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1966 Holden HR division van to return to old Seymour beat

A restored police divisional van that was used in the 1960s will return to its former base at Seymour.

JENNA BISHOP June 11, 2014 3:51am

A 1966 Holden HR division van used at Seymour Police Station in the late 1960s has been fully restored.


 

It has been more than 45 years, but a former police divisional van will soon return to its former Seymour base after being completely restored.

The 1966 Holden HR divisional van was in service at Seymour Police Station from 1967 to 1968 before being sold as a private vehicle.

Owner Joe Galea, of Moorabbin, said he believed the car was the only fully-functional restored divisional van from that era in Australia.

Mr Galea has been restoring the van for the past 13 months after buying it in 2002.

It still has its original working operational equipment, including two-way radios, lights and horn.

‘‘It’s got the original spotlight hooked up in a pocket under the seat,’’ he said.

When the car’s fifth owner identified it as a former police vehicle, it was estimated to only be in reasonable to poor condition.

‘‘Being a divvy van, it would have been knocked around a fair bit,’’ he said.

The van was bought new for $1247.85 from Melbourne’s Rhodes Motors and was first registered on August 29, 1967.

It remained in service until October 21, 1968 and dealership Melford Motors bought it for $970.45, after it had travelled 26729 miles (43000km).

Mr Galea said new original wheel guards had been fitted, as well as door skins.

‘‘They’re very hard to get, because Holden stopped producing the parts in 1967,’’ he said.

Mr Galea said the car was finished in a light blue colour called ‘‘sky mist’’, a colour issued only to Victoria Police.

A security grille mesh was fitted to all rear compartment windows with an internal light and a two-person bench seat with a roof ventilation system.

The rear tailgate was replaced with a single opening door with two catches enabling police officers to padlock the door after offenders were placed inside.

Mr Galea said the van had also been fitted with a recalibrated speedometer, which had a finer point needle to help indicate the correct speed of other vehicles.

Mr Galea said he was hoping to take the HR divisional van to Seymour within the next couple of weeks pending clear weather.

 

If anyone has any information, stories or photos from when the van was in service at Seymour, email Mr Galea at joegalea1971@gmail.com

 

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