Chevrolet C10

Chevrolet C10

:   A.P. van Eijsden en J.W. Hofs
:   Zuid-Holland
:   Nederland
:   978-90-288-1289-5
:   128
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 weken (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Chevrolet C10'

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was deze Cl 0 vele j aren een symbool van ruim twintig jaar vooruitstrevende mobiliteit van het Rotterdamse korps. De Cl 0 is inmiddels verhuisd naar de Historische collectie en geplaatst aan de Boezemsingel.


De Rotterdamse politie was overigens niet het enige korps in ons land dat de beschikking had over dergelijke Chevrolet surveillanceauto's. In 1972 kreeg ook de gemeentepolitie van de buurgemeente Ridderkerk zo'n voertuig.

Deze Cl 0 werd geleverd via de politie Rotterdam en was daardoor identiek aan de vele exemplaren die in de Maasstad dienstdeden.

De politie van Arnhem beschikte in de j aren zestig ook over enkele Chevrolet Cl O's. Dit korps schafte in totaal drie Cl O's aan. Twee daarvan waren voor de Verkeersdienst en waren wit van kleur. Voor het transport van allerhande materialen, zoals hekken - en soms ook voor het vervoer van lijken - werd een lichtblauwe Cl 0 in gebruik genomen. De beide witte Cl 0 's werden al na enkele jaren afgevoerd, de materiaalwagen deed dienst tot omstreeks 1967.

De Arnhemse Cl O's waren voorzien van een normale versnellingsbak, die echter niet voldeed.

De gemeentepolitie Nijmegen nam in 1978 twee Chevrolet Cl 0 Suburbans in gebruik, onder meer voor de begeleiding van voetbalsupporters. De ruiten waren daartoe extra beschermd door middel van metaaldraad. Deze voertuigen waren wit gelakt en hadden een dakset.

In Zoetermeer stelde de gemeentepolitie in 1980 twee

Cl 0 's in dienst. Deze voertuigen waren eveneens wit, maar hadden grote reflecterende rode vlakken op de zijkanten en de motorkap. Deze grote voertuigen kregen een kleine blauwe zwaailamp om ze ook in de vele parkeergarages in die gemeente te kunnen inzetten.

De Chevrolet Cl 0 was verder ook bij verschillende ambulancediensten in ons land in gebruik. Vooral bij de Amsterdamse GGD reed er in de jaren zestig en zeventig een fors aantal (ruim dertig stuks) rond. Maar ook vele andere ambulancediensten in ons land maakten gebruik van op Chevrolets Cl 0 opgebouwde ambulances.

De brandweer in ons land daarentegen koos meer voor vergelijkbare voertuigen op GMC en Dodge-chassis. De brandweer van het korps Uithuizermeeden van de voormalige gemeente Hefshuizen (thans gemeente Eemsmond) nam in 1981 een tot hulpverleninsgwagen omgebouwde Cl O-ambulance uit 1969 over.

De gemeentelijke brandweer van Heerenveen had van 1981 tot 1997 een Chevrolet Suburban als snel hulpverleningsvoertuig in gebruik, terwijl de Inspectie voor het Brandweerwezen van 1979 tot 1986 een Chevrolet K20 Suburban als uitrukwagen voor de afdeling OGS in dienst had.

1 Een set schitterende tekeningen van het laatste type Cl 0 van de politie Rotterdam van de hand van Stefan Zoutewelle (Scazotek-tekeningen) .

A set of splendid drawings ofthe Rotterdam polioe's last Cl 0 model by Stefan Zoutewelle (Scazotek drawings) .,

2 'Vigilat ut Quiscant'

(wij waken opdat zij rusten). Het logo van de gemeentepolitie dat tussen 1964 en 1994 werd gevoerd. De achtpuntige gemeentepolitiester toont naast deze wapenspreuk een zwaard voor een wetboek en twee lauwertakken. Dit logo werd vanaf het midden van de jaren zestig op de portieren van alle herkenbare politievoertuigen aangebracht.

'Vigilat ut Quiscant' ('We guard in order for them to rest'). The metropolitan police's logo carried between 1964 and 1994. The 8-point star shows, apart from the slogan, a sword in front of a book of law and two lamel branches. This logo was displayed on the doors of all recognizable police vehicles from the mid -sixties onwards.


