This one was clearly not used for Autobahn pursuits
When you think of police cars and Germany, images of ‘Polizei’ stickered Porsche 911s and BMW M5s start to pop up in your head. Exciting 150mph+ chases down the Autobahn accompanied by that weird wee-waa siren noise that every European cop car seems to have are all well and good but not all road-going criminal activity is of the high-speed variety.
This is where the 1979 Beetle police car comes in. Originally found by car nut Jerry Seinfeld, it is now owned by Spike Feresten who dropped by Jay’s garage to show it off.
Used by the police from 1978 until 1990, the Beetle was used for tasks where outright speed wasn’t a priority, such as traffic control. Despite its humble underpinnings, the Beetle was reliable, practical and hardy, just the thing for long stints behind the wheel. Their low cost also saw suitably modified versions doing duty in the German military, fire departments and post offices too.
This version is fitted with PA horns, roof-mounted lights and a set of sirens under the front bumper, although using the sirens on the road is illegal. The PA speaker system is another matter as you will see in the video. The engine is unmodified with around 90,000 miles on it and puts out around 45 horsepower, so performance is definitely in the slow and steady category.
It was stored for years after it ended official duties until someone found it and restored the exterior. For reasons unknown, the interior is still in its original state complete with cigarette hole burns in the seats. The VW Beetle now lives a rather different life and has been on Jerry’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Spike’s own show.
Jay enjoyed his drive and Spike also enjoys its honest driving feel and the fact that it puts a smile on just about everyone’s faces as he drives by. Now that is definitely not something that a modern police car can do.