Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

Here at Classic Driver, we’re all for law and order – but when the police are equipped with these potent machines, it does seem a little unfair on Burglar Bill.

France: Renault Alpine A110

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

Even if the films of Louis de Funès suggest otherwise, the French Gendarmerie of the 1960s pursued not only nude swimmers on the beaches of Côte d'Azur, but also speeding motorists. In 1966, the ‘Brigade’ acquired their first Alpine A110, allowing them to keep pace with even the fastest Italian sports cars through the switchbacks.

England: Triumph TR4

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history
Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

The English Police Force was also appropriately equipped to deal with those breaching the speed limits – but we suspect its selection of squad cars went beyond the altruistic. In 1962, Southend-on-Sea’s law enforcement officers were equipped with several Triumph TR4 convertibles, a car more than capable of reeling in bank robbers in their Jaguar saloons. The Triumph proved popular and remained in service for some time – and the open configuration allowed even the tallest constables to retain their helmets in anticipation of a foot chase.

Germany: Porsche 911 Carrera

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

German law enforcement recognised the merits of its domestic car industry as early as the 1950s, and soon put a fleet of 356s into Highway Patrol service. Subsequently, the protective powers adopted the 911 as a pursuit vehicle: the mid-90s saw Southern Germany’s officers equipped with near-170mph capabilities, courtesy of this liveried 282bhp 993.

Netherlands: Spyker C8 Spyder

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

With a top speed of 186mph, the 400bhp Spyker used by the Dutch Police Department would have had few worthy adversaries. Unfortunately, it only remained in police livery for a single outing, its purpose being as a promotional tool rather than a pursuing one – Dutch Ferrari owners can now return to a relaxed state.

Italy: Lamborghini Gallardo

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

Because Lamborghini doesn’t have its own test track, since the 1960s it has tested its new cars on the highways surrounding its Sant'Agata headquarters. Therefore, a good rapport with the local police makes sense – and 2005 saw the Italian marque famously present a pair of Gallardos to the force. Officially, they’re used for duties such as urgent organ transport, but we’re sure the officers have conducted their own ‘testing’ at some point.

Dubai: Aston Martin One-77, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF...

Crime doesn't pay: The fastest police cars in history

Other countries, other customs. With so many high-end supercars on the roads of Dubai, the police force needed to upgrade just to keep up. Its fleet – already containing a Mercedes SLS, a Ferrari FF and a Lamborghini Aventador – was recently strengthened with a Bugatti Veyron and Aston Martin One-77, if these pictures are to be believed.