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Students restore old police car to former glory

By SiCulley  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

  • Paul Martin, PCSO for Brixham, Jack Cleaver, South Devon College apprentice, and Trevor Foxon, Lecturer in Vehicle Body Repair and Refinishing

  • Student Jack Cleaver takes the front seat

  • The police car back to its former glory

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SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE automotive students have restored a Plymouth police car as part of an 18 month college project.

The 13 year old, 1.6 Diesel Ford Escort - deteriorating after being taken out of service in 2006 - has been restored to its former glory by a team of apprentices at the college and local companies in sponsorship, with a view it will form a memorial piece for the Heritage and Learning Resource in Okehampton. 

The car - used in Plymouth and Ivybridge during its time in service with Devon and Cornwall Police - was acquired by the police Heritage and Learning Resource (the Historic Collections of Devon & Cornwall Police), based in Okehampton. For the past 18 months the students and three local companies were involved in the refurbishment project, including strip down, re-spray, and replacement of engine parts. Mill Autoquip, Gliddon Ford and Avon Auto Colours agreed to sponsor the project, all providing a number of restoration materials. The car was taken to South Devon College's Paignton campus for students to supply the labour and return the car to pristine condition.  

Two of the students - Jack Cleaver from Torquay, and Jordan Brewster from Teignmouth - successfully completed the project as part of their apprenticeships programme at the college.  

Jack is studying an Apprenticeship in Body Repair and Finish with South Devon College and at Devon Classic Cars in Ermington.  He said: "I really enjoyed working on this project.  The vinyls were the trickiest part of the car to put on as it all had to be done by sight. The most fun part was stripping it down!"

Paul Martin, PCSO for Brixham, oversaw the restoration of the project on behalf of the Police. He said: "South Devon College were a pivotal part in getting this project up and running. We were delighted that they were able to help with this exciting venture, along with all the sponsors. If none of these people had shown such interest and helped us with this, then the car would have been scrapped. This completed project is a real credit to the college, apprentices and staff involved."

The car will be used by the Heritage and Learning Resource and is currently on display at I.G MacCullock and Sons in Okehampton until permanent garaging can be found.

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