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MERCEDES 460 NÜRBURG LIMOUSINE Donated to Pius XI on November 14, 1930 by Mercedes Benz, the Nürburg comes with a rear passenger compartment equipped with a single seat in crimson brocade, recalling the papal throne. The 460 Nürburg long wheelbase limousine, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, was presented at the Paris Salon of 1928, where it met with great success for its retro style, which was also received with enthusiasm by Pius XI. Ferdinand Porsche, who later founded the car company bearing his name, designed its elegant lines. It would appear that, during a test drive in the Vatican Gardens, referring to the power of the engine, he exclaimed: “Beautiful car! A masterpiece… a wonder of modern technology”. Indeed, the 460 Nürburg has an output of 80hp and can reach a maximum speed of 110 km/h.

© Musei Vaticani/Antoine Mekary for Aleteia