Ford Cortina Mk2 1300 De Luxe, Manchester & Salford Police, Ford Demonstration Car
As police forces modernised in the early 1960s the UBP (Urban Beat Policing) cars required by the Home Office’s plan for future policing became known as Panda’s because they were often in a black (or blue) and white livery. Manufacturers soon realised the sales potential this policy promised and prepared police specification 1300cc saloons as ‘Panda demonstration cars’ which were then loaned to regional forces for evaluation. The car modelled was one such vehicle and was loaned by Ford to various forces in the months after the Mk2 Cortina was launched in October 1966. It is modelled in the livery it wore when being evaluated by Manchester & Salford Police.
Panda cars were usually in near base model trim (De Luxe on a Mk2 Cortina) and used smaller engines as the majority of police drivers using cars in this role were only qualified to standard level and not allowed to drive more powerful cars. Despite Ford’s attempt to gain Panda car sales with the 1.3-litre pre-crossflow engined demonstrator modelled they were not successful as forces ordered smaller cars for this role: Ford Anglias, Morris Minors or 1100s, and from 1968, Ford Escorts. The Mk2 Cortina was, however, very widely used by the Police in a variety of other roles including traffic patrol and C.I.D. investigation, who used discreet unmarked examples. Many police forces also used the Lotus-engined Mk2 as high-speed pursuit cars.
Engine: 1298cc 4IL OHV
0-60mph: 21.4 seconds