Daimler SP250 proves The Met used to be cool

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Nearly half a century ago London had a speeding problem. 'Road hogs and ton-up hooligans' littered the streets, driving with no care or consideration for anyone else.

To combat this most disrespectful of crimes, the boys in blue bought a Daimler SP250 and set about showing what they could do in their 130mph roadster - pretty fast for the capital's highways 50 years ago and far faster than the standard cop cars of the day although the Ford Cortina and MkII Jaguar were no slouches.

Today, the 2.5-litre 140bhp V8 drop-top is to be sold at the Historics at Brooklands auction later this month.

1962 Daimler SP250 police chase car

1962 Daimler SP250 police chase car

When 670 ELL saw active service it was driven roof-down through the mean streets of London by two fully-uniformed police officers, the idea being to give the crims a chance to spot the cops and change their ways before being chased down and banged up.

It comes with a four-speed automatic gearbox with a natty little cable that allows officers/drivers to cling on to intermediate gears during a particularly high-speed chase. The Met was so impressed with 670 ELL's performance that another 25 were signed up to the Fleet.

In 1967 it was put out to pasture eventually finding its way to the current owner who has kept the car busy; Goodwood Revival visitors may recognise SP250 as being the official course car at the famous motor racing meeting.

Set to sell for anywhere between £30-£35,000 at the Brooklands auction on 22 October, the SP250 still has most of its original police accoutrements, including its warning bell.

News that the force had these on fleet 50 years ago begs the question – why aren't cop cars this cool nowadays?