Tasmania Police’s last Australian-built Holden Commodore loaned to preserve history

Tasmania Police’s last Australian-built Holden Commodore has been loaned to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania to preserve an important piece of history, Tasmania Police say.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling today officially handed over the vehicle, a 2016 Holden VF11 Commodore, along with a BMW K100 motorcycle which will form part of the display.

“It’s the last Australian-built Commodore to be acquired by Tasmania Police and the museum has kindly agreed to showcase the vehicles so that the Tasmanian community can appreciate this important piece of history,” Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said.

The vehicle is also featured in Australia Post’s new stamp series, Holden Workhorses, which features five Tasmania Police Holden vehicles from 1955 -2016.

The stamp series features these classics:

  • 1955 FJ Holden Traffic patrol vehicle – complete with bonnet siren
  • 1960 FB Holden
  • 1979 HZ Holden Kingswood SL
  • 1981 VH Commodore
  • 2016 Holden VF11 Commodore

Assistant Commissioner Cowling said that while the Police Museum of Tasmania had kept a number of smaller vehicles such as police motorcycles over the years, there hadn’t been the space to house larger vehicles such as cars.

“That’s why we’re loaning our last Australian-built Commodore to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania – so that the community can appreciate this important piece of Tasmania Police’s history,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Cowling said that Tasmania Police had come a long way since the first mode of police transport – horseback initially and then motorcycles.

“From 1924 to the 1940’s, Tasmania’s police force owned only one car – a chain-driven Talbot. It was an unreliable vehicle and spent a lot of time being repaired,” he said.

“By 1955, Tasmania Police operated 106 cars and utilities and 97 motorcycle units.

Nineteen new cars were purchased that year and the total mileage driven in the 1954-55 financial year was recorded as nearly 2.5 million kilometres.”

Today, the Tasmania Police fleet consists of 374 leased vehicles including 14 motorcycles.

This Commodore was deployed to Western Road and Public Order Services in February 2016 operating out of Ulverstone in the Western District. This vehicle was one of 16 “High Visibility” vehicles used throughout the state.

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