Imagine being devastated when you can no longer drive your beautiful, specially commissioned car, and seeing it being sold at an auction for just £300. That’s how Tony Peters, an ex traffic-cop from the Mid Anglia police must have felt when his beautiful Ford Lotus Cortina Mark II police car was no longer to be used by the force.
The car, one of only two of its kind commissioned in the early 1970s for the Police, was special because of the Lotus Engine under the bonnet, which allowed it to reach speeds of an unprecedented more than 20 mph more than the other vehicles in the police car fleet at the time. It could do 0-60mph in a staggeringly fast 9 seconds. PC Peters last drove it in 1974 and thought he’d never see it again but was shocked to see an old photograph of it, with him standing beside it, in a classic car magazine recently. The photograph had been taken in 1972 and also featured PC John Cooper, and the car’s current owner hopes to recreate the picture with both men, in the same place.
The car had been bought by a classic car enthusiast, who intended to use the engine and sell the rest for spare parts and scrap, but fortunately for other enthusiasts he decided to restore it, and the magazine featured an article about the car because it was so unusual. And shortly after seeing the photo he was able to be reunited with “Tango 8″ for a new photograph with it.
The car is now worth an estimated £16,000 but even the number plate on it could be worth something. OEB580H isn’t one of the most desirable vintage number plates, but it is still worth something to a collector of classic vehicle registration numbers. And with the format of registration plates having changed, the old 1963-1983 format of 3 letters, 3 numbers and a date-identifying letter is highly sought after. So even if the car isn’t worth much as a roadworthy vehicle the number plate may be worth more than you think. Platinum Plates can give you a free no-obligation quotation if you are thinking of selling a registration number, so give them a call to discuss your options.
To finish this story, the other car of the pair that were originally commissioned, has also been found and is being restored in Kent by an experienced Ford mechanic. Wouldn’t it be great if the two of them could be pictured again? That would be a great picture in car and police history.