Cop car evolution

I was chatting to someone some months ago who had been to one of those old vehicle shows one gets around this time of year. He reminded me of days gone by, as one of the cars there was a Riley Pathfinder with the distinctive bell and police sign on the roof, well two bells he said, but I cannot remember. It set me wondering how people get hold of such vehicles and what is involved in restoring them, since I'd imagine getting genuine roof mounted police signs and bells might be a bit difficult nowadays!
Brian
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I suspect they still exist - for filming purposes. But was it really a Riley Pathfinder? Wolseley 6/90 was more common. My parents had a 4/40, so I knew the profile.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 08:20:01 +0100, charles wrote:

Same car, apart form the badging.
Good ol' BMC...
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Not so.
The first Riley Pathfinder had a 4 cylinder Riley engine and gearbox, and a fairly sophisticated coil sprung rear axle. It was a true Riley with few shared parts from other makes.
After BMC got their hands on it, they fitted the generic Austin 6 cylinder C Series engine and 'box, and a cart spring rear end. And made a Woseley version.
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Well he said it was, but obviously not only was I not there but cannot see, but recall the shape being about right in my minds eye.
Brian
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It probably depends on the police force. The Met were loyal to Wolseley for many years - but other forces certainly used Riley. I can't remember ever seeing a Pathfinder, though, but the earlier RM series certainly.
Of course with so many old films and TV being London based, it's not surprising many think Wolseley was the only police car.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 16:56:12 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Not just old films and TV, I had an Eagle annual which showed one.
G.Harman
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There's a Riley used in the Father Brown series sometimes, they seem to chop and change from Wolseley to Riley.
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charles wrote:

You must have been posh when you were born then?
Bill
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wrote:

Very likely
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On 21/05/2015 07:51, Brian-Gaff wrote:

I imagine that, like any other type of restoration project, there will be clubs or societies for those doing it, where you would be able to buy or exchange parts. There may even be people making new versions - I know there is a chap who has made quite a good business out of using a CNC milling machine to make exact replicas of things, like carburettor bodies, for veteran cars.
I would have thought the most difficult bit could be getting some of the less obvious parts. I used to own a Triumph 2.5PI, which was used by some Police forces, and there was a whole list of strengthened parts, mostly in the transmission chain, for those used as Police cars.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 08:32:31 +0100, Nightjar <"cpb"@ wrote:

http://www.policecaruk.com/ http://www.blvpg.co.uk/

Sure, but for a preserved police 2.5, that's going to be less important. I'd imagine the history rally boys would be quite keen, though...
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On 21/05/2015 08:41, Adrian wrote:

I have occasionally been tempted by the thought of preserving an old fire engine, before thinking better of it, but I don't find Police cars particularly appealing.

That might depend upon what state it is at the beginning of the project. My understanding is that Police use wears vehicles out very quickly.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 09:18:56 +0100, Nightjar <"cpb"@ wrote:

A Green Goddess would not go amiss round these parts. Parked next to a Routemaster, of course.

I was thinking more along the lines of a preserved ex-Plod car being perfectly happy with standard-spec components, since it's not going to get the heavy-duty use that the Police would have given it.
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On 21/05/2015 09:21, Adrian wrote:

:-)
I might have trouble fitting anything larger than a Land Rover fire engine in the garage.

I was assuming that anybody who goes to all that trouble would be obsessive enough to want to have the correct parts, even if they didn't show.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 09:38:19 +0100, Nightjar <"cpb"@ wrote:

You need a bigger garage. Obviously.

If it's the choice between having it on the road with the wrong gearbox, or off the road waiting for the right one...
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 08:21:54 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

Regularly used to see an old fire engine parked up around here and used as accommodation by a New Age Traveller type. A small flu for the wood burner was the most obvious indicator that it wasn't just an old fire engine. chatting to the owner who had basically hollowed it out to live in reckoned he could go most places and park up with no hassle as it didn't immediately declare what it was unlike an ancient coach where the use was obvious.

It wasn't awkward to replace it once we found a compatible unit off a Transit but a mates ex Oxfordshire Police Morris Traveller caused a bit of head scratching when following some electrical problems we opened the bonnet and found an Alternator instead of a Dynamo.

My mates brother had driven it to Morocco and back twice before passing it on so we reckoned it was a good un. At least till the electrical problem where the pressure of a few hands doing a vigorous push start resulted in sections of the wooden frame remaining in the hands of the pushers so its end was approaching.
G.Harman
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On Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:21:57 UTC+1, Adrian wrote:

Last I heard they're still in service.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Don't think so, during the previous round of strikes they (along with armed forces) were pressed into service, during the more recent strikes, some fire services (no idea about all) removed a number of appliances from the regular fleet to make a contingency fleet and recruited specific "no-strike" crews to man them.
There might be a few parked-up on airfields somewhere, but wikilies says they were sold to Africa.
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On Thu, 21 May 2015 13:53:02 +0100, Andy Burns wrote:

There's two on CarAndClassic at the mo.
http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/list/499/green%20goddess/
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