We’ve all been there, trapped like a worm on the red and blue flashing hook. We’ve all waited with bated breath as the ensnaring patrolman approaches. We’ve all been subject to the nervous fidgeting and sweated brow that accompanies a traffic citation. Chances are high that some of us have been pulled over IN a Porsche before, though chances are much lower that any of us have been pulled over BY a Porsche.
Porsche has been producing highway patrol vehicles for several governments and municipalities since the early days of the company history. From the 1950s, Porsche produced Polizeiautos based on 356A Cabriolet models, and continued to do so through the end of 356 production with 10 final cop cars built in 1966. It wasn’t until 1968 that Porsche began producing police vehicles again in 911 and 912 guise.
The car shown here, however, has never once been used by the local constabulary in a high speed pursuit, it has never been used in patrol, and has never been under the control of “the force”. This siren-wagen was produced as a promotional tool for Porsche’s new 911 Soft-Window Targa dressed in Polizei-Bekleidung, and was never intended for any European markets. This car’s intent was to show the American police force that the 911 and 912 could be viable options for their patrolmen, as Porsche could outfit them with all of the necessary equipment.
Equipped with 1968 European 911L performance in the form of a 130 horsepower 2.0 liter flat six and 911S vented brakes, the car is certainly prepared for patrolling the highways of our nation. The car definitely looks the bit, too, as it is painted in Dutch livery of Tangerine over White, emblazoned with Polizei, and dotted with sirens and lights. Using US specification side markers and Hella 128 fog lamps augmented with Carrello driving lamps, a Targa bar mounted flasher, a loudspeaker on the engine grille, and a rear “STOP” lamp, this 911 means serious business.
Separating the Polizei car from its average 911L siblings, there are several devilish details. For one, the rear view mirrors have been optimized for Police and pursuit use with a larger glass section being attached to the standard aero mirror bases on the exterior, and inside, the glass mounted single pane mirror has been replaced with a windshield frame mounted double-adjustable dual mirror for increased scope. The Targa bar mounted CB antenna ensures that the 911 can easily communicate with other police officers. There is a special compartment for police related extras, and a bevy of extra switches on the dashboard to control the sirens and lights.
Originally intended for the turntables of the US auto show circuit, Porsche never meant for the car to be sold. The car made its stateside debut in early 1968 at the National Capital Area Auto Show in Washington D.C. as a play for the eyes of this nation’s lawmakers. From there, the car made stops at the Chicago Auto Show in late February, New Haven, Connecticut in March, and the New York Auto Show between March 30th and April 5th. The car was shown alongside the rest of the 1968 lineup, including a 912, a base 911, and a 911L (the T and S models were not yet available in the US for 1968, as new federalization laws were implemented). From there, the car appears to have remained in the US, at least through late 1968, as it paced the field at the Bridgehampton round of the Canadian American Challenge Cup Series between September 13th and 15th of that year.
It is unclear exactly when, however the car was transported back to the factory in Germany sometime late in 1968, or early in 1969. In early 1969, California Porsche dealer Bill Yates arrived in Stuttgart for a routine meeting with company higher-ups. It was at the factory that Yates saw the Polizei car, and knew that he had to have it. Desiring to bring the car back to his dealership as a high profile showroom draw, Yates offered to buy the car from the factory. At first, Porsche denied his request, stating that the car had not been built to be street legal in the United States, and that it would be of no use to him. Yates, having been 1968 Dealer of the Year, knew that his logic could be seen, and made his case that the car would help him to continue his high sales volume. After a few more exchanges, Porsche finally relented, and let Yates purchase the car for a princely $5600.
Yates brought the car into the country through Miami dealer Orange Motors on February 24th of 69. From there, the car was posted as the center piece of the Yates dealership in San Juan Capistrano, California. It stayed the focal point of the showroom floor through the 1980s, and remained with Mr. Yates until his passing in 1996. Porsche collector Stanley Gold was temporary custodian of the car, having purchased it from the Yates estate. Duane Hyatt purchased the car from Gold in 2002 with 6988 miles on the odometer, and drove the car with some regularity, having exceeded the import laws, the car was now legal for US registration. At some point in the mid-00s, the car exited the left coast, and headed east to the collection of Ryan Silber of Long Island, NY. The Porsche is now a permanent and proud member of the Sloan Cars collection of New Haven, Connecticut. The Polizei is not currently for sale, though everyone knows that every car has a price tag, even if it is invisible…
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Should Read
7 Tips to Avoid a Speeding Ticket in Your Porsche
Red Light and Speed Cameras: How They Work and How to Avoid Them
Things to Consider if You’re Going to Drive Fast in Your Porsche
Speeding Tickets Were The Easy Part for These Porsche Owners
[Photography: Brett Sloan | Sources: Excellence Magazine October, 1998 and Autoweek July 19, 2004]