John Paul II’s 1979 visit to Poland was his first pilgrimage to his homeland as pope. A special car model named “JP2” had been constructed for the occasion. It was assembled in Starachowice, near Kielce. The vehicle is a slightly enhanced version of the Polish car model Star 660.
After the pilgrimage, the communist regime ordered the vehicle to be destroyed. But Marek Adamczak, a paint shop owner, began collecting parts of the popemobile. After some five years of scavenings bits and pieces, he was able to reconstruct it with the help of friends.
“The car was cut up into tiny pieces and demolished. I searched for authentic parts of the vehicle, built based on the Star 660 M2 model produced in Starachowice. For the needs of John Paul II, it was designed in the Automotive Industry Institute in Warsaw,” says Adamczak.
Marek Adamczak in his Papamobile, photo: K. Krogulec, Echo Dnia
The newly created JP2 Papamobile Museum will open for the first time on the 21st of September. Admissions will be free for the first few months.