Almost every child growing up in Rotterdam during the sixties and the seventies will remember with awe the enormous police cars that were used during those days. The Chevrolet CIOs, which did not look anything like the patrol cars most other Dutch policemen drove, were zooming around the city on the Maas in those years. They seemed unstoppable on their way to accidents and crime and it was almost unthinkable that anyone would be able to escape from the drivers of these tremendous vehicles. For more than 20 years the Cl 0 has dominated the image ofthe Rotterdam metropolitan police. Many ofthe (former) policemen therefore still think back with nostalgia to the days when they used ra drive around Rotterdam in these famous American cars to guarantee policing and safety and to offer help where necessary.

The beginning

In the beginning ofthis century the state and city constables of the time used ra carry out their work primarily on foot. Therefore, the offîcers were still close to the public. In that society, mobility was a concept that hardly anybody knew. Within the larger cities people traveled per horse drawn omnibus or tram for larger distances and when travelling through the country one generally used

the (steam) train. The need for mobility increased rapidly after World War 1. Automobiles and busses appeared in great numbers and the streets became steadily busier. Admittedly, traffîc jams and parking problems as we know them today were non-existent, as were highways.

The constabie on foot, walking his beat, was characteristic for the image ofthe city police. In 1895 however, the Rotterdam poli ce established a Mounted Brigade, making the police officer on horse also a common sight in the city. Horse-drawn detainee wagons were used for the transport of prisoners between the police offices and the office of the public prosecutor. Ir was only in 1914 that service bicycles were put at the disposal of the police offîcers in the city on the Maas. In this context it is important to bear in mind that the city was not nearly as large as it is today. After World War I the city grew quickly, the port was constantly extended and as a re sult many new residential

areas appeared, especially on the left bank of the Maas.

On 7 Iune 1920, the Motorcycle Supervision Service was established, which later turned into the Traffîc Police. In the beginning this unit consisted of a few officers, equipped with Harley Davidson motorcycles with sidecars. In 1926 this group, which was already known as the

Motorcyde Brigade, had been extended to about 14 men. In 1922 three Indian motorcydes were also put into use. The primary task of the Motorcyde Brigade was the supervision ofthe constantly increasing traffîc and the enforcement of the newly imposed traffîc rules. However, the motorcydes with sidecars could also be used for the suppression of riots and disturbances.

In September 1920, the Superintendent of the Rotterdam police force was issued his own service car and in 1924 the Traffîc and Transportation Division, of which the Motorcyde Brigade had been part since 1 923, was issued three Renault cars. During the following years the number of patrol cars at the disposal of the force increased steadily. Thus did Fords gradually replace the Renaults and in 1938 three dosed riot vans were acquired.

Army Surplus Vehicles

During the German occupation from 1940 until 1945, the German occupying forces requisitioned the majority ofthe police vehides, along with the hors es ofthe Mounted Brigade. At the end of the war, thus, the police had to dep end on surveillance by bicyde and by foot on ce again. However, during the years af ter World War II the ownership of cars and the use of them rapidly increased. In addition to this, the city had been extended greatly during the war years, as a re sult of the annexation of a number of surrounding communities in 1941 (Overschie, Schiebroek, Hillegersberg, and IJsselmonde).

Consequently the need of the police for motorized forms oftransportation and surveillance increased proportionally. Because the acquisition of new vehides was virtually impossible during the first years after the war, initially a number of different cars and motorcydes - which had been hidden by civilians in different places during the war years - were commandeered.

Af ter this period, like the other governmental agencies and the transportation sector, the police had ra manage with army surplus vehides. Here, amongst other things, five Willys Jeeps and two Bedford delivery vans were purchased. Their army green color was replaced by dark blue and the lettering 'police' . The open Jeeps could be endosed with a canvas cab when necessary. In 1947 two Dodge 'Beeps' were also purchased, which served as open personnel carriers. These vehides served their purpose very well, especially on the many bad roads which the city had during the post-war reconstruction period. They offered little comfort, but that was ofless importance in those days.

In 1948 the Rotterdam poli ce received its first radio car, a model A Ford, while in 1949 the firstVolkswagen 'Beetle' was introduced. In the same year an additional two radio cars were purchased for the Traffic Police. These were Ford station wagons, with the typicalAmerican wooden detail on the bodywork.

In 1951 the Radio Surveillance Brigade, or RSB for short, was established. At the time ofits establishment this service had 7 vehides and 45 men at its disposal. The vehides were equipped with, by today's standards, a rather primitive radio receiver and transmitting equipment and stood in permanent contact with the Central Radio Room at the Poli ce Headquarters at the Haagseveer. Telephone calls of an urgent nature were passed on to the RSB unit from the control room. On ce at the scene of the accident the team would immediately take the necessary measures and then report any further details to the radio control room by radiotelephone.

