Author Topic: Polizei 450 sel?  (Read 3777 times)

michaeld

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Polizei 450 sel?
« on: 20 February 2006, 05:30 PM »
This was interesting to me: http://cgi.ebay.com/TOMICA-MERCEDES-BENZ-POLIZEI-450-SEL-POLICE-F24-1-67_W0QQitemZ7007722032QQcategoryZ50286QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
I came across a 1/67 scale model of a Polizei 450 sel "f24" (whatever that means).  Now, I could care less about the toy car, but the idea that the Polizei used 450 sels is something to think about.

Anybody know about this Polizei car?  Did Polizei really use 450 sels?  If so, was this a common, or rare, car for the Polizei?  Did they use 4.5L or 6.9L cars (or both)?

This is interesting to me.  In the USA, police departments have used only reliable quality cars with a proven service record.  I would think it would be a real badge of honor for a car to been selected to by the Polizei. 

michaeld

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #1 on: 21 February 2006, 02:44 AM »
Big Richard,
No, I'm not joking (although I do joke a lot).  Polizei are police from Germany, not Cleveland.  It wouldn't strike me as odd at all if they use Mercedes-Benz cars.  The question is, did they use 450 sels, as the toy car model suggests?  If so, were they 6.9's, 4.5's, or both?  And to what extent are we talking about?  In the US a lot of police depts use Ford Crown Victoria and Chevy Caprice cars.  What about Germany, circa the 70's?

John Hubertz

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #2 on: 21 February 2006, 04:56 AM »
This is interesting to me.  In the USA, police departments have used only reliable quality cars with a proven service record.

your joking right?

Ive only ever seen GM and Ford police cars, and they fall into neither category.

Richard,

You must be from Australia!  It must be the upside down bloodflow or you'd be aware Chevy and Ford police cars are legendary for reliability!  Once the law is finished with them they wind up in Taxi service, and a 100000 mile Crown Victoria police interceptor is worth real gold in New York or Miami with dozens of taxi companies bidding on each car.

250,000 miles is not at all uncommon on these cars.  Our own local police have several early 1990s chevrolet impalas that the officers don't want to get rid of. 

They have increased capacity cooling systems, twin batteries and even the frame steel is galvanized and 25% thicker (speaking for the crown vic, since I used to be with Ford).  Lots of them wind up in Canada's northern province of Saskatchewan as the locals know they will start at -70 Celsius.

These things are true workhorses.  But UGLY!

John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)

Denis

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #3 on: 21 February 2006, 01:20 PM »
Hi fellows

It turns out that each german lander used police cars based on cars manufactured in their respective lander (when they built some).

So bavarians tended to use BMWs, etc. A W116 sounds a bit out of place though : not a real pursuit car (yes the Porsche 911 was the ideal autobahn polizei wagen), nor very economical even for a 280SE and  a W123 280E sounds like a fast saloon fur die polizei...

And of course, back in the seventies, you really could not take a car like a W116 into east germany because you would inflict "terminal ego damage" to the east german polizei trying to catch you in their RED Trabant !

Denis

Paris, France





michaeld

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #4 on: 21 February 2006, 08:44 PM »
I have always thought that both the Ford Crown Vic and the Chevy Caprice were exceptional vehicles - but then again, I just found out that I am apparently the only one on this forum that finds any appeal whatsoever in the Chrysler 300 (so what do I know?).

The link I provided above had matchbox-type die-cast polizei cars for both the 450 sel and se.  That doesn't necessarily mean that the polizei ever really used them, because matchbox also makes police dragsters and rocketships.  But then again, maybe they did use them - after all, the 450's have similarities to the big v-8 cars that the American police have always found attractive.

Before I started this post, I googled a couple of search terms (e.g. "polizei cars") but came up with butkus.  Given the exotic demands of the Polizei, it would be interesting to find out what cars HAVE been their mainstays through the years.  Like I said before, it seems to me that if a major law enforcement agency uses a car, it tends to say good things about that car (though it sounds like Big Richard takes exception to those qualities being ascribed to the US police mainstays).

As for Denis' post, it seems to me that if it was important not to inflict "terminal ego damage" on East Germans, maybe it was a good thing the West didn't decide to print lampooning cartoons about them....
Mike

Denis

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #5 on: 21 February 2006, 11:51 PM »
Hi michaeld

While large saloons make sense in America with wide roads, long distances, etc, they can be quite useless here.

If you drive a W116 in Europe, you discover that the car was designed to be only a minor inconvenience in small villages, etc. It is hard to park one at times, you just look for a better parking spot. Europe still has many narrow roads and streets. And they will not be changed because they have been there for 900 years...it's the old Europe story.
While surprisingly agile for its size, large saloons are not practical police cars.

As for what is really used in Germany, very popular police car is the BMW 520 : a simple 5 series with 2 liter 150 hp engine : big enough, fast enough, decent maintenance costs.

Hope this sheds some light. BTW, my 1995 Lincoln example is based on the idea that I consider the German W116 as the original, not the Americanized version. The Granada fits that image quite well.

Denis


Paris, France

John Hubertz

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #6 on: 22 February 2006, 02:58 AM »
Denis,

I find your comparison of the '95 Town Car to the W116 enlightening.  The 1990 - 1997 Lincoln Town Car is my all-time favorite American sedan.  Here's a picture of one of my favorite company cars - a Jack Nicklaus "Golden Bear" 1993 model.  It had a parchment/white leather interior with gold embroidery and special Jack Nicklaus emblems on the side and dash....  We used to call them "pickles" because of their incredible length and dark green paint.



