On Saturday, September 11, police said they began to receive reports of the car driving the wrong way down the M6 motorway from junction 34, Lancaster.
They said the car was only brought to a halt at junction 27 for Standish after a stinger was deployed.
The elderly man, from Truro, has been arrested and bailed pending further enquiries, but his driving licence has been revoked and his car seized.
Police said it took two tactical operations teams, a firearms unit, and officers from Merseyside Police, Highways North West and the motorway police to safely stop the vehicle.
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Lancashire Road Police said: "On 11/09/21 this vehicle was reported travelling the wrong way on the M6 from Jct 34. Patrols intercepted at Jct 33 but it avoided tactical contact. Stinger was deployed at Jct 28 and then Jct 27 finally bringing the car to a halt. A 78-year-old male from Truro has been arrested.
"This male has now been bailed whilst we conduct some additional enquiries that need to be done before we can charge him. In the meantime his driving licence has been revoked and his car seized.
"This was certainly all hands to the pump to get this vehicle stopped before it caused a serious collision."
Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam footage of the incident to come forward and contact them by emailing [email protected]