Historic Met vehicle rolled out for road safety week

22 November 2012

The classic 1948 Wolseley

It’s back to the future for the Met  this week as the Metropolitan Police Historic Vehicle Collection (MPHVC) proudly rolled out a fully restored 1948 Wolseley police car in an effort to urge drivers to slow down as part of this year’s Road Safety Week campaign.

The beautiful pre-war designed car, complete with bell and loudspeaker, was first used by Commissioner Sir Harold Scott and in service at the time of the Queen’s Coronation.

"The Wolseley is part of the rich history of the MPS."

It would go on to provide many years of distinguished crime fighting service, before featuring as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.

Gradually however, the vehicle fell into a state of disrepair.

After languishing in different bits and pieces for more than seven years, the vehicle was painstakingly put together, painted, chromed and trimmed by a handful of dedicated volunteers based at Hampton Traffic Garage.

Retired traffic Sergeant Jon Dorsett, John Murray - who has been a police volunteer for over 40 years, and serving officers Phil Hames, Matt Wade, and Jim Selby-Wetherly were all involved in the year long process of rejuvenating this enchanting piece of MPS heritage.

Surrey Trimming in Addlestone and the London Chroming Company also contributed with a good proportion of the funds provided by the Met Museum Board.

The charming Wolseley joins a collection of 14 cars and bikes that are of historical significance to the MPS such as a Rover P6 which was used to escort Lady Thatcher and a BMW R1100RS which was the lead bike in Princess Dianna’s funeral procession.

These vehicles are however more than just pretty pieces of nostalgia as Phil Hames of the MPVC explained:

“The Wolseley is part of the rich history of the MPS. It will be displayed at public events and undoubtedly attract interest. Vehicles like this act as an ice breaker and encourage members of the public to chat to police officers. One of the bikes recently used on a Bikesafe road safety event helped the MPS gain 400 paid signatures for the drive safe initiative. The engagement and goodwill generated from the display of such historic vehicles at appropriate events cannot be underestimated.”

With a top speed of just over 60mph, the 1948 Wolseley car is also from a bygone era when you did not have to drive fast to be seen as cool.

Cutting speed and encouraging all road users to slow down is the main theme of this year’s road safety week.

With only 18 Horse Power, this six cylinder straight six engine saloon provides a striking reminder that you do not have to go fast to look good.