Flashback warning to anyone who saw one of these in their rear-view mirror 30-odd years ago: This could be triggering.
The New Zealand Police Museum is set to reveal a vintage patrol vehicle — known in its time on Aotearoa highways as “the Flying Wedge” — after months of painstaking restorative mechanical and body work.
The 1988 Mitsubishi V3000 began service with Upper Hutt’s Ministry of Transport Traffic Safety Service in 1988.
Police have two Mitsubishi cars in the museum collection, both part of the Ministry of Transport fleet that came across to New Zealand Police in 1992.
The merger of the two enforcement agencies is historically significant.
The collection has a number of vehicles with the original Ministry of Transport livery, however this vehicle, licence plate number NX710, in the MoT colours of black and white and with New Zealand Police branding, is unique.
“This car represents the story of the people, cars, and motorcycles that came across to New Zealand Police from the Ministry of Transport in 1992,” said New Zealand Police Museum director Rowan Carroll.
“It wasn’t just a physical transition but a challenge for traffic officers to become police officers, and likewise a challenge for police to learn and effectively enforce road rules and safety.”
The V3000 rolled off the production line in Porirua in 1988 and was fitted out by Mitsubishi team member Lloyd Robinson.
The 2023 glow-up with modern greasepaint has been the responsibility of long-time employee Robinson, who has been with Mitsubishi long enough to see the original V3000 launch.
Warren Brown, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand, said: “Having spent 42 years working on Mitsubishi vehicles, including engineering details for the local assembly plant, made this job a real pleasure for Lloyd Robinson, our recently retired technical services manager.
“Over the course of four months, the car has been significantly stripped and cleaned to refurbish the police V3000 into a high-quality museum display artefact.
“The car has deliberately been left to reflect its genuine frontline workload for the police while being presented in near-new condition.”
Brown said Mitsubishi Motors approached the New Zealand Police Museum towards the end of last year to view the vehicles in the police’s historic vehicle fleet.
“The team were really excited to see the 1988 V3000 model – ‘the legendary Flying Wedge’.”
Mitsubishi suggested they would like to refurbish the car and the New Zealand Police Museum team were eager to accept their generous offer.