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What was/is your favourite British Police Car?


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Gut feeling is that there may be a clear winner here.....

For me...the obvious choice is the Rover SD1. It just looked so well suited to the role. Something about it said 'I am a Police car and no, you can't get away from me'. At the time, bar specialist cars, I very much doubt anything could get away from them. 

Only other frequently used car that maybe came close at the time was the Mk2 Senator 3.0i  They looked pretty menacing too and were probably as quick as a standard V8 SD1.  

My Uncle who was a traffic Cop for 20 years raved about the Mk3 Senator 24v though. Reckoned it was the best cop car overall. Reliable, fast and more roomy inside than any of the big Rovers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh yeah, Rover SD1 without a doubt.

As a nipper, out walking the dog one evening one flew by my parents house on the A57 at what my dad estimated as "...over the ton...". I had never seen anything going that fast, so close. A lasting impression. [For context, my dad also reckoned that the frequent two-tones we used to hear at five-to-nine of an evening were coppers trying to get to the local chippy before it closed.]

That being said, before the SD1 came along, it had to be the 2500Pi Triumph. A straight six with Michelotti styling, what's not to like? 

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6 hours ago, superatticman said:

Gut feeling is that there may be a clear winner here.....

For me...the obvious choice is the Rover SD1. It just looked so well suited to the role. Something about it said 'I am a Police car and no, you can't get away from me'. At the time, bar specialist cars, I very much doubt anything could get away from them. 

Only other frequently used car that maybe came close at the time was the Mk2 Senator 3.0i  They looked pretty menacing too and were probably as quick as a standard V8 SD1.  

My Uncle who was a traffic Cop for 20 years raved about the Mk3 Senator 24v though. Reckoned it was the best cop car overall. Reliable, fast and more roomy inside than any of the big Rovers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two valve per cylinder Senator (same 3L engine as in my Opel Monza), was bullet proof.  The four valve per cylinder engine that succeeded it in the Senator was certainly a lot more powerful but was prone to timing chain/sprocket problem causing expensive damage to top end.  One of the guys we in the Autobahn Stormers Club used for spares, said he had supplied the Police on several occasions with parts due to this problem. 

Otherwise, I found the Senator a commodious and comfortable car, although it would have benefitted from more precise steering.  

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4 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

Wolseley 6/90

did they use the later Wolseley 6/110 too  ....  3 ltr straight 6  .......  George Gently tv progs maybe !

( one of the cars I briefly learnt to drive on, my dad had one for a time )

Malc

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I remember getting pulled over by a Met Police traffic car when I was driving an SD1. The car had just been launched, and I was driving it because I worked for another manufacturer, and BL had lent it to us for appraisal (a common practice). The police weren't the slightest bit interested in me or my driving - they just wanted a look at the car because they knew they would be getting it soon.

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Ford Granadas as used by Cowley in The Professionals and also Reagan and colleagues in The Sweeny.

I had each generation of those until they changed to the jelly mould Scorpio.

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1 minute ago, Dippo said:

I remember getting pulled over by a Met Police traffic car when I was driving an SD1. The car had just been launched, and I was driving it because I worked for another manufacturer, and BL had lent it to us for appraisal (a common practice). The police weren't the slightest bit interested in me or my driving - they just wanted a look at the car because they knew they would be getting it soon.

A relative of mine was once pulled over in her Alfa Spyder whilst driving through Rumania. They just wanted to look at it as they had not yet been sold in their market.

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16 minutes ago, Herbie said:

Ford Granadas as used by Cowley in The Professionals and also Reagan and colleagues in The Sweeny.

I had each generation of those until they changed to the jelly mould Scorpio.

My Dad had a jelly mould Scorpio. The front end was certainly an acquired taste but the interior quality was excellent.  Although I do remember the automatic climate control (a very modern feature back then) needing repair more than once!

Paul

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Strange thread this.  Why should anybody other than maybe a police driver have a favourite police car?

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8 hours ago, Barry14UK said:

The two valve per cylinder Senator (same 3L engine as in my Opel Monza), was bullet proof.  The four valve per cylinder engine that succeeded it in the Senator was certainly a lot more powerful but was prone to timing chain/sprocket problem causing expensive damage to top end.  One of the guys we in the Autobahn Stormers Club used for spares, said he had supplied the Police on several occasions with parts due to this problem. 

Otherwise, I found the Senator a commodious and comfortable car, although it would have benefitted from more precise steering.  

Ah the GM Straight Six beasts! They always seemed to slip under the radar at the time. However, I'd say they were better overall cars than the Granada or Rover. Did own a Senator and Monza myself although both succumbed to suspension turret fatigue. 

I can remember the Police using Carlton's too. The earlier one was surely the 2.2i, the later the 2.6i 

senator.JPG

carlton.JPG

carlton2.JPG

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1 minute ago, Rabbers said:

Strange thread this.  Why should anybody other than maybe a police driver have a favourite police car?

Indeed that's a valid question!!

I guess I also have favourite fighter aircraft although I certainly never got close to ever flying one.......maybe that answers the question? 🙂

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4 minutes ago, superatticman said:

I guess I also have favourite fighter aircraft although I certainly never got close to ever flying one.......maybe that answers the question? 🙂

Indeed it does.  Given the choice, albeit a somewhat unappealing one either way, I’m sure I’d prefer to drive a police car than be pulled over by one. 

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My father-in-law had a 1973 Rover P6 3500S - S meant manual. He was driving well over the limit (90mph) on the A2 near Canterbury, when he saw another P6 V8 overtake him. No markings but Police Stop! in the headrests lit up!

He pulled over and wound down his window as the policeman slowly approached. The conversation went:-

Policeman: Nice car sir.

Driver: I thought so until a few moments ago!

Policeman: These cars can be trained to do 70 sir!

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Excellent post David. And that's just how the police used to speak. 

Oh and it's the SD1 for me. My 3rd car was the vanden plas V8 (got gazumped on a vitesse which I wanted). Superb car. More than big enough inside for 5 comfortably. 

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I remember The Liver Run. I could never understand why the organ was flown to Stansted for delivery to a hospital in West London; why didn't they fly to Northolt?

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13 minutes ago, Dippo said:

I remember The Liver Run. I could never understand why the organ was flown to Stansted for delivery to a hospital in West London; why didn't they fly to Northolt?

It wouldn't have made for such good TV I guess 😁. I've often wondered why they didn't bike it in. They'd have got through the jams on the M11 in no time and been able to weave their way through the capital's traffic much more easily. Perhaps being in a car offered the liver more protection. 

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