By on March 21, 2013

A vow of celibacy? Threatening to cut someone’s throat at a race track? Flowing locks? No, silly. They both love the Volkswagen Phaeton.

Our raven haired race car driver famously owned not one but two Phaetons, thereby earning himself the title of “masochist of the century” and a complimentary membership to Opus Dei – Jack’s self-mortification was only financial, rather than physical, but I’m sure the order will admit him anyways.

Meanwhile, our Pontiff is a Jesuit, and is more concerned about things like social justice and acts of humility. No wonder he’s shunned the Mercedes SUVs of the past in favor of the discrete Volkswagen Phaeton with a TDI powerplant. I wonder if Herr Schmitt, our other resident lapsed Catholic (now practicing Shinto) ever envisioned this coming to pass during his days at VW.

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58 Comments on “What Do The Pope And Jack Baruth Have In Common?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Phaeton isn’t exactly cheap, especially if he was running around in one prior to the conclave. Ratzinger’s DD was a Golf prior to his appointment IIRC, car wise that’s a little more humble than the current Pope.

    On the other hand, if he’s rolling the LWB version I’ll tip my hat. There shouldn’t even be SWB versions of flagship cars IMO.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    My 2004 Phaeton spent more time on a flat bed than on the road. Maybe Pope Francis can use devine intervention to keep his running.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Such promise… now dashed hopes.

  • avatar
    keet

    I GOT IT, I GOT IT! …they both think they’re relevant! (they’re not)

  • avatar

    Jack’s a Cardinals fan?

  • avatar
    vcficus

    Only at companies bent on world domination like VW (Phaeton) and Mercedes (Maybach) with delusional CEOs can push through multi-billion dollar investments in high line cars like this which net three figure sales annually and keep making them for several years.

    Oh, wait, I forgot the Cadillac Allante!

    Well, maybe late 80′s GM when they still had 40%+ market share wanted world domination too… delusional CEO? Check!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I wonder if Bond villain music accompanies Winterkorn where ever he goes?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The Phaeton cost VW relatively little as it amortized the costs of the Bentley Continental platform. And while they did not sell well in the US, they sold (and still sell) just fine in Europe. I doubt they lost any money on them.

      AS VW is in the running for being the world’s most profitable automaker, they obviously are doing something right.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        And Phaeton sales since introduction are probably well over 100K now — it was selling at 25K/year initislly, and it’s still at over 10K/year, largely on the strength of Chinese-market sales. Rather more than Maybach or Allante.

        For that matter, the MKS, MKX and MKT are all selling below 10K units/year rate so far this year.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          That VW sold the Phaeton in the U.S. blew my mind.

          I knew exactly one person who had one of these (and I didn’t know her well – friend of a friend), and have seen MAYBE 4 of them on the road in the last 6 years or so.

          The funny thing is I like the vehicle, and considered buying a used base motor version back in 2010, which was a one owner, mint vehicle with a mere 28,000 miles (I think) on it – for $28k (now, I think they’re actually selling for more than this on the used market).

          It was being sold by that large import dealer in Chicagoland…Autohaus or Autobarn…or something…

          The deciding factor against buying it was that I was basically told by several VW techs that there were only a select few VW dealerships that had mechanics who were certified to perform work on them, that the parts were BUKU $$$$, and that the maintenance schedule was very rigorous and expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Yes, beige became the VW mantra and the innumerable throng of people who are adverse and possibly even allergic to excitement now have an option for Toyota.

  • avatar

    Um – They both like archaic costumes and the smell of candle wax?

    What do I win?

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      They’re both at the apex of their careers?

      • 0 avatar
        Conslaw

        What does the Pope have in common with J.B.? So many answers, so little time.

        1. They both had to master the use of incense to avoid getting kicked out of college
        2. They both s**t in the woods
        3. Two words: Bieber Fever
        4. I’m fuzzy on the details, but it involves Vodka McBigbra and jello shots
        5. Trick question. They are the same person. Has anyone seen them both together?
        6. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          +10 sir I needed a laugh.

          • 0 avatar
            Conslaw

            Let’s make it an even 10.

            7. Francis is a tenth level cleric. Jack is only 10 experience points away.

            8. They follow the Argentine code of honor: when the llama spits on you, you spit back.

            9. They both despise “The Di Vinci Code” however “The Bro Code” must be committed to memory.

            10. They had high hopes for their TV pilot: “Are you more a Martyr than a Fifth Grader?”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Yeah, my first guess was that Baruth wore a funny hat.

  • avatar

    Let’s cut a bit of slack here. The guy’s been Pope for a week. He (or more likely his very nervous security detail) probably chose something from the Vatican motor pool that wasn’t a glass cage mounted on a Benz that they could put a couple of aides and a bodyguard into.

    Clearly, a Fiat 500 won’t do.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    discrete –> discreet

  • avatar

    Just for a larf I checked out the wiki page on the Phaeton. Apparently the W12 is rated for 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. Other sites have lower numbers for 0-60, around 5.5 seconds. Is it just me, or is that absurd? $100k+ for a super luxury sedan, with a massive 6.0L, 12-cylinder engine, that accelerates barely faster than a Honda Civic with an engine one-third the size?

