The Truth About Cars » cop cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » cop cars Night Flight Of The Silver Ghost. An On Request Future Writer Story Mon, 25 Feb 2013 06:00:28 +0000

Some claimed yesterday that David Hester’s views of a government-issued Panther are more desired than his discussion of D.I.Y. engine mods. You ask for it, you get it today. How’s that for service? Also, be judicious with your comments about his prose. David may be a rookie writer, but he’s a seasoned cop, and he knows where to find you. In any case, I’ve seen a few police reports in the past, and Dave’s way with words definitely beats them all.

My cellphone begins to bleat a mere three hours after my head hit the pillow. I shake the cobwebs from my head and listen to an excitable 3rd shift sergeant inform me of a criminal act requiring the immediate attention of the Special Victims Section detective, yes, pronto, never mind the pre-dawn hours. Quick shave. Quick shower. Quick peck on the cheek of my sleeping wife. Then out into the cold for the forty minute drive from my home into the sleeping city.

My G-ride awaits, a 2007 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor in “Official Government Business” silver. My department assigns each officer a home-fleet vehicle and I’ve been driving this one for a little over 40,000 of its 89,000 miles. One of the last of the real Police Interceptors, it boasts the civilian interior upgrade, with mouse-fur covered cloth bench seats instead of vinyl, carpeting instead of vomit resistant rubber, and a CD player. However, in a surprise outbreak of fiscal prudence, whoever ordered the cars that year failed to check the box for the exterior upgrades, like chrome trim. It’s the best of both worlds: soft semi-luxury inside with the blacked out “move to the right” front grill.

It takes about 10 minutes to reach I-75 from my driveway. I accelerate down the entrance ramp onto the empty interstate and settle into the left lane at… a reasonable and prudent speed. The big Ford loafs, eating up the miles without drama, solid as the day it rolled off of the assembly line. The only other vehicles I pass are 18 wheelers, their drivers probably wired to the gills on coffee, No-Doz, maybe meth. All of them are on high alert, scanning the road ahead and behind for the Crown Vic’s distinctive headlight pattern in their mirrors. Tonight their vigilance is rewarded: there is a Bear out there and I spy more than a few quick flashes of brake lights, even though none of them are in my lane and I subsequently couldn’t care less about the lies in their log books.

As I approach the bridge that crosses the river separating my quiet, rural home county from the urban jungle I work in, traffic is picking up a little bit. Not much, but there’s four-wheeled traffic mixed in with the truck traffic, and as I cross the bridge I can see a few lingering in the leftmost lane. The police radio goes on as I enter my jurisdiction and I start the light show a few seconds later.

The disco lights do the job. The left lane bandits are shaken out of their trances and slide into the center or rightmost lane well before I arrive. There’s no need for the vulgarity of the siren, which would interrupt Sinatra’s request for one more for his baby and one more for the road. I reach my exit and the lights go off, rendering me all but invisible to the traffic rolling on beyond. The city is beginning to stir, with lights coming on as shop owners prepare for the first customers. Joggers are out, as are paper delivery… men. I don’t suppose there have actually been paper delivery boys for decades.

I pull up at the emergency room and park in the ambulance bay. There will be at least an hour of waiting until the victim is cleared by the doctors, followed by another hour of interviews. Sometimes the case will be legitimate. Those are draining, especially if it involves a child. More often the case will be a case of regret, an attempt to cover up infidelity, or even a dispute over prostitution services rendered. Those cases will be unfounded, pended and forgotten in short order, sometimes with false report charges against the “victim,” but usually not. I suppose that’s for the best. A city in which every rape report was legitimate would be a horribly dangerous place to live.

The sun is up by the time I finish the interviews, and I roll on into the office to get an early jump on my shift. The day will drag by. Maybe there will be a suspect to find in regards to the new case, maybe not. By the time the day is over, the paperwork, at least, will be in order. I’ll mount back up and drive back across the river, feeling the weight of the case and the responsibility of the job disappear as the Crown Vic’s wheels thump across the last expansion joint. Dinner awaits, perhaps a beer or two, and then a good night’s sleep. It will be another twelve days until I have to cover the on-call schedule for the unit again.

Another twelve days before another night flight.

David Hester is a detective with the Lexington, KY Police Department by day and night. He drove a Crown Vic for work, but “does not suffer from an overabundance of Panther love.” David is a Editor’s Choice Future TTAC Writer, just in case we ever drive through Lexington, KY.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Carmelo Anthony Edition Wed, 03 Oct 2012 14:44:55 +0000

The exalted community of Panther-platform enthusiasts has a term for people who deliberately make their Crown Vics look like working undercover/plainclothes police cars: “wackers”.

You can’t call this fellow a “wacker”. “Wack”, on the other hand…

TTAC reader and occasional deep-background contributor “Curvy McLegalbriefs” spotted this on the road in the District of Columbia and promptly snapped a shot for us. There’s something to be said about the unique aesthetic in play here; although it appropriates the look of a police car, the actual purpose of the “HUSTLA” livery is to glorify the dope game and remind everyone that they need to “stop snitch’n”.

