Jaguar 340 Traffic Cars

Brian Homans

In 1967, Hertfordshire bought a number of Jaguar 340 saloons for traffic patrol. These were a development of the well known Mark 2 Jaguar but were a ‘stop gap’ model, pending the arrival of the Jaguar XJ6 late in 1968.
Using the Mark 2 body shell and mechanical parts, the 340 for police use lacked some of the earlier refinement. The leather seats were replaced with vinyl, the walnut dashboard was replaced by black gloss, the luxury carpets were replaced by rubber matting and a few other items were absent. Externally, the cars were identifiable by narrow bumpers in contrast to the Mark 2’s deep, double ribbed variety.
They were indeed a very fast car and a pleasure to drive, but lacked good ventilation, ground clearance and boot space. However, I loved driving them and still regard them as my favourite Traffic Car.
I was driving one on nights on the A1(M) attempting to intercept a stolen car. The accelerator was flat to the floor and I was doing aboutr 120mph. Suddenly, still with my foot to the floor, the speed dropped to about 80mph accompanied by a jangling noise from under the bonnet. A couple of days later, I was invited by the staff of Stanborough Garage to see what a piston looked like with a valve buried in its crown!
Photo is another sent to me by PC Cyril Hoye’s daughter, Jenny, showing Cyril with a Western Traffic Base car.

This page was added on 18/02/2020.

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