Inspector Morse wafted around Oxford in his Jaguar. The Professionals blasted through cardboard boxes in their Ford Capri. And the Zephyrs and Zodiacs in Z-Cars gave the show its name. Television has made stars out of police cars... but how many of these classics from North Yorkshire’s fleet do you remember?
Ford Granada MkII
We brought a little bit of The Sweeney to North Yorkshire with this Ford Granada. Wearing the chief constable’s former AJ1 numberplate, it’s pictured looking after the Pope during a visit to York in the early 1980s.
Ford Fiesta MkII
Once a really common site on our roads… but when did you last see a 1980s Ford Fiesta? This 1985 model pictured at a police station behind York Magistrates’ Court in 1988 has a coloured side stripe, which earned police cars of the era the nickname “jam sandwiches”.
This 1996 Volvo was one of our first armed response vehicles. This one’s a high-performance model – a serious bit of kit that could still keep up with crooks in many modern-day cars.
An assortment of Imps line up for inspection beneath Clifford’s Tower in York. They were part of a new fleet for 1968, complete with the slate-blue and white paint scheme and the Heartbeat-style uniforms of the era.
BMW 3 Series estate
If you travel on North Yorkshire’s roads, you’re likely to encounter this Bavarian bruiser. The only German car on our list, the 3 Series is powerful, reliable and handles well, making it a big hit with many of our roads policing officers.
As British as fish and chips, red phone boxes and drizzly summer holidays, the Mini was a policing staple for many years in North Yorkshire. This 1969 model would have been cheap to buy and economical to run, making it an ideal patrol car.
Ford Granada MkII, Ford Escort MkII and Rover SD1
Here’s some classic British metal in the police garage at Fulford Road in York – not an uncommon destination for many cars of the era, which were less reliable than modern machines. Two of Ford’s finest are on the ramps – a relatively new 1979 Granada MkII and an Escort MkII – while the classic motorway patrol car, the Rover SD1, is just visible in the background. The year was 1980.