles, with their distinctive bullet-proof compartments, began to emerge.
SCV 1 was only temporarily assigned to the "Popemobile". It is actually privately owned in the UK and not owned by the government or by the Vatican. VIP 1, also once assigned to the Popemobile for the 1982 visit, was subsequently made available for sale and in fact is now owned by the billionaire tycoon and Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich. It is one of the most expensive private plates ever sold in the UK.
However, you don't have to wait until SCV 1 becomes offered for sale. There are plenty of number plates bearing the initials SCV available via Plate Master and at very affordable prices.