Too fast for police: 60 years of the guards' supercars

In 2005, Cole from In The Panchine said 'In the Audi / Too fast for police / Show me paddle / I disappear', one of the most iconic rhymes in the history of an entire generation's musical culture, an A.C.A.B. punk anthem and still popular today. The mad dash from the police through the streets is indeed a strong, cinematic, almost romantic image, if we think of 'The Bandit and the Madam'. But when it is a supercar chasing you, perhaps it is not you, nor Burt Reynolds, nor In The Bench that is too fast.
The history of supercars in the service of the Italian police force is curious and full of myths to be told: not a few cars have disappeared and reappeared, destroyed or little-known.
It was 1962 when Brigadier Armando Spatafora made a joke when talking about the squad cars in the service of Rome's mobile squad during a meeting with the chief of police at the time, Prefect Vicari: 'It would take a Ferrari,' he said simply, somewhat mockingly. A few months later, in 1963, exactly sixty years ago, the car, or rather two, actually arrived. They were two black, 2+2 seater Ferrari 250 GT/Es, with the words 'Mobile Squad' on the side and the Pantera symbol on the front wheel arch. They were travelling at over 250 km/h, a speed never seen before in any Italian police force, a real shock for the capital.
In the city streets, however, it was only one of the two Ferraris that chased the underworld, as the other was immediately destroyed during a test run. The remaining example hit the road for five years, until 1968, under the command of Spatafora, who thus became a man-legend, the 'Lynx' of the Roman night on board his Ferrarino in search of criminals, even racing down the steps of Piazza della Trinità dei Monti.
The panther was then believed to have disappeared, stolen, even demolished in some car cemetery in the Lazio countryside. It only reappeared a few years later, in the garage of a collector who had bought it as military surplus, since at the time the police force was still militarised. Today it’s a private car, the only one in Italy with a special circulation permit with inscriptions and sirens. After the inseparable Spatafora-Ferrari couple, however, only simple cops with simple Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprints.
Talking about contemporary police supercars, the more recognisable blue-white ones, no longer directly serve the fight against crime. Think of the Lamborghini Gallardo, first donated to the State Police by the car manufacturer in 2004, fully-equipped for emergency medical services, equipped, for example, with an automatic defibrillator and prepared for the swift transport of organs and plasma.
There has only been one since 2009: there was another one, but in the car park of a petrol station on the Milan-Bologna motorway, in order to get off the road, it crashed into a Mercedes A-Class, completely disintegrating the front end. All were practically unharmed.
The Lambo-Police collabo is not limited to the Gallardo, there are in fact also two Huracán, the most powerful and fastest ever in the hands of the highway patrol, which arrived in 2015 and 2017, complete with a recognisable white badge on the roof and an M12 beretta under the seat. Although they are mostly used as patrol cars on the A1 highway, they have all the necessary equipment for medical aid and the cool box for transporting organs at 325 km/h.
The Carabinieri, on the other hand, have never deserved a Lamborghini, neither a Ferrari. Apart from the very famous Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde, however, they have been able to count on no fewer than two Lotus Evora S identical to those used in Scotland Yard, again mainly for medical use.
And the Locale? In Milan it has just one Ferrari 458 Spider. Obtained in 2015 from a seizure following an operation against organised crime, in 2017 it was branded in the colours of the Local Police, entrusted to it under anti-mafia laws. It is back in operation with a somewhat different purpose than those seen so far: the car, in fact, is theoretically used for road educational and civic purposes. It practically does not run; on the contrary, it is often subjected to random movements to prevent damage from inactivity.
You may see some of these amazing cars on some stretch of motorway, or in some suburban roundabout. Then, you can admire the rest of the fleet at the Police Car Museum in Rome, along with dozens of other vehicles that may not be supercars, but surely they are authentic pieces of modern history.
Drive careful.
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