Tag Archives: Victoria

An Ocean Of Crown Vics – Ford LTD Crown Victoria

The saying in the li’l ol’ England was that everything in the USA and indeed North America was bigger than anything ever seen in Europe and to a greater or lesser extent that was verified on my first trip to North America in 1988, the buildings the cars and even the average height and build of the people seemed to dwarf anything I was exposed to on a regular basis in London or anywhere else in Europe.

Ford LTD Crown Victoria, Indiana State Police, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

What I was not expecting on my 24 hour trip from Toronto to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 was the overwhelming number of race fans camped out in every suburban nook and cranny surrounding Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In Europe most race tracks don’t attract even half of the 250,000 fans IMS can hold and even then the fans are usually spread out over several miles of country side and so never approach the kind of concentration seen at Indy.

I had expected a pretty wild, read friendly if a little drunk, crowd and was not disappointed, though I am glad I did not take my girl friend with me, I think she may have felt just a little intimidated by the rowdy vibe. Soon after getting into the IMS infield just after dawn on race day I found an apparent ocean of Indiana State Police pre’88 face lift Ford LTD Crown Victoria’s and was so impressed with the scale of the law enforcement presence I took the photo above.

The pre ’88 face lift Ford LTD Crown Victoria, also known as the Crown Vic was launched in 1983, from what I have been able to discern police package Crown Vic’s were available either 160 hp 5 litre / 302 cui EFI V8’s or 180 hp 5.7 litre / 351 cui HO V8’s driving through four speed AOD (Automatic Overdrive) transmissions around 1987, never enough to beat the Chevrolet Caprice in the Michigan State Police tests run at Michigan International Speedway, but close enough to keep the order books open until the introduction of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in 1992.

These cars were particularly popular with law enforcement agencies because they were rear wheel drive, RWD, having a perceived more predictable handling and because they featured a separate chassis onto which the body was attached offering the advantage of lower repair costs because the chassis was less likely to get damaged in inevitable collisions which law enforcement work would expose these vehicles to.

Thanks for joining me on this “A Field Full Of Crown Vics” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !


1st Class Worker – Austin 1800 Mk II Utility

British Motor Corporation launched it’s AD017 models known initially Austin 1800’s in 1964 with a Mk II version coming out in 1968.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Today’s featured 1969 pick up was built, solely for the Australian market, a year after the model was launched with the strap line “1st Class Worker“.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Australian 1800’s were built with raised suspension and stronger sump guards to meet the more extreme Antipodean conditions, the 1800 Utililty or UTE also had a low ratio gearbox and heavy duty servo’s for anticipated work on the farm.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Today’s featured car, seen at the Classic Motor Show, started it’s life on a sheep farm in Victoria State and ended up in Melbourne. It was purchased by the current owner and shipped to the UK in 2009.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Apparently it’s first British MOT (mandatory road worthiness test) ran to four pages of faults requiring rectification. These problems were all fixed but the body was in need of a restoration which has just been completed.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

As in Europe the practical, if a little too utilitarian, saloon/sedan Land Crabs, as ADO17’s are known, struggled to find a market down under and this extended to the 1800 Utility of which just over 2,000 were built between 1968 and 1971.

Thanks for joining me on this “1st class worker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a car named after a breed of bulls. Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Who can it be now ? – Vauxhall VXR8

The Vauxhall VXR8 is a badge engineered HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) Clubsport built in Clayton, Victoria Australia.

HSV Clubsports, based on the then current Holden VE Commodore body, were sold as the CSV (Chevrolet Special Vehicles) CR8 in the Middle East and Pontiac G8 in the United States.

This model is fitted with a 425 hp 6162 cc / 376 cui LS3 engine.

A Bathurst option was available with a 530 hp supercharged version of the LS3.

Regular GALPOT readers might remember the HSV strap line from my blog on the HSV Maloo R8 runs ‘ I just want one !’ which is equally applicable to this antipodean model I think you might agree.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Clayton, Victoria edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at some of the details from this weekends Race Retro exhibition at Stoneleigh. Don’t forget to come back now !