'End of an era' for police highway patrol Holdens

The Holden in the foyer of Southward Car Museum, Paraparaumu. Photo: Southward Car Museum via NZ...
The Holden in the foyer of Southward Car Museum, Paraparaumu. Photo: Southward Car Museum via NZ Police
As the fleet of old police Holdens are consigned to history, a few of the classic patrol cars are set to become museum exhibits.

The Fleet Service Group and New Zealand Police Museum have arranged for four Holden Commodore SV6 highway patrol vehicles to end their working lives at museums in Wānaka, Dunedin, Taranaki and Kāpiti.

Fleet manager, Inspector Brian Yanko, said it will be the "end of an era" for the iconic Holdens.

He said their retirment has created a flurry of interest, with higher-than-normal prices reached when the decommissioned cars have gone to auction.

One of the Holdens in the gravel of the Transmission Gully escape lane. Photo: NZ Police
One of the Holdens in the gravel of the Transmission Gully escape lane. Photo: NZ Police
In 2020, General Motors announced it was withdrawing from the right-hand-drive market, spelling the end for Holden production in Australia.

Yanko said he was contacted by a museum about the possibility of acquiring one of the retired Aussie-built Commodores soon after taking up the fleet manager role in 2020.

"This got me thinking that there would be many past and serving police officers who in the future would definitely love the ability to show younger family members and friends the patrol vehicles they used to drive," he says.

The first of the vehicles is now at the Southward Car Museum at Paraparaumu. The next is due to go to the Hillsborough Car Museum in New Plymouth this weekend, to join a unique collection of Holden cars and memorabilia.

Southward Car Museum general manager Craig Andrews with Police Museum director Rowan Carroll and...
Southward Car Museum general manager Craig Andrews with Police Museum director Rowan Carroll and Inspector Brian Yanko. Photo: NZ Police
The others are going to Toitū Museum in Dunedin and the National Transport and Toy Museum in Wānaka.

Yanko said museums have expressed particular interest in acquiring one of the coloured patrol cars, first introduced in 2013.

Police Museum director Rowan Carroll has been liaising with the museums, ensuring the paperwork is completed and a Deed of Gift is ready for signing at handover.

The Taranaki-bound Holden on the trailer and ready to go. Photo: NZ Police
The Taranaki-bound Holden on the trailer and ready to go. Photo: NZ Police
She said an important condition is that the vehicles are handed back to police for decommissioning and disposal if the museum no longer requires them.

Steve and Joy Fabish, who own the Hillsborough museum, were the first to enquire about the Holdens.

"It will be of huge interest to our visitors, who will enjoy being able to get up close and personal with a patrol vehicle without receiving a ticket," said Steve.

-Ten One Magazine

 

 

 

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