Thursday, 17 July 2014

Police Camera Action

461 Range Rover 'Vigilant'

I am always looking out for Police cars. Well, on the road, that is. Not so much in the Corgi stocklist really as they have never particularly inspired me. The best was the Commer van that had a bulb poking through the roof and a battery inside the removable rear section. I liked models with lights but there were very few. That almost turned me to Spot-on. A school friend had a Rover with lights that lit up and looked so cool at night. Just remembered that as I write and now I must see if I can find one. Back in the mid 1960s Spot-on were pretty expensive. I did buy a Hillman Minx as my dad had one and Corgi didn't make that. That was all.

Anyway, back to Police cars. The very last Corgi Police vehicle (in my series) is the Range Rover. It's a nice model. It was around for a long time and is still very cheap to acquire. I like the signs and things that fold out very realistically and everything packs up nicely into the opening rear. You try doing that with the surfer or skier that come with other models.

373 VW 1200 Police Car
There are lots of VW 1200s or, possibly 1300s, as the shape first seen as #256 in East African Safari guise in 1965 is still being used right up to the very end with a Driving School version appearing in 1974. Here is the next longest lived version, a much stripped down model in Police uniform. No steering, no opening boot, no opening bonnet, no jewelled headlamps and not even any mudflaps.

492 VW1200 European Police Car

The 1966 green and white VW may have been a Politzei Auto rather than a Police Car but it was such a better model to play with.

402 Ford Cortina MkIII Police Car
Another late entry to the Corgi 1:43 list, this came in 1972 but also lasted well, surprisingly so as the MkIII was generally regarded as the worst of the Cortinas and there would be a squarer and more modern MkIV out by the time this was nearing its end. This is based on the 'Graham Hill' model - a normal saloon + chin in the box - with a strange siren affair slapped on the front bumper and the box and lamp on the roof. Unlike the VW, strangely, the Ford retained its jewels.

237 Oldsmobile Super 88 Sheriff's Car
From the States came the excellent Oldsmobile model in black and white. Nothing opened but this was very well made and still compares well on display to its modern counterparts.

223 Chevrolet Impala State Patrol Car
Also from the States are the Impalas type 1 and 2 in Police style.

481 Chevrolet Impala Police Car

209 Riley Pathfinder Police Car
The first Corgi Police Car was the lovely Riley Pathfinder. Sheer class and seeing a real one will cause heads to turn still today. That was when Police Cars were black and had bells.

506 Hillman Imp 'Panda' Police Car
No policeman in his right mind looked forward to driving this one - a Panda car as it was called, possibly deriving from the days when a small roundish car was painted black and white. The Hillman Imp wasn't that fast at the best of times. This cast was actually from the Sunbeam made for an earlier rally car but it was a Hillman that the Police used. It's a pretty little car for all that and apparently has 'glow-in'the-dark' side panels. I'd prefer a lamp that lights up.

464 Commer County Police Van
This old-fashioned blob of a vehicle has that saving grace - a working lamp on top!! I must replace the battery and see if mine still works.

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