Riotous Rides


Anyone who happened to be in the city of London on the much hyped ‘financial fools day’ this week, may have noticed, in the gathering throng of demonstrators, onlooking construction workers and suits in strategic mufti, that the Metropolitan Police had things locked down tight. Having been schooled in the dark arts of urban control from their earliest recruiting days at Hendon, every copper knows that controlling the streets is central to the job of nation’s finest.


Making its charismatic presence felt to that end was this heavy duty beast. The met owns three of these ‘Guardian’ vehicles, which are heavily armoured special constructions produced by Jankel in Surrey – based on Ford’s F450 Superduty chassis. The beast is pictured here stoically burbling with not a little menace, outside the much maligned masonry of the Bank of England. According to police press releases, the Guardian boasts a 6 litre, 325 BHP engine, a raft of electronic surveillance equipment and is practically blast proof. This is no Chelsea tractor. This is a Tottenham Tank.

Contrast the riot-quelling potency of The Guardian with this pathetic little excuse for a practical joke played on the Met by the demonstrators themselves. Around a dozen, very callow protestors found themselves arrested and their vehicle impounded when the bright sparks, in ebay-bought riot gear, tried to roll through Bishopsgate in the middle of the city of London loaded up in this six wheeled Alvis Saracen.


But taking the props from revheads from the crowd over the whole period of the London summit was, of course, Barack Obama’s much publicised Cadillac built beast known as Limo One. As well as being equipped with rocket propelled grenades and a full raft of bullet and blast proof armour and glass, it has a new type of roll-flat tyres which can allow the car to drive at up to 60 MPH after blowouts to all four boots. Handy.


But despite the level of bling designed into this presidential ride, it seems the even the President’s men can’t pull off a proper three-point turn in the confines of Downing Street. It’s somehow comforting to know that even the Kings of the Universe are constrained by the realities of urban planning.


One Response to “Riotous Rides”

  1. sociable_hermit

    Just to balance this article somewhat, I suggest you look into the history of these protests and the thinking behind them before passing judgement – y’know, actually examining the facts, first? Look a little deeper than yesterday’s papers and actually THINK ABOUT WHAT IT ALL MEANS? As for the Met. Police being “the nation’s finest”, hmm… don’t think so. I’d rather trust a bunch of idealistic hippies than those Cavemen. At least the City of London Police force (who are separate from the Met.) have IQs greater than the size of their shoes.

    Car magazines are not really the place for politics, least of all ill-informed, heavily biased politics reliant on cheap jokes. It might be better to leave it to the commentators who actually know the subject? If I wanted to read something which is politically slightly to the right of Ghengis Khan, I’d read the Daily Mail.