NZ police roll out restored 1988 Mitsubishi V3000 'Flying Wedge'

Jet Sanchez
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The New Zealand Police Museum recently unveiled a meticulously restored piece of motoring history - a 1988 Mitsubishi V3000 patrol car affectionately dubbed the 'Flying Wedge'.

After many months of dedicated mechanical and body work, the classic vehicle is now proudly displayed at Mitsubishi Motors, Todd Park, Porirua, serving as a tangible link to New Zealand's automotive and policing past.

A piece of history

Mitsubishi V3000 Flying Wedge New Zealand

The V3000, bearing the licence plate number NX710, is not just an ordinary patrol car. It began its service with Upper Hutt’s Ministry of Transport Traffic Safety Service in 1988 and later became a part of the New Zealand Police fleet in 1992, following the merger of the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Police. 

This union marked a significant shift in the enforcement landscape of the country, as Rowan Carroll, Director of the New Zealand Police Museum, elaborates: “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. 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 restoration process

Billy Tony Billingham New Zealand Police

The V3000 was initially rolled off the production line in Porirua in 1988, fitted out by Mitsubishi team member Lloyd Robinson. 

Decades later, the task of rejuvenating this iconic vehicle fell again to Lloyd, now the recently retired Technical Services Manager at Mitsubishi. 

Warren Brown, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand, highlights Lloyd's deep connection with the car: “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."

Mitsubishi V3000 Flying Wedge New Zealand

Over a period of four months, the car underwent a thorough refurbishment process. 

Despite the significant restoration work, efforts were made to retain its original essence. “The car has deliberately been left to reflect its genuine front-line workload for the Police while being presented in near new condition,” says Brown.

An iconic model

Mitsubishi V3000 Flying Wedge New Zealand

The 1988 V3000, fondly referred to as ‘the legendary Flying Wedge’, holds a special place in New Zealand's automotive and policing heritage. 

The decision to refurbish the car was initiated by Mitsubishi Motors, who approached the New Zealand Police Museum last year with the proposal. 

“Mitsubishi suggested they would like to refurbish the car and the New Zealand Police Museum team were eager to accept their generous offer. It’s also fitting that Lloyd is the man to bring the car back to life,” Carroll adds.


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