827 NTC An MG A Roadster dating from 1960. This type of police vehicle was used for traffic policing duties, including on the new motorways. Notice the large black wailing siren mounted on the front.
A closer look at the illuminated police sign and amber warning light (a predecessor of the blue flashing light).
A look over the shoulder of the driver. It was normal practice to drive the car with the roof folded down so other motorists could see the police uniforms.
On the rear is an illuminated ‘police stop’ sign. The ‘stop’ part would be illuminated when requiring a motorist to pull over. This was done by first overtaking the target car, in contrast to today where stops are made from behind.
UCE 380K Here is a classic Triumph Toledo police car replica. This type of car was used to patrol rural Nottinghamshire in the early 1970s. Notice the black roof.
The rear view. The blue light has been covered up with black material to help avoid people thinking it is an active police car and to comply with the road vehicle lighting regulations. The police signs are magnetically attached.
D439 KVM A Ford Capri traffic policing car, sister vehicle of the one above. This preserved vehicle looks exactly as it did when it was in service with Greater Manchester Police in the 1980s.
One of the trademarks of 80’s traffic police cars was the enormous rear police sign. You can see here how it looks like a spoiler and lights up with ‘police’ on the left hand side and can show ‘stop’ in red on the right.
B289 HAB This photograph shows a Range Rover that was in service with West Mercia from 1985 to 1988. It was part of the traffic policing division. It is now preserved and is at present only missing the force crest from the front doors and the calibrated speedometer from the centre of the dashboard.
LAR 988C This Ford Anglia dates from 1965 and was made famous by appearing in many episodes of the vintage police television show Heartbeat. Notice the white doors and front half of the roof. There is also a ‘police’ roofbox fitted with a blue flashing beacon on top. This type of box and beacon set-up was in use on UK police cars through to the mid 1990s.
MWA 721P This icon of the 1970s is a Rover P6 3500. Popular with police forces across the country, this example was with South Yorkshire Police. The ‘3500’ in its name refers to the 3500 cc V8 engine that powered this car. Notice the police roof box, with blue rotating beacon on the top and two rear-facing red lights attached to the sides.
A152 SUW This is a Metropolitan Police Rover SD1 3500. This car was a common site throughout the UK in the late 1970s and 1980s. It has two rotating beacons on the roof, as well an an illuminable ‘police’ sign mounted on the bonnet, between the headlights. Up the sides are red and yellow stripes and the Met’s logo. This livery was used up until the late 1990s.
The rear view of the same SD1. Notice that a large ‘spolier’ sign that has been fitted which illuminates ‘police’ and optionally ‘stop’. The Rover SD1 is often regarded as the best traffic policing car of its era. The Met actually stockpiled them when they heard Rover were to stop making them.
BAP 886K A MG B GT police car. Currently being privately preserved, this 1971 example is displaying an optional ‘wide load’ sign for escorting large vehicles. This type of car was used for traffic policing duties, but didn’t really have enough carrying capacity.
The rear view of the same car. Notice the illuminable stop sign on the rear bumper. When not on display, the police sign and blue light are removed to stay legal on the roads.