In an effort to view Tour de France proceedings better and more comfortably, chief race commissaire, Philippe Dufault, has ordered the delivery of a purpose-built vehicle from which to oversee the event. Early renderings of the design bear a striking resemblance to the so-called ‘Popemobile.’
“I’m tired of sticking my head through the sunroof of a Peugeot like a goddam gopher,” complains Dufault. “I’m the freaking chief commissaire, and I’m standing up in a sedan like a drunk teen on prom night, getting my hair messed up and bugs in my teeth.”
“It’s disgraceful. I’ve had enough,” continues Dufault. “I finally figured if the Pope can have a sweet ride, then certainly the Tour commissaire deserves one too.”
La Toussuire Coachworks has been commissioned to build the special car. Gilbert Gramont of LTC explains, “It’s an unusual request, but we are more than happy to build this one-of-a-kind vehicle.”
Besides providing nearly 360 degrees of unobstructed viewing, Gramont describes some of the car’s other special features. “It’s mostly glass—basically a big fishbowl—so we were a little surprised by his request to include a toilet and bidet, but hey, who are we to judge? Whatever he wants, we’ll build it.”
Dufault defends the unusual accoutrements. “The stages are long, and as with the riders, nature calls. I’ll gladly forego a little privacy rather than stop and dash over a hedge, behind a rock wall, or be subjected to the indignity of a porta-potty. Ewww.”
“If I do this, I’m going big. I don’t plan on giving up my post anytime soon, so I want it to have as many creature comforts as possible,” continues Dufault. “I may even add a mini-bar.”
Asked if his car might be confused with the actual ‘Popemobile,’ Dufault is unapologetic. “It’s fine if people think I’m the Pope. If they want to get down on their knees and bow to me, throw roses and the like, that’s fine. Frankly, I deserve that sort of respect anyway.”
La Toussuire Coach plans to base the vehicle on the chassis of a BMW X5, “but that’s where the similarity ends,” Gramont continues. Besides the passenger dome, “Dufault wants some engine modifications as well. We’re not sure exactly what they are, though, as his direction to ‘build something that hauls ass’ was a little vague.
“I think if we just put some loud pipes and bitchin’ spinners on it, he’ll be happy.”
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