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February 28, 2019

Porsches, BMWs, and Mercedes: Photos of Western-Spec Police Cars Used in the USSR

The first foreign car joined the Soviet State Automobile Inspectorate in the late 1960s. It was Ford Galaxie Wagon, which was even produced with American police equipments, including a dash light, loudspeaker, and spotlight.

In early the 1970s Soviet police received a luxury car from Western Germany - the Mercedes W108. After Mercedes, it was BMW’s time. In 1973, the German car company organized its first exhibition in the USSR, and after that dozens of BMWs were purchased by the Soviet “to protect and to serve.”

Mercedes and BMW cars were among the fastest in the Soviet police force and much more comfortable than their USSR-made vehicles. Even the Volga 24-24 cars with a top speed of 170 km/h, often used in chases by policemen and secret services, were no match for BMWs that easily accelerated to over 200 km/h.

Foreign vehicles looked pretty exotic compared to Soviet motors. Beside Mercedes and BMW, from the 1960s to 1980s the Soviet Union also imported Nissans, Opels, Audis, Renaults, Volvos, and Fords.

When the Soviet Union fell, Russia opened its gates to Western car designers, and it wasn’t long before more streamlined, sportier models became the norm.

1967 Ford Galaxie Wagon

Mercedes-Benz W108/W109 family

Mercedes-Benz SE/SEL W116 was used by some units of Moscow’s traffic police.

Mercedes-Benz amongVolga models GAZ-24 and GAZ-21, 1974.

The power structures of the USSR (most often talking about the KGB) also received Czech sedans with a V8 engine - Tatra 613. Some of them served in the police.

The E12-generation BMW 5-series also made cameo appearances in USSR’s Militsia.

BMW E12 family, ca. late 1970s.

BMW E3 on a Moscow street

Another BMW E3 on the street

BMW E3, 1968

Porsche 911 Targa, the most unusual car of Soviet policemen

American van Dodge Tradesman in police colors

Police Volvo 264 in Moscow.

French cars in the exhibition militia performance. In the foreground is the Renault 18 station wagon, behind it is the Traffic model van.

The flagship of the Renault lineup of the second half of the 1970s is the hatchback of the Renault 30 model.

(via Russia Beyond)



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