There’s no doubt classic cars are some of the most beautiful vehicles in the world. They are also extremely versatile, being used in various situations. For a time, British classic cars were popular among the police force. From the Rover SD1, to the Jaguar S-Type, here are 6 of the best British police cars.
The Jaguar S-type was favoured by the police for its speed, as it also made a popular getaway car for criminals. British police had been using Jaguar saloons as early as the 1940s, but they were most effective as motorway patrol cars. The S-type’s independent rear suspension helped it get around corners quickly, especially on uneven surfaces. This would have been very useful when the police needed to get somewhere in a hurry, or were giving chase.
There were times when the police would need to go off-road and a suitable vehicle was the V8 powered Range Rover. The Range Rover acted as the perfect patrol car, travelling over all kind of terrain. The car is still used today by police around the country.
Perhaps the most well-known police car, the Rover SDI became synonymous with the nickname ‘jam sandwich.’ The term became popular in the 1970s and referred to the orange stripe painted across the side of the car. It looked like jam sandwiched between two slices of white bread. The name was made popular by TV series such as The Sweeney and The Bill.
The Rover SDI possessed a V8 engine, meaning it could reach a top speed of 125 mph. This gave it an advantage as a motorway patrol car, as it could keep up with other fast moving vehicles.
It might be hard to imagine the police cruising around in a two-seater sports car, but many of them did through the 1930s up to the 60s. A popular choice was the MGB roadster, which became known for transporting one of the first all-women teams.
Morris Minor 1000
Morris Minors made for popular panda cars in the 1960s and ‘70s. They were often modified with a police sign and radio for the interior. During this era, the police didn’t use any kind of warning equipment, audible or otherwise. The car was used to travel long distances and keep an eye on the activity of other beat officers during their shifts.
Mini Cooper S
For the police, the Mini made an excellent panda car. Its small size gave it a lot of room to maneuver on the road, while its speed was something to be admired. The Cooper’s 1071 cc powerful engine made it an ideal pursuit vehicle.