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Old 4th July 2008, 14:26   #1
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Default Autorickshaw for the Pope!

Seems like Piaggio has given Pope Benedict XVI one of our very own autorickshaw to go around. This will definitely be a sight to see!

Read the article at A three-wheeler made in India is Pope's new ride-India-The Times of India

" NEW DELHI: The autorickshaw is now all set for a papal touch. Two made-in-Maharashtra three-wheeler, desi versions of the 'Popemobile', the specially-designed automobile used by the Pope at public appearances, is to whirr across the Vatican. ( Watch )
The three-wheelers have been presented to the Pope by Italian automaker Piaggio, which manufactures them at its Baramati plant. The Piaggio Ape Calessino vehicles, that carry special insignia of the Vatican city and are white in colour in line with papal requirements, were presented to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican last week, marking one of the most visible Indian connections to the spiritual leader.
"These vehicles were given a complete look and feel of a Popemobile by putting a white coloured hood, white tyres, seat upholstery, and white body paint. The insignia on the doors is specially handcrafted. The entire vehicle was given a complete unique decor to suit the aura of His Holiness," Ravi Chopra, CMD of Piaggio's Indian subsidiary, told TOI.
Chopra said the Pope gave the delegation an audience where they apprised him of the vehicles and where they were manufactured.
"He enquired about India and expressed a desire to visit the country," Chopra said. But would the Holy father actually get to use the vehicles and why would he prefer a three-wheeler over his fleet of cars. Chopra is confident he will.
"Just as a golf cart, they can be used by the Pope, may be for moving in the garden or some other purpose," he said. "
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Old 4th July 2008, 16:05   #2
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Maybe he can use it to go to the market or something.

P.S. Where's the meter?

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th July 2008 at 16:15.
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Old 4th July 2008, 16:10   #3
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Moving in the garden?!!! :o
Hmmm... sounds like some kid desperately trying to please his class teacher.
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Old 4th July 2008, 16:16   #4
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Is that a Piaggio diesel? Bad choice then, an electric autorickshaw would have been a far more suitable choice for the Pope.
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Old 4th July 2008, 16:43   #5
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I do not think there is any Piaggio Electric available. It has to be that "ddhag ddhag ddhag ddhag" diesel monster with bent legs. Imagine, they think the Pope will move around in a garden using that polluting thing! If wishes were horses.
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Old 4th July 2008, 17:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I do not think there is any Piaggio Electric available. It has to be that "ddhag ddhag ddhag ddhag" diesel monster with bent legs. Imagine, they think the Pope will move around in a garden using that polluting thing! If wishes were horses.
With the amount of rattling and noice pollution, I think the smoke pollution itself might be the last thing on his mind. Couple of months down the road, it would be interesting to know what happened to these custom builts (which seems to be restricted to looks!!!)
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Old 4th July 2008, 17:05   #7
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I am imagining the Holy Father sitting in the driver seat, bending over and pulling the handle up from the ground as hard as he can, repeatedly, to start the rickshaw.

It is getting difficult to type this sentence with shaking hands as I imagine this.
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Old 4th July 2008, 19:38   #8
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I dont think there would be a handle like that just for starting the rickshaw, instead it would be a 'push' start button as seen in pulsars and many other bikes. The whole point is about pollution if its a diesel engine ! Riding comfort will not be an issue as the whole of Rome is too small and the roads are mostly silky smooth !
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Old 4th July 2008, 19:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shajufx View Post
Riding comfort will not be an issue as the whole of Rome is too small and the roads are mostly silky smooth !
I beg to differ on 2 counts.

The pope lives in Vatican city not Rome. But that is just nit-picking. A LOT of classic Rome areas have cobblestone roads. Nice, but not silky smooth.

Perfect for a little Apriia scooter. Damn, I miss Roma.
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Old 4th July 2008, 20:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I am imagining the Holy Father sitting in the driver seat, bending over and pulling the handle up from the ground as hard as he can, repeatedly, to start the rickshaw.

It is getting difficult to type this sentence with shaking hands as I imagine this.
I almost died visualizing this scenario
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Old 4th July 2008, 23:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I am imagining the Holy Father sitting in the driver seat, bending over and pulling the handle up from the ground as hard as he can, repeatedly, to start the rickshaw.

It is getting difficult to type this sentence with shaking hands as I imagine this.
Haha . Thats something which would make the video of the century.
A deisel . Bad. Don't they realise the importance of rising fuel prices
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Old 5th July 2008, 12:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I beg to differ on 2 counts.
The pope lives in Vatican city not Rome. But that is just nit-picking. A LOT of classic Rome areas have cobblestone roads. Nice, but not silky smooth.
Perfect for a little Apriia scooter. Damn, I miss Roma.
Agreed Sam, the constant traveller and the only existing Yeti of the century ! My friend works for Al-Italia and has landed there over 500 times in 3 years. He claims the cobblestone roads are smoother than marble due to the millions walking on it every day ! So, you wont feel any discomfort even on a bicycle ! I found Vatican city with more pedestrians than even cyclists though ! Some pictures from my personal album. I wish we can dream of such empty parking spaces in India !
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