The only vehicle in the collection that’s not roadworthy is the Wolseley 18/85 police car.
8 February 2012

The only vehicle in the collection that’s not roadworthy is the Wolseley 18/85. If you want the full Jack Warner ‘Evening all’ experience this is the car for you. It’s even got a proper bell on it. Much nicer on the ear than the dreadul American-style sqawk that modern cop cars are fitted with.

The Wolseley is a runner, but John Dorsett is battling against the clock to finish putting the car together. In 1977 this car was a star at the Queen’s Silver Jubiless of the Met and Dorsett is determined that the 18/85 will be able to perform the same duty at Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

See pictures of the Wolseley 18/85 police car

Anyone who’s restored an old car will know how long it takes to do the putting back together bit. Dorsett is looking for help from a local car fettler or fettler or restoration company to finish off the job before June.

The Wolseley is a pre-war design and this one is from the last year of production in 1948. The 2.3-litre six-cylinder engine kicks out 85bhp which is good for a top speed of 75mph and 0-60mph in 23sec.

Probably enough performance to nab most ‘40s speeders unless they were on a Vincent bike or had just bought one of the new Jag XK120s.

Served in the force: 1948-1955

Top speed 75mph; 0-60mph 23.0sec; Kerbweight 1410kg; Engine in-line six-cylinder, 2321cc; Power 85bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 111lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox Four-speed manual

To see the best of the collection, follow the links below:

Rover P6 3500S"This is no ordinary Rover P6, it’s armour plated and weighs two tonnes. In between the seats there’s a chunky radio that today would fit into a fag packet, but that’s nothing compared to the massive stack of valve radios in the boot..."

Morris Minor panda car"I learnt to drive in a Minor and this is the first time I’ve driven one in 30 years. I’d forgotten how slow they are. If you were equipped with a decent motorbike or a Lotus Cortina 1n 1970 the little Morris wouldn’t see which way you went..."

Wolseley 18/85"If you want the full Jack Warner ‘Evening all’ experience this is the car for you. It’s even got a proper bell on it. Much nicer on the ear than the dreadul American-style sqawk that modern cop cars are fitted with..."

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run