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Top 10: Classic police cars

We’re well used to seeing police cars featured in dramatic situations on our TV screens, from the Zephyrs famously used in Z Cars to the tyre-screeching Granadas employed on The Sweeney. But, of course, not every police vehicle leads such an exciting career as the ones we watch in dramas and films.

From the panda cars that became prevalent in the ’60s through to the high-speed motorway pursuit vehicles that followed, police cars lead a hard life. So we pay tribute to ten of our favourites, with Police Car UK kindly supplying some of the images and information.

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Ford Zephyr

When Z Cars was first broadcast in 1962, it employed the services of Ford’s Mk2 Zephyr as it came towards the end of its career, while later episodes switched to the 1962-66 Zephyr 6 shown here. But were such vehicles actually used by Britain’s police? Happily yes, with the MkIII in particular being a popular patrol car amongst many police forces.

It was easy to see the appeal, these big saloons being relatively powerful, pretty quick for the time and spacious enough to accommodate plenty of police gear. Oh, and being a Ford they also offered excellent value.


Nobbet    on 13 November 2017

What happened?? Every one an English car. Where are they now and WHY??

TedTom    on 13 November 2017

Wolseley 1948-54 6/80. What a fantastic car in their day. I owned two of these. One
was previously owned by a chauffeur and had the number plate NXV 680 which I bought when I was 17 yrs. The other was an actual ex Met Police car. How I wish I'd have kept them. You don't realise they are classics at the age of 17 yrs. Now I'm 71.

NEIL SCARLETT    on 19 April 2020

Yes you're right, the Police used British built vehicles up until the dead wood in society destroyed the manufacturing capacity of our country.

Oxford dictionary definition of dead wood. A person who is a load on the productive sector of society. Example, politicians irrespective of political persuasion and trade union leaders. Synonyms Parasite freeloader, self seeking, self serving, superfluous.

Dave 6726    on 19 April 2020

And what, pray, of the Daimler SP 250?


Harrovian    on 19 April 2020

I know the Police used many and varied cars but i do wonder why you fail to include the Wolseley Six-Ninety, 1954-59. The Police bought 500 of these excellent cars with the Met. especially keen on them, they were well regarded, fast and effective cars.
Police models differed from standard cars in several ways, in fact only one single genuine ex-Police 6/90 survives, the ones you see at shows are Faux! The New Zealand Police also bought 19 6/90's, with at least one car having survived. The Wolseley Register have a book 'Six-Ninety Super Profile' which covers the Police cars in detail, as well as all other aspects of these cars.

I always wonder why the Police fail to buy British, they spurned the very good Rover 75 and seem to like to buy German to the detriment of our industry - and balance of payments...

TedTom    on 6 June 2020

Harrovian...I'm not sure whether your comment, " i do wonder why you fail to include the Wolseley Six-Ninety, 1954-59" is aimed at myself. If it was, I only mention the 6/80, because I owned two of them.

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