I was the Lincoln Quality Care Manager for the state of Florida during those years, and I would order a new Town Car every 90 days or so - occasionally spicing things up with a Mark VII or Mark VIII.

Denis, you're very perceptive.  I had never realized it, but Town Cars ARE a modern expression of the 116 philosophy - incredible durability (same chassis as the police cars), phenomenal power, roominess, and in subtle shades, not ostentatious.  They really are the pinnacle of the large sedan design in terms of American manufacturers. 

Several of mine got almost 30mpg with the twin-cam 4.6 V8.  Phenomenal automobile.  No wonder I love the 116.

I wish I could transport us all to the Sebring International Raceway in 1995 - I was responsible for the State Police and Secret Service Tactical/Avoidance driving school that Ford offered to drivers who served the President and State officials.  We went through four sets of tires on every car that week - and had to change brake pads twice a day.  Nothing quite as illuminating as performing a handbrake turn in a 5000 pound sedan at 70 MPH with five men on board. 

One of the old track workers made note of the fact that our lap times would have won the races back in the early 60s.

John
John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)

michaeld

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #7 on: 22 February 2006, 09:39 PM »
Denis, it's really true - you are an automotive philosopher of the highest caliber.  That's why I always look forward to reading your posts.  Vive le Denis!
Thank you for your description of the road conditions that would very likely rule out the big sedans that we (and our police) like so much in America.  I was in Germany during a NATO Reforger training dealy in '84 and you're right - many of the roads were very narrow (but to be fair, the beer more than made up for any roadway inconveniences).
And John, my gosh, now I'm starting to think you just may be as cool as that dog of yours!  Secret Service tactical/avoidance driving school?  Two sets of brake pads per day?  Boy that sounds fun!!!
And I agree with you about the Lincoln Town Car.  I had a '91 myself - and would probably still have it if someone hadn't helped themselves to it.  It really is a pretty car and served me well.  Denis is right: it does have 116 lines.  That was probably what was lurking deep in my subconscious: there was just something so familiar about my 450 sel, but I couldn't quite put my finger on until Denis did it for me.  Thanks for helping me scratch my brain-itch, guys!
Mike

Denis

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #8 on: 24 February 2006, 10:29 AM »
Hi fellows

Monsieur michael, thank you for the personal cheer  ;D
As you were In Germany so back then, did you ever have the "fun" or ordering beer at a Dairy Queen ?

Personally, I really like this group. Somehow, we DO represent some sort of  WORLD community although I would like to hear more from other Europeans (that does include the folks on the big island above us  ;).

As for John's "total security", I can only agree totally : ein hund is besser !
My Labrador died two years ago  :( and now I feel that I would like to purchase a female German shepperd (great dogs from personal experience)  -BTW rottweilers are superb friends too. From France, we get the kin from German kennels, so I would go to Alsace (Elsäss) and name her according to old tradition : name+birth locationor sense+ town, county,etc. For a female, the  greatest name would then be :

Mercedes des W116 Schutzes aus Sindelfingen

Meaning Mercedes of W116 protection from Sindelfingen !

YES, get the vet to fill out the form correctly !!!

As for the Lincoln Town car, it gets even better than bodywork: look at the 4.6 liter SOHC Ford V-8 specs : the 1990 "high-tech never seen elsewhere" US novelty is a remake of a 32 year old German masterpiece !

My friends, greatness is sometimes lost in the past : the last good movie you saw may have a script adapted from a work of William Shakespeare !

Denis
Paris, France


michaeld

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Re: Polizei 450 sel?
« Reply #9 on: 24 February 2006, 08:12 PM »
Monsieur Denis,
It occurred to me from my first reading of one of your posts that you were a truly fine gentleman, but of course I couldn't have been certain of such a belief until you officially communicated a love for dogs.  They are truly fine companions, aren't they?  German Shepherds are one of the greatest dogs there are.  Poodles have a genius for recognizing numerous words and phrases, Border Collies are known for being able to form quick connections; but German Shepherds are renowned for their ability to "get inside" their master's head and know what he/she is thinking.  I think this genius is best.  The difference between a good dog and a great dog lies in the desire to please the master.  As for your suggestion for a dog's name, how would you shorten that so you don't have a heart attack calling your dog?
Yes, the international character of Mercedes forums makes them special.  And you're right, other than a nice fellow from Belgium, I haven't seen too many worldwide chaps posting.  That could only be an improvement.  It is also amazing to me how a common passion (such as love for fine cars) can transcend nation, politics, culture and creed.  Perhaps if more internationalists began asking, "To post or not to post, that is the question?"????
As for the Lincoln, I really liked my '91.  It was a great car until someone helped themselves to it.  But I have to say, I think I love my 450 sel even more.  It has ignited my passion for driving.  I used to ride motorcycles, and cars were boring; the 450 sel (for me) is about something other than pure speed, pure performance, or pure comfort - it is about calmly and comfortably cruising with class (oh yes, that was some mighty fine alliteration, wasn't it?).

As to question of Polizei w116's, I think the consensus is that the 450 se/sel was never a significant part of the Polizei lineup, and the matchbox toy I saw was just a toy rather than a real example of a Polizei cruiser.  Too bad.  That would have been too cool.