Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Racing with the State Police

Yesterday’s announcement by the Governor and others that a Formula One race would be coming to New Jersey in 2013 included a brief mention of an important distinction between New Jersey and virtually all of the other states: In New Jersey, all motor racing falls under the oversight of the State Police.

Where the other states largely ignore the matter, in New Jersey there exists rules and regulations governing the design and operation of races tracks, the safety standards to which competing vehicles must adhere, and more. These rules and regulations are found in Title 13, Law and Public Safety, Chapter 62. Motor Vehicle Race Track Rules, and interested parties can find them online at .

While these rules and regulations have been around for over 50 years they are updated regularly. Racing, after all, is quite different today than it was 50 years ago. Happily, one of those differences is that today it is much safer than it was 50 years ago, and it is no exaggeration to say that the New Jersey Division of State Police has played a significant role in those safety improvements.

Today, Troopers visit New Jersey’s racing facilities regularly, just as they have for over 50 years. They work with speedway operators and individual competitors to ensure that the requirements are being understood and met.

Between now and the waving of the green flag over Formula One in New Jersey there will be much interaction between the State Police and the event organizers. On race day in 2013, you can be sure that you will see a State Police presence at the track, concerning themselves not only with the usual large-event subjects such as traffic and crowd control, but also with the safe conduct of the event.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Most Distinctive Police Car

This black V8-powered roadster was once Scotland Yard’s first line of defense against speeding bikers and criminals with high-powered sedans, and it is scheduled to be auctioned off later this month in England.

This police-issue 1962 Daimler SP250 Dart will cross the block at on October 22. It’s one of 26 Daimler Darts purchased new to serve as high-speed pursuit vehicles for the Metropolitan Police Service of London.

At the time, it was reported in the Daily Mirror that the car "will be a great help in curbing the menace of the ‘ton uppers’ – hooligan motorcyclists who boast of doing a ‘ton’ (100 MPH) in built-up areas. If necessary the Darts could also be used to chase car bandits – who have often escaped in the past because their getaway cars were much more powerful than ordinary police saloons."

Lest you think that the police in the UK have taprooms, a "saloon" in the King’s English is what we in the States term a sedan.

This and the other cars ran Daimler’s 140hp hemi-head 2.5-liter V-8s and were equipped with Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmissions.

The example being auctioned was decommissioned from police service in 1967, then used as an official course car for 13 years at the Goodwood Revival. Much of the original police equipment remains with the Dart, including the chrome Winkworth police bell that warned of the car’s rapid approach.

If you are interested in buying a distinctive British police pursuit vehicle, visit .

The photos appearing here are courtesy of the auctioneers and the story came to us from our friends at Hemmings Motor News.