The Sleeper - A Special Order Police XE GL Falcon
On November 16th 1982 a star was born.
The holy grail for Ford fans – the Ford motor vehicle manufacturing plant at Broadmeadows in Victoria. The production assembly of Fords ceased on October 7th 2016, but the memories of some of the cars they produced over the years will never die.
Such is the case with the car born on November 16th 1982. It was a special order from the Victoria Police Force for a car that was to be assigned to the Chief Commissioner at the time, Sinclair Imrie "Mick" Miller, AO, LVO, QPM. Despite having a personal driver, Mr Miller had specifically requested a V8 and so the order was placed with Ford Australia and the car provided ended up being one of the last handful of Falcons down the production line to be fitted with the famous Cleveland 351 V8 engine.
The car was purchased for $11,196 on December 16th 1982 and delivered through the City Ford dealership in Melbourne with registration plates BPU 600, which it retained throughout its police service.
BPU 600 "in service"
The specifications of the car make for impressive reading. It was built to full police pursuit car specs but also added a few of life's little luxuries (for 1982) for Victoria's top cop.
A comprehensive list of the factory specifications can be found here.
Interestingly, the car was painted in a unique "one-off" colour – R.S.L. (Returned & Services League) Dark Blue, a fitting hue for a police car.
The XE GL "Post Service"
Although retired Chief Commissioner Miller is now 91 years old (I'd love to be able to contact him to talk about this car), there are other retired police officers around today who remember the car well, so some first hand interesting information has been discovered about the car. One such person was kind enough to provide the following police department document which outlines some of the "dealer-fit" accessories provided for the car.
A retired commissioned officer from VICPOL who knew the car very well described it as “a real sleeper” and also had this to say, "That car sure looked the goods when in service as it sat low and was never thrashed."
The vehicle remained in service until sold at auction in January 1985, with just 65,000 kms recorded. The car then passed through the hands of a couple of private owners before landing into the care of its current custodian and has now covered 167,000 kms.
Victoria Police Pursuit Vehicle Special Service Instructions notice that came with the car
Showing 5.8 badges and pinstriping, both of which were not present when the vehicle was in police service
This significant car is currently owned by a former W.A. Police Highway Patrol officer who drove similar cars in the same era.
Safely tucked away in a shed and in need of some TLC and refurbishment, the car is nevertheless still complete with its original engine and transmission. Hopefully the day will soon come when it is back on the road once again, "patrolling" the highways and byways.
We will keep you updated on any progress work undertaken on "The Sleeper."