Bournemouth, on England’s South coast, is kind of a genteel place. It’s a seaside resort that packs in all the traditional appeal of such places – scrupulously clean sandy beaches, long, sweeping promenades and spindly, wave-bashed piers. Although, like many similar towns, its fortunes have been mixed ever since the end of Victoria’s reign, it’s still an agreeable and thoroughly respectable corner of the country.
Precisely the kind of place I’d expect not to find a 1995 Chevy Caprice decked out in full Fort Worth police regalia, complete with front nudge / PIT bars, roof lights and spotlights, black steel wheels and dogdish hubcaps. Yet that’s exactly what I found in one of the town’s leafier streets earlier this week.
Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a rush to be somewhere, so only caught two vaguely decent photos. One of which I Tweeted today, and was intercepted by somebody called Kamil something or other who suggested it would make a solid V.I.S.I.T post. And I actually hadn’t considered that, because – I thought – it’s just another North American police car. Why would a largely North American website be interested in that. Of course, it then dawned on me that 1995 was a terrifyingly long time ago, and Caprice squad cars haven’t roamed the streets for years. So here it is.
I was actually quite upset that this Bathtub Caprice should be in police spec. In fact, for all I know, it probably isn’t 9C1 ‘police spec’ as such, rather a cosmetic recreation – and here the problem lies. Of all the Crown Victorias I’ve seen in the UK, 100% have been dressed up as police cars. It’s so bloody predictable. The same is true of Ford Torinos and Starsky replicas, and white Beetles with the number 53 on the door. Were this to have been a regular Caprice Classic, perhaps with the LTZ package, I would have literally sprayed my camera all over it. As it was, I took a photo of the back and one of the front.
It gave me the registration number, though, which confirms it as a ’95 car, imported here in June ’13 and packing with a 5.7-litre (which presumably means LT1). So, here I throw it over to you. Based on these meager pictures, is this a genuine cop car or just a pensioner-issue sedan in fancy dress?
(Images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2017)