By Peter Wyatt
I got this Corgi Toys Commer 464 police van in 1967 for my tenth birthday. The light flashed (still does), and from that day, my heart was set on becoming a police officer.
Having completed an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer, just in case I didn’t like being a police officer or, they didn’t like me, I became a police officer in England, which I did for thirty years until I retired seven years ago as a Detective Inspector. Thank you, Corgi, for helping me in my career path and for giving my family and me a great quality of life.
It also led me to become an avid collector of police vehicles which I still do to this day at the age of 60. I have also fine tuned my two grandsons, Harry and Noah, into the mindset of collecting die cast and to look after them as an investment. They do have cars to play with, but they love to see the collectible ones on display. I also collect other Corgi and Dinky Toys, but police cars have always been my main collecting theme.
All photos are my own apart from the Mark 2 Escort which is from the Trofeu site. I moved house recently, and all my cars are currently in the loft whilst I have a room converted to house them. I can’t find my own picture of that model.
I became a police officer in 1981. The very first police car I drove was a Ford Escort Mark 2. It went from 0-60 in about 2 hours, but I thought it was a fantastic car. In the early 2000’s, Trofeu brought out this 1/43 limited model of the actual car. I just had to have one!
It’s not my intention to chronicle my whole career, but I will share some of my scale model collection by different manufacturers.
The following is a Volvo V 70 traffic car based on a Schuco Volvo estate. A business called Paul Robson Models based in Cumbria UK personalised the Schuco model into actual Staffordshire police cars.
You will see that Paul placed a clipboard with my name on the dashboard. I never actually served as a traffic officer; twenty four of my thirty years were spent as a detective.
21 is the force code for my old force, Staffordshire Police, and the number is on the roof of cars to enable identification from the air.
In my next post, I will show a selection of images from my collection. Hope you will find some of them interesting.
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