A piece of policing history is now on display at Launceston’s iconic National Automobile Museum.
The last Australian-built Holden Commodore has been loaned to the museum, along with a BMW K100 motorcycle from the ‘80s.
The 2016 model will also feature in a new stamp series launched by Australia Post - Holden Workhorses.
Five Tasmania Police Holden vehicles from 1955 to 2016 feature on the stamps, including a 1955 FJ Holden Traffic patrol vehicle, complete with bonnet siren, a 1960 FB Holden, 1979 HZ Holden Kingswood SL, 1981 VH Commodore and the 2016 Holden VF11 Commodore.
Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said the 2016 model was used for highway patrols across the North and North-West.
He said while the Police Museum of Tasmania had stored a number of smaller vehicles over the years, limited space had prevented the museum from housing larger vehicles, including the commodore.
“That’s why we’re loaning our last Australian-built commodore to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, so that the community can appreciate this important piece of Tasmania Police’s history,” he said.
While the car may only be a few years old, Assistant Commissioner Cowling said it was about showcasing different eras of policing.
He said Tasmania’s police force had come a long way since the first mode of police transport, which was horseback and then motorcycles.
“From 1924 to the 1940's, Tasmania's police force owned only one car - a chain-driven Talbot,” he said.
“It was an unreliable vehicle and spent a lot of time being repaired.
“By 1955, Tasmania Police operated 106 cars and utilities and 97 motorcycle units.
“Nineteen new cars were purchased that year and the total mileage driven in the 1954-55 financial year was recorded as nearly 2.5 million kilometres.”
Now Tasmania Police has become a more mobile operation, with 374 leased vehicles, including 14 motorcycles, in its current fleet.
National Automobile Museum manager Phil Costello said the police vehicles were an “important part of Tasmania’s motoring history”.
“We’re really looking forward to showcasing it and building up the display,” he said.
The museum attracts about 24,000 people each year and is home to more than 100 historic cars and motorcycles. It was originally established by Geoff Smedley in 1987 as a private museum at the Waverley Woollen Mills site in George Street, before becoming a not-for-profit operation.
To view the Tasmania Police vehicles, visit the museum at the corner of Willis and Cimitiere streets.
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