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      Why don’t you just use the regular internet poster boy – the Ford Mustang. Almost no car is as fast as Mustang for the price. Therefore every car sucks in comparison.

      Alternatively if you are a pro Japanese guy just use the RAV4 V6. It had a 6 something second 0-60 time or so. So all cars that don’t top that aren’t sporty. Haha.

      The Phaeton was 203 inches long. Thats BIGGER then a Chrysler 300M. So it was big German cruiser…a kind of Bentley vehicle. Way you pay that money you get a top of the line interior and a wonderful engine note and a car that’s FAST ENOUGH for any sane driver of such a gigantic car.

      Personally i’d go with a Charger or something and pocket the extra dough. But if you like German cruisers its actually a nice car when its running…

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        “the Ford Mustang. Almost no car is as fast as Mustang for the price. Therefore every car sucks in comparison.”

        Them

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        “Why don’t you just use the regular internet poster boy – the Ford Mustang. Almost no car is as fast as Mustang for the price. Therefore every car sucks in comparison”

        That’s so 2012, In 2013 its “if it doesn’t handle like a FRS/BRZ for the price it sucks in comparison”!

        • 0 avatar
          niky

          On the other hand… what Civic gets to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds? There’s a world of difference between 60 and 62 mph… the extra shift that most cars need past 60 mph is what seals the deal… and a world of difference between 5.5 seconds and 6.5 odd ones. Especially considering one is done with little fuss and drama and the other is done with a screaming clutch-dump off the line.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Are the Civics electronically limited to 155MPH?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The Phaeton IS a Bentley Continental in a plain wrapper. It is limited to a very easy 155mph, and gets there in rather a hurry. Something like 180mph+ with the limiter removed. So no, I don’t have a problem with a leather and wood lined near 5000lb drawing room on wheels taking 5.5 seconds to get to some completely arbitrary speed to be an issue at all.

      If I had any use at all for a big 4-door sedan in my garage I would have one for myself. There is a perfectly lovely black on tan W12 example for sale on eBay at the moment in TX. Have a look at the pictures of that interior. Such luxury wrapped in such a delightfully discreet package.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Yes it’s stupid isn’t it. And why would anybody want a Phaeton when a properly running riding lawn mover will beat it in the all important 0-.60 mph race? And why would anybody buy a Phaeton instead of a canoe? The VW doesn’t even float!

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Its probably the 2006 Phaeton given by VW to the previous Pope. http://www.autoblog.com/2006/10/19/papal-power-vw-presents-pope-benedict-with-450hp-phaeton/

    So basically what was armored, already in the Vatican motor pool, and not horribly ostentatious like the fishbowl popes normally ride around in.

    The current Pope really believes in recycling (e.g. the Papal ring he selected is gold-plated silver, and was given to Pope Paul VI.)

    • 0 avatar
      Joe K

      Just out of curisoity, if each ring is destroyed upon the Popes, shall we say, departure, how can this Pope recycle a ring?

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        I’d guess either your or his statement isn’t accurate. Or it’s possible the design was recycled, and not the actual ring.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Melt the silver, make a new ring. That’s recycling, and the old ring is still destroyed.

        Reuse … now that wouldn’t be possible after destroying the old ring.

      • 0 avatar
        Nicholas Weaver

        Each pope has ONE official papal ring, that is melted down. The ring Francis chose was given as a gift to a previous pope, but was not a previous pope’s official papal ring.

        • 0 avatar
          Nicholas Weaver

          For reference, here is Francis’s ring:
          http://media01.radiovaticana.va/imm/1_0_674711.JPG

          And Benedict’s:
          http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01370/th21-Vatican-2__TH_1370344e.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Not a chance. That’s a face-lifted, past 2010, Phaeton not some old bucket from 06.

      The premise of this article is rather odd, the fishbowl is for display/public appearance duties and the plethora of sedans and other cars that the pope has at his disposal is for actual transportation. Much in the same way that the majority of European royalty, despite having numerous carriages, doesn’t ride around in a barouche, landau or a phaeton every day, but rather something a bit more discreet and practical.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    They both talk about imaginary things?

  • avatar
    AFX

    They both have the nickname of “Skunk”, or “Slowhand” ?.

    What the Pope needs to do is ditch that lame VW Phaeton and get something cool, like a 1959 Buick Electra 225 Riviera 6-window hardtop, and drop a Stage 1 455 in it. The Pope could then Go Fast With Class.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Jack, please tell me you don’t have a thing for altar boys!

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    the new pope is extremely homophobic – methinks the lady protests too much…??? nevertheless any likeness between him and actual people is purely accidental.

  • avatar

    Derek, is it true that Jack used to own 2 Phaetons at once? Why?

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I don’t think you can say the current Pope ‘love’ any car, Phaeton included. He simply inherits them from his predecessor. He prefers riding public buses, if it was possible. But the old Pope (now retired) do seem to have an unnatural love (for a Pope anyway) of cars, especially German cars. I suppose that’s because he’s a German.

  • avatar
    Cerum

    Religion bashing = cool on TTAC now?

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    They both tell made-up stories to a large audience on a weekly basis? I doubt the Pope names all his women Zaftig McQuippyReduction though.


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