Sunday, January 22, 2006

Low Kilometres, Some Off-Road Use

This embarrassing tale of a 'Highway Patrol' car bogged in mud is only the public side of the all-round stuff-up involving the purchase of several Holden Monaro V8s by the Queensland Police Service.

The bright red coupes - around $70k apiece - were purchased and paraded a few months ago in what was obviously a public relations stunt similar to the 1980s attempt to introduce a Highway Patrol with bright yellow Ford Falcons.

Those vehicles, trumpeted by the Police Minister and the Police Commissioner in a 'look at what we're doing to keep the roads safe' launch, were seen around for a few months - often on surburban roads, not the highways - and then quietly disappeared.

I predicted the same outcome for the new QPS Monaros, which I've seen out and about only three times - twice on the highway and once booking a driver in the car park of a suburban shopping centre.

But when I gave them until the end of the year I may have been being optimistic. An acquaintance in the know reports that certain sections of the QPS are furious about the poor fuel efficiency of the big V8s and the cost of servicing the cars and much criticism is being made internally about the decision to buy them in the first place.

So come the end of the financial year, there may be a few second-hand Monaros up for grabs.

Unfortunately, it looks like one or two might have some underbody damage.

-- Nick

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