The personnel of the unit involved, who often had to get to the scene of the accident by bicyde or by foot, would then deal with the accident.

The first RSB vehides were dark blue Willys Overland Jeeps with a hardtop cab and a loudspeaker on the roof. In 1955 these were replaced with dark blue Ford F 1 00 delivery vans, initially equipped with sirens. A spotlight that could be controlled from the inside was later added to the loudspeaker on the roof. The Ford F 1 00 was a big American station wagon with a lot of storage space, a 6-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission.

For the record it has to be noted that the Maassluis metropolitan police had already introduced the Ford F 1 00 as a surveillance car in 1954.

In 1 959 the Radio Surveillance Brigade was discontinued, because from that time onwards the police departments

had surveillance cars with a radiotelephone installation at their disposal.

The Chevrolet C 10

At the end of the fifties Ford would only deliver the F 1 00 type as a pickup with an open bed. In the Netherlands a bodywork company in Oud-Beijerland would then custorn produce a topper for it. But because the loading bed of these piekups was higher the topper would stick up some 20 centimeters above the cab. This topper did not suffice. It 'rattled' and besides it was rather costly, so only some six pieces were built, the last of which being put into use in 1962. Soon a possible replacement was sought. It had to be a vehide, which would be easy to control in city traffic, yet, large enough for the transportation ofmopeds, bicydes, and detainees.

The successor ofthe Ford Fl 00 was found at Pord's competitor General Motors.

It was the 1/2 ton Commercial, which replaced Chevrolet's Apache in 1962, and had been recently introduced by Chevrolet. This new model was available in many variations, both in build and carrying capacity. The indications 10,20,30 referred to 112,3/4, and 1 ton carrying cap acity respectively. In comparison to the Apache model, the body of the new models had been transformed completely, especially the grille and the hood being visible different from the ChevroletApache.

Specifications of different types

Chevrolet delivered the chassis in many different variations. The light trucks could be delivered as Stepside pickup, Fleetside pickup and the Extended Cab pickup, as a Sport Utility Wagon (a pickup with a hardtop, like the later known Chevrolet 'Blazer'), the Panel Delivery (closed-off delivery van) and the Carryall Suburban. This name originates from the word Suburb. In the USA a trend developed during the Thirties where people moved from urban are as to smaller, rural suburbs. The need for mobility and transportation possibilities therefore increased and the station wagon, which had been developed from a pass enger car, became popular. All could be carried with a station wagon (=Carryall). The Carryall Suburban was basically a station wagon on a light truck chassis.

The first six copies of the Chevrolet Custom 10 (C 10) were delivered in Rotterdam in 1963. These vehicles were equipped with a 6-cylinder engine and the customary American automatic transmission, just like the Ford F 100. The first CIOs were still painted dark blue, although they did have a white roofwith a revolving lamp and a floodlight, as well as a white painted grille, white bumpers and rims. One striking feature of these first CIOs was its panoramic windshield, just as its predecessor, the 'Apache' had had. The front indicators had been integrated in the hood, above the grille, and the re ar lights were triangle-shaped. All CIOs used by the Rotterdam police had

Panel-Doors in the back, which were large double opening doors.

The Chevrolet Cl 0 would dominate the image of the Rotter dam police for more than two decades. Naturally, its exterior as well as, of course, its engineering underwent many changes throughout these 20 years. However, through all those years the Rotterdam poli ce maintained its reputation as the police force with the big American cars. These were indeed very imposing vehicles, which made quite an impression with the characteristic rumble noise of their large engines. Many a law or traffic violator abandoned the idea ofignoring the police's attempt to stop him when he noticed the Cl 0 they were driving.

The uniformed service of each of the then existing Rotterdam poli ce departments had a number of these CIOs at their disposal, primarily for assistance with surveillance. The con trol room would direct the team to various incidents, where immediate police intervention was necessary.

In 1969 two smaller surveillance cars were introduced on a trial basis, a Ford Excalibur and a Chevrolet G 1 0 Chevyvan. These vans were built very much like the Cl 0, both in the exterior as well as the interior. The dual-tone air horns of the siren were placed on the roof, because there was no room for them behind the grille. In contrast to the Cl 0 however, these two vehicles were ofthe 'frontstuurtype' (the engine between driver and pass enger seats). Both vehicles were circulated amongst all the different police de-

partments for some time. The interior standing space of these two vehicles was indeed higher than that ofthe familiar Cl 0, but their road-holding ability was considerably inferior. The lack of a large hood as well as the presen ce of the engine in between the driver and the passenger, which added a lot of noise and heat, caused this trial to fail. The Rotterdam poli ce would not change from their reliable CIOs for some IO more years.