The fact that it’s legal to drive around in a vehicle explicitly instructing citizens to keep their mouths shut about crimes in their neighborhood is either a remarkable triumph for this country’s free-speech ideals or an explicit demonstration that America in general, and DC in particular, is a failed state. Maybe both! Let’s roll the tape.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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The Three Best Cop Car Opening Sequences In The History Of Television Mon, 13 Feb 2012 10:57:38 +0000

I am amply qualified to make the call on this topic. I have been a TV addict since I was a preschooler in the late 50s, and I still consider television to be the finest educator in my life, so I believe that I can make a well-informed opinion about the medium.

The fact that my television roots extend into the pre-Kennedy era in the White House means that I can include the 50s TV shows in my range of expertise. However, my choice for 3rd place has its roots in late 60s TV and takes place on the mean streets of LA, ‘Adam 12’.

The first and only requirement of my contest is the generous use of police cars in the opening credits and ‘Adam 12’ fits the guidelines. The dispatch message is a call to action for the boys to roll, and the 1968 Plymouth Belvedere is the starring set of wheels in the introduction to season one of ‘Adam 12’.

Malloy pinned the Belvey down a straight stretch of LA pavement as he and Reed tackled everything and anything each week in the half hour crime show. It was a magic sequence that opened up endless possibilities for the boys every time they jumped into the car.

Number two on my list came from the 50s and was an early pioneer in cop car TV shows. Highway Patrol’ had a strong theme song that suited its no-nonsense message every week. Its star was Broderick Crawford, and he never built his acting career around a comedy theme.

The opening sequence was filmed from above the highway and involved two 1955 Buick Century patrol cars in a roadblock with a subsequent driving sequence with Crawford behind the wheel of one of these special CHP order Buicks. It was a stylish introduction to a pretty cheesy TV program.

My choice for number one was a well-scripted 80s TV show called ’Hill St Blues’. The introduction featured a police garage door opening and a 1976 Dodge Monaco flying out, light bars blazing, as it answered an armed robbery call.

The posse of police cars grew as they charged towards the robbery location sliding around corners on the slippery winter streets. It was television magic and viewers loved every minute of trouble on the Hill.

‘Hill Street Blues’ had a brilliant opening sequence and was my runaway choice as the best cop car stars in a TV police drama. The music, the driving and the gritty realistic feel to the introduction put this show in front of every one of its competitors.

It was a bonus that it was also a very good TV show.

For more of Jim and Jerry Sutherland’s work go

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The Booth Babe Chronicles: Outrun This Tue, 06 Jul 2010 09:23:09 +0000

Happy Hangover Tuesday! I trust you’re all in good spirits despite possibly imbibing too many good spirits over the holiday weekend. Nothing a nice nap in the county lockup won’t cure.

Yup, chances are at least one or two of you were given an introduction to the ins and outs of traffic, DUI or public drunkenness laws this weekend. Hopefully you didn’t try to outrun the cops before they caught you.

There’s always lots of cool things to see besides the new model year vehicles at the auto show, and one display I always enjoy is the one showing off the latest and greatest police cars. I especially love the ones they’ve confiscated from drug busts and tricked out to take care of law enforcement business. Good luck outrunning those.

Believe it or not I’ve never been arrested (shocking, I know) and I hope you haven’t either. However, taking a trip in one of these sweet rides is almost worth it. Just make sure you have a friend willing to bail you out of jail so you can get back to celebrating your independence.

Here are my favorite hotrod cop cars, one or two of which I’ve actually seen on the streets during my various travels. I hope you get the thrill of seeing them one day too, without accessorizing your American Gladiator Fourth of July outfit with silver bracelets. You know the cops are hoping you’ll run so they can open these babies up.

Cop Lamborghini Murcielago

This beauty was on display at the 2008 Abu Dhabi International Motorshow. I keep hearing about this Lamborghini Diablo that the Iowa State Patrol has, but I can’t find any pictures of it. If anyone has a shot of it, could you share it with us?

Cop Porsche 911

This German police cruiser comes in handy when trying to pull over Michael Schumacher wheeling a taxi through Bavarian streets. Again …

Porsches have a long tradition on the (partially) no speed limit Autobahn. In 1966, the 100,000th Porsche, a 912 Targa outfitted for the police, was delivered to the  Baden-Wurttemberg state police. A later press release noted ”40 police cars, mainly 912 Targas and some six-cylinder Coupés were delivered in 1967 alone.”

Cop Chevy Corvette C5

This one I have seen on the road, and luckily not bearing down on me from behind (that’s what she said). Not sure where they put the perps, though. In the trunk?

Cop Camaro

Multiple police departments across the US use Camaros as chase vehicles. Like the Corvette, the cops have to call another car to pick your sorry butt up and take you to jail because there’s no room for you in the back. After all that hassle you won’t even get to ride in it.

Cop Dodge Charger

There are entire fleets of this menacing-looking beast running the highways of the USA. I’ve heard that the 2011 police models will offer a 390 hp 5.7 liter HEMI. Hey, if the Charger is good enough for Leroy Jethro Gibbs, it’s good enough for me.

Just don’t come to me for that bail money.

The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at

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