Cop Car Friday Finale: Hot Rod 1953 Fords And Hemi Chryslers (And Other Vintage Oddities)
There’s lots of places to find old cop car photos, but I was perusing a 1953 Popular Science at bed time the other night, and remembered a story about the just-opened NJ turnpike and its new fleet of cop cars. Here are one of each of the fleet of 23 Fords and stealthy Chryslers. The Fords came with Mercury engines installed; their 255 cubic inch flathead V8s had a whopping 125 hp instead of the stock Ford 110 hp. The also had dual exhausts, “souped up rear ends”, and heavy duty cooling systems. The ten unmarked Chryslers “are capable of 120 mph”, which I wouldn’t question given their 180 hp hemi engines. Three “portable” radar timers (roadside, not hand-held) were also in the arsenal. And every trooper was trained in auto mechanics as part of the training; they would have known how to stop their runaway car.
Old Popular Sciences are a treasure trove of the bizarre and curious, reflecting American’s folksy inventiveness. I couldn’t resist scanning just two of these and sharing:
This one is a real gem; why didn’t I think of that! A table saw you can drive to the job site! Looks like he stole his kid’s pedal tractor. Which would probably be just as fast, as the top speed of this conveyance is four mph in high gear.
This one doesn’t need any commentary. Have a nice weekend!
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- Alan Hmm, I see a bit of politicking here. What qualifications do you need to run GM or Ford? I'd bet GM or Ford isn't run by experienced people. Anyone at that level in an organisation doesn't need to be a safety whip, you need to have the ability to organise those around you to deliver the required results.
NJ Turnpike opened in 1949 and used Chrysler New Yorkers and Saratogas for many years, both marked and unmarked! They used Fords on regular state highways.
Google Books has a treasure trove of past issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. And they're easily searchable for that article you remember from the mid- to late '70s: Popular Science Popular Mechanics Alas, I've spent far too many rainy weekend afternoons perusing these pages...and a few sunny afternoons, as well. EDIT: Paul, I just read the article about the NJ turnpike patrol, and almost spewed my coffee when I read, "...there are 10 sleek, unmarked black Chrysler sedans." I suppose the term "sleek" is relative, but one I've never felt applied to Chryslers from the K.T. Keller era!