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Meet the everyday runaround car 'with previous'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 19, 2012

  • Richard and Brenda Lane from Kingsteignton with their 1963 Morris Minor 1000 police panda car. The classic car lovers bought the decommissioned vehicle 11 years ago and it has become a local celebrity

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It's an iconic part of British history made famous in TV shows like Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars and causes a stir wherever it goes.

But for owner Brenda Lane, the 1963 Morris Minor 1000 police panda car is her everyday run around.

The classic-car lover bought the decommissioned vehicle 11 years ago and it has become a local celebrity ever since.

Mrs Lane who lives in Kingsteignton, near Newton Abbot in South Devon, with her husband Richard, said: "I drive it everywhere – it's my everyday car.

"I've got three other classic cars, but I drive this one all the time.

"People are always stopping to have a chat about it. Just this morning I went to the supermarket and parked in the car park and somebody asked me if they could take a photo of it."

She added: "It happens all the time – it seems to leave an impression.

"It's a perfectly legal vehicle. The local police are all aware of it. I spoke to them recently and was told they get lots of calls about it asking if it's legal.

"It's parked on my driveway at home.

"One day I came home and there was a man stood there who asked if he could use it in a TV show he was making.

"It's appeared in Heartbeat and the Comic Strip's The Hunt For Tony Blair. It's in demand."

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  • sweeney2010  |  June 19 2012, 9:59PM

    I suspect it is illegal, but less of a problem tha those who buy more modern vehicles at police auctions and leave all the chequered markings on.

    |   1
  • Bilge11  |  June 19 2012, 9:08PM

    I could be wrong, but that license plate may not be original. I *believe* that the 'A' suffix was not originally used in this part of the country. It only came into use years later, when lapsed/lost registrations were reallocated *new* numbers. Remember the old 'Q' plates, they were deemed not to always give an indication of the true age of the vehicle. This was solved by issuing an unused number from, as near as could be ascertained, the vehicles original year of registration.

  • Peterzz  |  June 19 2012, 7:31PM

    Same old same old then, if you are wealthy, (several classic cars must be a sign of this) then you are above the law that the rest of us have to follow, or obviously know the right people. Maybe an email to the new "top dog" to remind him his men should follow the law to the letter might stir up a few waves? My friends have to cover their blue lights & their red crosses for road use so I would expect everyone else to as well.

    |   -7
  • MrVanKleefe  |  June 19 2012, 2:40PM

    Officially the law states that the blue light should be covered up. In 2008 people petitioned Downing Street to ask for a common sense law for vintage vehicles such as these. Basically it doesn't look like a modern police car so many police won't insist on it being covered. if you owned a later rover with orange decals might be a different story.

    |   4
  • CarltonClub  |  June 19 2012, 1:49PM

    @Pterzz Can see why nobody likes you and make faces behind your back.

    |   9
  • Peterzz  |  June 19 2012, 12:48PM

    The vehicle IS illegal & should not be used on the road in its current form. If the Police are aware of it then they should be taking action. The question then is "why aren't they???" Show/classic emergency vehicles should always have the blue lights covered during road use. RESTRICTIONS ON FITTING BLUE BEACONS TO VEHICLES REG 16 ROAD VEHICLES LIGHTING REGULATIONS 1968 No vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with; •a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp, or •a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a special warning lamp, whether the same is working or not.

    |   -11
  • nicold  |  June 19 2012, 11:13AM

    I saw it in Paignton on Sunday and so many people were looking at it! Young people are probably not interested, but I found it so nostalgic for the 60's...

    |   7

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