A Holy Roller

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The pope who wears Prada has a new set of chic custom wheels.

Pope Benedict XVI, who has made headlines with his high-style red designer loafers and his Gucci shades, is tooling around the grounds of Vatican City in an electric car outfitted in luxurious Natuzzi Italian white leather. His latest fashion statement was donated to the pontiff by Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, and Natuzzi.

"It was a very special project and an honor to be involved in it," said Daniel Tranchini, chief global sales and marketing officer for Natuzzi, the world's largest manufacturer of leather upholstery, calling us from the International Furniture Fair in Cologne, Germany.

The car, which bears a vague resemblance to a golf cart, has the papal seal on the front and back and was made for short hops behind the walls of Vatican City. No word on whether there is a papal putting green out there.

Jura Koncius

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