Did you know that in Europe before the 1970s the police force continent wide didnt arrest lawbreakers in the type high performance saloon cars you see today, but instead drove early Porsche sports cars such the 356 Cabriolet...
The year was 1960, Novermber 23rd, when Porsche delivered a White 356 Cabriolet, decked out in special equipment to the Police force in Dusseldorf. The car had quite a history, as in it's short 6 year term serving the Police it was driven 160,000km, and no doubt had many crooks handcuffed inside along the way. After retirement it sat for 25 years, before a restoration project was taken up to bring the car back to life, completed in the year 2000. It is kept in a Belgian collection.
It wasn't only Germany that used Porsche 356s for their police vehicles either. Also in 1960 after the commencement of a new 500km highway opened in the Netherlands, causing great concern for their local police force with regards to how they would keep up with an catch aggressive or unsafe drivers. Under the advice of their German colleagues, who from the land of unrestricted motorways suggested the Dutch purchase a fleet of cars from Zuffenhausen. Around 40 of the 356b models began their journey from Stuttgart, after just a few miles test run. ( On a side note, One of those cars mentioned above was recently sold at an auction hosted by Bonhams ). The drivers of these 356bs were restricted to specially trained only officers, who were at least 25 years of age, married and with children!!!! Imagine the uproar today if such stipulations were enforced in our century with regards to the marriage and children rule!
The officers werent the only ones required to meet certain criteria, of course the cars were also held to high standards. They were equipped with flashing Blue beacons, loudspeaker, stop signs on the car, a larger fuel tank, radio telephones and antennae, twin internal rear- view mirrors, stickers, controls buttons and even a water repellant interior coating! Due to the uniform rule of the officers being made to wear helmets, and the lack of headroom in a 356, the fabric roof was to be kept down at all times, whatever the weather! To compensate, the drivers were provided with standard issue caps, goggles and raincoats. It wasnt until the 1970s that the Police force adopted tghe use of 911 Targa's and more practical Ford Capris.