Its kind of iconic to always think of Porsche being chased by a local highway patrol. But what if the tails were turned, rather a cat being chased by a tiger? Or for that matter, a tiger chasing anything on the road, this bring ups a question; What might make a highway patrol car? The key thing is that the highway patrol car has to be quick, and pretty much reliable.
In the early 60’s Porsche has always been the car of choice for some European police department to chase speeding culprits. We are not talking about only the Autobahn, where speed has no limit, but many other similar highways in and around Europe. Police cars required a number of upgrades to be of useful service on highways. Its most obvious upgrade is the paint job, with department insignia with contrasting colors. Of course there would installations of extra lighting (blue and red), tough grade suspension system, radios and antennas, comfortable sport seats, racks for shotguns and rifles, bull horns and even ways to detain culprits. Cars needed had been specified painted to match a particular color scheme plus be completely able and ready to regularize maintenance within the department. Each car would also get numbers, bull horns, special locks, special tires and possibly larger gas tanks to handle further distances.
There was always a need to have fast cars for the Police departments, having countries like Germany, Netherlands and Austria having Porsche, other countries like Italy having Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. Measure performance includes how well each of the departments might have been able to mechanically staff repair as needed. There would be need to carry a driver, his assistant police officer and that he would certainly have a need to keep with him emergency equipment including ropes, cones, flair, tools, emergency medical and maybe a few other items.
Police business included checking records, going after people, investigations, crowd control, chasing culprits. There was the absolute need to have the reliable car that would function in an era where most cars might reach 100 hp. As period cars got faster, the quicker the police cars needed to get the job done. Clearly 140 mph was not enough, nor would be the ability to accelerate at supersonic speeds.
The Porsche 911 was also employed to service as Peace Officer Cars. Also painted in bright contrasting paints, rigged with special equipment items, they too had been regularly maintained as needed. The unique thing about them is that they were completely cost-effective. Your force would have several of these cars, with mechanics handling all repairs and part ordering. If a car needed brakes or adjustments, it too would be done, but if the car needed an engine rebuild, the car might be traded in for another one.
There was this admiration of having a Porsche for a Police car. In so many ways they were very comfortable to drive. The very next best reason for using one is its speed and its unrelenting quality.
These cars were strong, and safe. The shell would be very good about holding officers inside while they might be in pursuit. In many ways they would be able to pass just about any other car on the road, except for maybe another Porsche. It must have been a scene to either be a police officer on a chase, or for that matter, trying to outrun one of these guys after you. Yeah .. good luck.
The stripes, wild colors, head-aching screams of sirens, flashing blue lights, high beams were designed to confuse and throw you off during a high speed chase. You had almost no way to get away. The growls of the engines were serious business because guys had no qualms about red lining their engines to the top of factory specs. Other Porsche such as the 924, 944 and even 914 all where also employed. They each had just enough guts to keep up and outrun regular street cars.
What is absolutely in sync with what makes Porsche a Porsche is that overall image of control, comfort and speed. The love affair will never end, even if it was a well used Police car.