A Policeman's Lot Can Be A Happy One
by Doug Breithaupt

Every so often a minor diecast theme catches my attention. As a fan of Jaguar motorcars, my collection of small-scale diecast reflects that interest with a wide variety of Jaguar models. One of the more interesting themes is that of Jaguar cars carrying police markings.

In the UK it is not uncommon to see Jaguar cars used by local police. While this might seem an excessive use of tax funds in other parts of the world, the tradition of luxury cruisers for local constabulary is one that dates back to the 1950's in Britain. Jaguar has certainly produced fast sedans, or saloons as the Baits say, for catching the crooks. Perhaps if policeman in other countries were offered a Jaguar to replace their plain-jane patrol car, recruiting would be easier.

Jaguar XJ6 by Corgi
Jaguar XJ-S by Corgi

Jaguar XJ6 by Matchbox
Jaguar XJ6 by Majorette

Three diecast companies have produced 1:64 scale police cars over the last 15 years. Corgi did two, the XJ-S, first offered in 1976 and the XJ40 (also called the XJ6) of 1988. The XJ-S is a less-likely subject for police use but the XJ6 has been used since first offered in series one form in 1968. Light bars have been added to both models along with police markings.

Matchbox and Majorette also offered the 1988 XJ40/XJ6 in stock form and then followed with police versions. The Matchbox model was not offered in the U.S. but could be found in Canada and elsewhere. The markings are very well done with the shield representing Hertfordshire Constabulary. The Majorette model is not as detailed.

It is worth noting that Corgi also offered a Fire Chief version of their Jaguar Mark X of the 1960's. In larger scale, both Corgi and Matchbox have done Police Jags and Corgi currently offers the Jaguar Mark II made famous be Inspector Morse of TV fame.

To paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan, When constabulary duty's to be done, driving in a Jag would be more fun.