Friday, 9 September 2011

The Rover 2.6 Patrol car !!

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Rover 2.6, VUP 142V, Alpha Red 49 with PC 1017 Brian Jones. Photograph taken on the Causey Road near Stanley by PC 1153 Keith Butler at the end of a night shift in July 1981
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Ford Granada -  Alpha Red 47 driven by PC 1017 Brian Jones accompanied by Chief Superintendent Alf Charlton and (believed) Chief Inspector Purdy. The photograph was taken by Sgt John Noble at Burnhope Way, Peterlee on 8th July 1983 on the occasion of the visit of HRH Princess Diana to Peterlee town centre and the Fisher Price factory.

Many Thanks to Brian Jones who sent the above photo’s showing one of our trusty old Ford Granada’s and one of the ‘delightful’ Rover SD1’s which we ran in 2.3(supervision), 2.6(patrol) and 3.5(motorway) versions.

Brian asks the question : Possibly the worst patrol car ever!? Perhaps we could have some debate?


Bob Brown said...

I do think they were awful. Martin Hall & I ran Ford Granada NGR68T (AR44) for years before we got one of the new Vauxhall Senators - D997STN.
We occasionally used to use a Rover and can well remember how quickly the brakes faded when going to jobs and the power steering on the 2.3's was an absolute delight !!!

David Best said...

The motorway SD 1's where 2.6, I was double crewed on one M52 with Derek Rodgers. David Best

Martin Hall said...

The Rover SD1 was derived from a demonstration car which was 'toured' around the
forces. Thw car was Rover SD1 V8 - 3.5lte, the car came in full police livery and had
one or two 'add ons'. These were in the form as a deep air dam at the front which put
in question ground clearance and a rear boot spoiler which was a bit on the large side,
also I beleive the suspension had been lowered. After the car had done the rounds with
numerous crews it received very favourable comments. On this evaluation the force
decided to make purchase and at that time six cylinder cars were recommended. How-
ever before purchase Rover decided to introduce one the Force went for.

Unfortunately the Rover 2600 was compared with Ford Granada 2.8's - this highlighted
the downfalls of the Rover. Performance, handling were inferior but the general downfall
in my opinion was build quality and reliability.

Whether its the 'worst patrol car ever' I think is up to what you were crewed on, I could
name a couple of cars which could fall in this catogory, however the Rover 2600 could
well the one to take this acolade.

Geoff Perry said...

They were worse than awful. Probably the most unreliable car to be seen during my service. I was traffic supervision for a period of their use and could have arrived quicker at incidents in a panda.The motorway Jaguars were not much better. Unfortunately at that time the decision regarding choice was not subject to much in- house assessment and usually left to someone at HQ to make a decision.I clearly remember going to an open day from a certain French manufacturer along with Eric Slater the workshops manager.The vehicle we were to view was for CID use and it was not really suitable. We reported back but they were still ordered for a year until they were seen for what they were. How about a debate about the best car ever? Vauxhall Senator (cheesecutter grille) GEOFF PERRY.

Peter Maddison said...

Did my traffic training in R49 with Brian and Keith in 1979 great lads. I also remember sitting in the boot of (I think R33) with another officer with our feet on the front bumper of the land rover while it pushed us up Queens Road from Shotley Hospital in heavy snow during the bad winter of 1978. No health and safety in them days, but we did get it back to Consettoffice. Peter Maddison

Paul Murphy said...

We were fortunate in Darlington to have all Granada’s, R30, R32 and R46. Only if there was a problem with our car (R32) did we have the misfortune to be lumped with a 2.6. It was truly a sheep in wolves clothing.
Both Martin and GP are right about the selection process. There was a plain 3.5, maroon I think, came before the marked one. I only got to drive the plain one, but was very impressed, as at the time we (Alec Francis) had a 2.3 Victor TBR 455R. Everyone on Traffic was disappointed when a HQ decision was made to buy the untried 2.6.
Was it the worst car? I would say the BL 2200 Princess would give it a close (but not fast) race. Nicknamed the wedge because of its aerodynamic shape.
Alec obviously didn’t like the triangular shape and made it rectangular when he stuffed it into the back of an Aston Martin on Haughton Road. Happy Days!!

Keith Butler said...

With reference to Peter Maddisons comment 21st September, 2011. Peter I was driving R33 that night,the old Granada and due to the snow the ambulances were off road and we had to take a diabetic sufferer from Stanley to Shotley Bridge casualty. Yes the health and safety brigade would have a fit but it completed the job. Happy, happy days. Brian I often wondered what happened to that photograph.

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