I was pleasantly, and genuinely surprised on my first visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to have a police car speed past me on the road from the airport – the surprise came from the familiarity of the car. It looked awfully like an Australian production vehicle. Sure enough, after a few days and plenty more sightings that indeed proved to be the case. The export of V6 and V8 Holden sedans to the house of Saud is an export success story, albeit an unsung one. On a subsequent visit I was amused to be caught in a traffic jam created by a broken down truck which was being shunted out of the way by one of those Holdens. The police car was not equipped with any bull bar with which to do this but had carefully nudged up then proceeded to carefully propel the truck off the freeway. It made me laugh – the Holden has been treated like this for decades back home but it did not require an Australian farmer with his Holden hack to show our Saudi friends how this car can can be treated. It was one of the few photos I felt safe taking of the police – shootings and killings of foreigners in the city (Riyadh) had everyone on edge and pointing a camera at law enforcement in that environment is not a good way of keeping a low profile!
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