The culture of Italy is rich with jokes about the Carabinieri, the national police force. While the population might sit around cracking puns, the Carabinieri themselves are busy buying the best vehicles they can find. KitGuru just noticed a story on Top Gear that suggests the carabinieri is setting itself up in competition against the Lamborghini Gallardo cars favoured by the Polizia Stradale (Italian motorway cops – the Highway Patrol).
While manufacturing of fine leather goods, the export of food and cultivation of a bustling tourist trade are big in Italy, many youngsters look longingly at the uniformed, armed police with their huge Moto Guzzi motorcycles, sleek Alfa Romeo patrol cars or – best of all – one of the Lamborghini or Ferrari cars used to give high speed chase on the autostrade (motorway). Contrary to popular believe, it seems that these high-tech cars can be driven huge distances. In an interview given to Classic Driver in 2005, authorised Lamborghini driver Massimiliano Finore said “The cars are extremely reliable, we have covered 34,000 kilometres in one year”.
However, there is a downside, “We have to be careful as sometimes in heavy motorway traffic, issuing a ticket can cause jams as onlookers slow down for a look”.
Traditionally, the Carabinieri have been the butt of every ‘stupid’ joke written. It starts with the visually simple “How does a carabinieri do up his shoe” where you put one foot on a chair – then bend down and do the one of the floor.
You have the usual assortment of light bulb jokes and, finally, some that are a little more involved:-
Peasant on a country rode sees a car full of Carabinieri backing up the hill slowly.
“Why are you driving backwards?”, he asks.
“Just in case there is not enough room to turn around at the top”, they reply.
A little while later, the peasant sees the same car reversing down the hill.
“How come you’re still going backwards?”, he asks.
The Carabinieri driver smiles the smile of a simple man, replies “We found a place to turn around”
“Boss, someone stole one of our cars”
“Did you get a look at his face?”
“No – but I have got the number plate”
“Boss, there’s no more room in the archives, can we start to throw away boxes that are more than 10 years old?”
“Sure, but remember to make copies first”
You get the drift.
However, with the Carabinieri’s latest purchase, it’s hard to see how anyone would be laughing.
According to the folks over at Top Gear, the Carabinieri have gone with brand new Lotus racing vehicles. The Lotus Evora S chosen by the Carabinieri might only reach 172mph, but with a street price of just £57,000, the Italian’s might have decided that its well worth the money – especially given that a second hand Gallardo can easily cost twice as much.
You can find out exactly how to drive one of these British supercars for £599 a month over here.
KitGuru says: With a huge increase in CCTV and speed cameras, it’s hard to make the logical argument for this kind of vehicle. On the other hand, how much easier would it be to recruit better police candidates if there was a chance to drive supercars up and down the M1 all day long? As Gurus of the Kit – we vote for less sleeping policemen and more wide-awake-and-wired rozzers!
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