Victoria Police has prepared a final Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint for highway patrol duties complete with the ‘candy’ livery of the 351 Interceptor used statewide during the 1970s.
Although the XR8 Sprint was purchased to “celebrate the end of an era” between Victoria Police and its use of four-door Falcons, MOTOR understands the pictured vehicle, which was set to then become a permanent museum display following its operational life as a highway patrol (HWP) car, has today been involved in a major accident.
As we go to press, 7 News Melbourne has broadcast images of the yellow XR8 Sprint sideswiped on the passenger’s side and ripped apart from the driver’s B-pillar back – it is unknown if anyone was hurt, but MOTOR has contacted Victoria Police for comment.
Victoria Police had contacted Ford Australia with a proposal for final HWP Falcon following its announcement that a final run of 750 XR8 Sprints would be built to close off the Broadmeadows manufacturing facility on October 7, 2016.
“We saw this as an ideal opportunity to re-kindle a previous high-profile highway patrol vehicle in the Victoria Police fleet known colloquially as the ‘candy cars’ which were V8 Ford Falcons,” a Victoria Police spokesperson told MOTOR in a statement prior to the accident.
“The original ‘candy cars’ were part of starting the HWP decades ago and were the iconic vehicle in the Victoria Police fleet. We believe they were introduced in about 1971 and were a 351 Ford Interceptor.
“We contacted Ford, and briefed them on our desire to use the vehicle as part of our road safety campaign. Ford considered our request and welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the program.”
The XR8 Sprint was produced in white but was wrapped in yellow – except for the black roof – with Ford Australia’s design team creating numerous livery proposals. The Victoria Police Interceptor also had a clear campaign target in mind.
“We are continually trying to think of new initiatives to combat road trauma,” explained the Victoria Police spokesperson.
“It is the thinking of Road Policing Command that the higher visibility and higher profile the Highway Patrol Fleet, the better. Ever since Victoria Police have had iterations of the ‘candy car’ they continued to be iconic in our fleet and also drew the respect of road users when the ‘yellow interceptors’ pulled over motorists.
“So the candy cars are part of the HWP history in Victoria Police and are also part of our long standing relationship with Ford Australia.”
Photography by John Pallot.