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Homepage. This page: Amusing stories from a former traffic police driver in the Manchester area.
Police Ford Capri
Ford Capri 2.8i Police Traffic car, ex-GMP.
Police Range Rover
The original, 'classic', Police Range Rover.
Police Roadcraft Manual, c1960
Police cars, 1950s/1960s style !

GMP Traffic Police

Geoff dropped me a line, after spotting a photo of an ex-Police Ford Capri in the car show photos section ...

"Hello there, I came across your site by accident. I noticed you had an ex GMP 2.8 Capri on the website. Would you know who has D444 KVM? This was my car, which was based at Tameside Traffic Unit (GTU). When I was promoted, a photo was taken of it and given to me. From the negatives, were made all the Capri tie pin badges, that were sold for charity. Love to know where it is now, many fond memories. The last time I saw it, I found it hard to believe. It would be about 6 years ago, there was a convoy of them passing through Harrogate. Talk about strange to see them. The rear spoilers for them were for years piled up in a storeroom at the Openshaw Complex, Driving School, Gorton, Manchester. They just didn't know what to do with them."

Stories about driving Capris and Range Rovers for the Police.

Geoff continues, with some of the interesting recollections he has of his time driving with the traffic Police around the Manchester area ...

Ford Capri 2.8i
"I could tell stories all day on treble4 and many Capris that we had. The Capri was ahead of its time as a pursuit vehicle, nothing could lose them. Superb when it was dry, but when it was wet ...... oh my god.

But we all knew about this and would put it to good use. The back end always came round, if you put too much gas or went into a corner. In winter we would frequently take out equipment and put sandbags in to keep the back-end down.

I can recall having to take a witness, an old fella from Hattersley, into Manchester Crown Court. Distance of around 25 miles. We weren't allowed to use Motorways, only the Motorway Group could be there, so it was all A roads. To say it was a white knuckle ride, would be an understatement. I remember him gripping the passenger seat and wouldn't let go. We set off with blues and twos going, wet day, the back end was all over, it was great. It was common when on an Emergency Run for the brakes when overused to lose them, so had to resort to cadence braking, that is stamping on and off the brakes to slow it down. Got to Crown Court, the brake discs were gleaming red hot and the old fella, well ... was a little worse for wear!!"

"Another time, there was a 2 vehicle RTA (Road Traffic Accident) early one morning on Market Street, Hyde, actually in front of the infamous Dr Shipman's surgery, when the roads were sheet ice. I trundled along to the scene, as is the norm we park the vehicles a short distance away to protect the scene. Unfortunately the Capri didnt want to stop and became part of the RTA. Second car attended, decided he would approach from the top of Market Street. Stopped some distance away and got out. Big mistake .... driverless Capri slid down the hill and you guessed it - became car no 4 in RTA. Not to be outdone, our supervision went mad on the radio and came to the scene to give us a rollicking. Guess what happened!!!"

Range Rovers
"We received a brand new Range Rover, it was the first to be fitted with the now commonplace 'Wail and Yelp' sirens. Out with my Sergeant who was an excellent driver, we spotted a motorcycle; we just knew right away that something was wrong. A quick computer check - yep it had recently been stolen. Now normally the police have no chance catching a bike. A short pursuit took place. But the rider made the big mistake of going 'off road'. The area was like a lunar landscape.

We were up and down through these holes. Each time he looked around we were there. Eventually he looked around once too often, and fell sideways into a deep water-filled and very muddy hole. All we could hear were screams for help. We jumped out, only to see this reprobate covered from head to toe in mud, crying something about Police brutality and the most inappropriate language. We got back inside and waited in the Range Rover for at least an hour, waiting for him to apologise, before hauling him out with a toe rope. After being dealt with, we made him wash the Range Rover!!!"

"The old Range Rover classic had a very nasty habit of oversteering, if you went too fast into a bend. We had a Sergeant who took great joy in giving out rollickings for officers involved in any form of Police Vehicle Accident (PVA). One day he was out in the Range at a place called Wakefield Road, in Stalybridge. There is a nasty tight bend under a railway bridge called Blackrock Bridge. He came through the bend a tad too fast, tried to steer, oversteered and tipped the gleaming Range Rover on to its side. You have never seen so many smiley faces attending the scene."

Thanks for sending your stories over Geoff! top stuff. If anyone else has similar experiences when driving a car for a living, whether for the Police, Ambulance, or Fire service, then please get in touch. Pat Russell did just that, and recounts his memories of various Ford Zephyr, Cortina and Granada police cars here. If you drove professionally for a living, perhaps in the police force, or maybe behind the wheel of a fire engine, ambulance or a taxi years ago, please send me your memories too!

Do you have fun motoring memories that you'd like to see featured on oldclassiccar??? please let me know if so - see motoring memories for details.

Links to other Police vehicle websites:
Gallery of Police and other emergency vehicle photographs
Pictures of older Police cars
Police cars in Asia, Australia etc
Cop Car.com - US Police car information
Classic Cop Cars (UK)

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