I see automotive treasures everywhere. Recently it was in a pile of rubbish. While I try not to spend too much time inspecting piles of garbage lying in the street, a flash of red caught my attention the other day, and I saw a poor broken toy car peeking up at me. Even if it was in a few pieces, I decided to take it home and see if I could put it back together. It's not that I really needed a busted plastic car, but it reminded me of a similar toy I had as a kid, and I figured it deserved a photo shoot as a send off before it headed to that recycle bin in the sky.
The roof and windows had been broken out, but were still with the car. One wheel was missing, but I didn't feel like spending too much time sifting through trash to find it. When I got it home I did my best to reassemble the little car. It appeared, according to the licence plate, to be modelled after a Mercedes 450 SLC coupe from the 1970's, which was a strange choice for a Police car model. This was especially odd when you notice that it carried a 'Highway Patrol' sticker, and a US-style light-bar on the top. I can maybe believe a Mercedes might have been used in Germany as a Police car, but probably not a 450 SLC coupe, and definitely not the US!
I was able to more or less get the black windows back in place and set the roof back on to be able to grab a few pictures. The toy clearly was on its last legs (wheels?), and had chased its last robber down the highway. Even if it was clearly a fairly cheap plastic car, it DID have a few neat details, like the headlights and taillights, the licence plates, and the 'chromed' grille and bumpers. Someone had obviously closely studied the Mercedes coupe before designing this child's toy.
At first glance I assumed the car was remote-controlled, but when I turned it over and saw the bottom, I realised that it was a simple 'bump and go' type toy. The central wheels drove the car forward, and when it hit something, it would tend to spin around and take off in another direction. Not really a high-tech toy, even for the 80's, but I remember having a similar type car, and got a kick out of watching it go in all directions.
With the switch in the 'OFF' position and the batteries missing from the holder, 'Police Force 99' wasn't going to be doing any more chasing of bad guys. Still, it was fun to think back to the cool car toys I had as a kid, and the fun that this one must have provided a little boy or girl in the neighbourhood. I don't know if this type of simple toy is still popular today, or if most kids instead spend their time with computer and video games. Do your children like this sort of electric car, or the remote controlled versions, or are they already relegated to the past?
Welcome! My name is Paul, and I am an old-fashioned, low-pressure, low-buck car fan with lots of automotive stories to tell!