|Acquired by the Museum:||2005|
|Current State:||Fully operational|
ECHO FIVE CHARLIE (E5C) was prepared and commissioned for use as a Traffic Patrol Vehicle with
Suffolk Constabulary in September 2000; E5C was based at Force Head Quarters at Martlesham Heath,
Nr Ipswich throughout its four year career as a Suffolk Police Patrol Car.
Charlie clocked up some 60000 miles in its first year of service and was unfortunate to have
suffered one collision which damaged Charlies’s bodywork at the rear. Charlie was soon repaired
by the Forces Vehicle Body Technician who replaced Charlies rear bumper, boot lid and rear lamps.
During the same year Charlie had to have two new windscreens which is not bad when you consider
Charlie was averaging 1153 miles per week.
Like all of the Suffolk Constabularies marked vehicle fleet, Charlie had to report to the FHQ
Vehicle Workshops at Martlesham every 5000 miles for either a Safety check or service. All
other repairs of “defects” as they are known were reported by the drivers and dealt with immediately
by a member of the Skilled Technical ream at the Force’s Workshops.
When Charlie had been ordered from Vauxhalls by the then Transport Manager, Mr Peter Corder, he had
been wise to purchase an extended three year warranty that was offered by Vauxhall on new vehicles.
This gave the reassurance that if any major problem developed it would be repaired under warranty by
the local Vauxhall Garage which was McNarmarma of St. Helens Street, Ipswich, which became part of
the Marshall Group, who now trade from Augusta Close Ipswich.
The Police Offices who drove Charlie are all highly skilled Road Policing Officers with several years
of experience and were only well aware of the fact that if Charlie was respected and cared for,
reliability and performance would be given in return. The three regular drivers of Charlie were PC’s
John Wilson, Colin Curtis and Jerry Abigail who between them drove E5C some 220000 miles upholding the
law and taking care of the many members of the public like ourselves who use the Highways and Byways of
Suffolk almost everyday of our lives.
A few facts:
- Career lasted four years with Suffolk Constabulary (Sept00 to Oct04)
- Used 20 sets of tyres in 4 years
- Cam belt changed every 40000 miles
- One new clutch at 173400 miles
- Battery replaced twice
E5C was an outstanding car and was a credit to those people who used and maintained the vehicle day
after day for four years. Not an easy life being a police car, even in Suffolk.
E5C was donated to the Ipswich Transport Museum by kind permission of the Chief Constable, Mr Alastair
Mc Whirter, April 2005