Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Driving a police car isn't all about high-speed pursuit, sliding dramatically across the bonnet and firing a few rounds at a bad slag who's done over a bookies... sometimes it's necessary for Plod to plod about sedately and deal with the mundane minutiae of day-to-day policing. Making sure everyone's keeping their noses clean, being visible. And it's for this purpose that the Morris Minor 1000 found its niche. Sure, its performance would never set your trousers on fire, but it was a reliable and dependable old Hector - and hey, if you needed to chase the perpetrators of a diamond heist who were escaping in a MkII Jag, you'd just radio the control room and get them to despatch a V8 Rover...
This may all sound very logical, but it doesn’t sit well with car-nut crooner Chris Rea. The gravel-throated petrolhead is determined to kick sand in the faces of those sedate local-constabulary Minors by taking this one – a genuine ex-patrol car – and turning it into a race car. The livery is correct, the sign on the roof is legit (although it has to be removed on track, natch), and yet it’s stuffed full of FIA-approved safety gear and simmering horsepower. If the wide rubber and low-slung stance don’t give the game away, just take a peep at the interior. This is one Minor that the more eager bobbies of yesteryear would have scampered straight past the big-banger Rovers to be a part of. A hilarious and boisterous build – a proper restomod to shake up Scotland Yard. If you’re thinking of leading the rozzers a merry dance in your 3.8 Jag, you might want to think again.
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