The Rotterdam poli ce purchased the Chevrolet C I Os from the GM-dealer Pietersen, who was for a long time located at the Nieuwe Binnenweg. aften twelve of them were bought at one time. At one point - due to developments in the American dollar rate - 20 cars were kept in stock. Throughout the years the force would own some 45 to 60 CIOs at a time, ofwhich some 30 to 40 would be driven around by the different poli ce departments. The CIOs would be used for a maximum of 5 years or 300,000 kilometers at the most, before they would be taken out of circulation. All in all, the Rotterdam metropolitan police must have had some 200 of these vehicles in service, during the more than 20 years that they had the Chevrolet CIO at their disposal.

The police department's auto shop would not hesitate to 'cannibalize' a totalled Cl O. The vehicle would then be totally stripped and the parts would be used for rep air or the restoration of another broken -down or damaged Cl O. Apparently, two damaged Cl O's were made into one useabie one at some point.

The transformation and the equipping of the Chevrolet

Cl 0 to a police vehicle would be do ne in the police department's own auto shop. That way any developments within the department could be used on the vehicles at its own discretion. However, generally speaking, things would remain the same and smaller adaptations usually only would be made with a new model. The Cl 0 naturally had some typically American characteristics. The staff would especially appreciate this, as the ownership of cars was not so common as is the case today. In front were two luxurious seats for the driver and the passenger. Also the automatic transmission operated with a handle by the steering wheel and the parking brake, which had to be operated with a (left) foot pedal, was typically American. The heater and ventilation were surely also wonderful back in those days.


The comparatively low gas-mileage was the reason to convert these surveillance cars to LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). This had already been introduced with the Ford F I 00. The Rotterdam police was, in this regard, very progressive. The usage of LPG was not nearly as common as it is today. The National Transportation Board therefore carefully monitored any developments in this area within the Rotterdam poli ce force. Without exaggeration the force could be seen as the national trendsetter for the introduction of LPG as car fuel.

Originally the driver could change to regular gas by hand, because getting the car started on LPG would sometimes cause difficulties. Besides this did happen regularly, if there was reason for it for example with car chases. A little extra power was needed in such circumstances. The last Cl 0 models in the Rotterdam force were no longer equipped for driving on regular gas and could only drive on LPG. For this purpose in the back two 60 liter gas tanks were attached under the truck bed -next to each other lengthwise- while a spare 40 liter gas tank was installed under the emergency seat behind the driver.

The first editions of the Chevrolet Cl 0 were equipped with a 6-cylinder-in-line-engine with a 4.2-liter capacity. lts successor was a V8 engine with a cylinder capacity of 5.7 liters. The engines were equipped with two large 2 stage carburetors. Because these engines would produce too much power -even for police use- ,one ofthe carburetors was blocked off and the second one was reduced to 3/4. Despite these technical interventions it was still good for a formidable acceleration and a maximum speed of some 180 kilometers an hour.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the Hook of Holland office, an isolated part of the then 5 th precinct, had a four wheel drive Chevrolet Kl 0 at their disposal from 1978 until 1983. Externally this car was identical to the other CIOs, however the four-wheel drive was quite indispensabie, especially in the dune and beach area of this part of

Rotterdam-on-the-sea. When the Cl 0 era at the Rotterdam poli ce had come to an end, this KIO was replaced by a 4 WD Toyota Landcruiser.

Naturally the necessary adjustments were made over the years; seat beits were added and so were power-assisted brakes and power steering. Especially the parallel parking required a lot of hand and arm power without the power steering and braking without the power-assisted brakes required a forceful kick on the wide brake pedal. When the first CIOs with power steering and power-assisted brakes came out many a driver had to adjust to it. At first it of ten happened that an officer would brake too hard, because s/he was used to the older version. Af ter getting used to it and once most CIOs were equipped with these provisions, it would sometimes happen that a police department would get an older reserve car at its disposal without the new technology. It goes without saying that one, used to the power-assisted brakes, would sometimes be short by a yard when using the brakes ...

For that matter the Rotterdam polioe's arrangement was such that not every new police officer would be allowed to drive a Cl 0 right away. The force had its own drivers training department with permanent driving instructors. Besides apart from the regular license a separate service driver's license had to be obtained. A police officer was only allowed to pass a Cl 0 drivers test after s/he had obtained the stamps for other types of cars, such as Daf and Volkswagen, in her Ihis service driver's license. Many an

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