By on June 21, 2016
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55 Comments on “Here’s Your Police Package Car Purchase Guide...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    I wonder how many comments are going to be people complaining about this being sponsored/ad content. Probably the same people who complained the last time.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Anybody know what kind of cop car was in the “Doctorin’ the Tardis” video?

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Look at a side view of a rhinoceros and you’re astonished at the length and mass of that head holding a brain smaller than dietician’s approved serving size of ice cream.

    So with that Caprice. The enormity of hood ahead of the crampy little passenger compartment. Primitive things.

  • avatar

    Most police vehicles get replaced in a 3-4 year time frame. P71 Crown Vics are becoming challenging to find, many have been replaced by Explorers.

    Ideally vehicles used by police forces that patrol highways have less abuse than vehicles used by local forces.

    The vehicles that were used a “plain wrappers” come in various colors compared to the identified vehicles which are often white. Some forces will even include the inside door handle mechanism for the rear doors.

    The various holes in the dash, roof, trunk, floors are standard equipment.

    In many instances the second life of a P71 Crown Vic was taxi duty, or a winter driver.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Lately, I see P71s living second lives as donks (or rolling at least 22s), complete with holes in the front bumpers where the push bars used to be.

      The thing with a P71 is that you need to find one that was a detective’s car, that hopefully wasn’t as abused, and is closer to a civilian CV than a marked one. You also have to make sure all the lights work (if possible), because some agencies will chop up the wiring harness trying to remove all the police equipment.

      • 0 avatar
        truecarhipsterdouche

        Interesting donk cars….I guess they like reliving time spent cruising around the ‘hood when they were “superpredators” in their youth, as Hillary would say.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No most police vehicles don’t get replaced every 3-4 years, you’ll see lots of older CV’s still coming through the auctions. Right now in my state on PublicSurplus.com there are CVs that are over 10 years old though yes you’ll also see that some are as new as 4-5 years old. Now the one exception are Chargers as many depts decided that they needed those misguided purchases out of their fleet sooner rather than later and have shortened the mile-out time to as little as 60K to save themselves money.

      In most areas around here a detective will be rolling in a Taurus or Impala, they do not have the need for pursuit and if that need arises they will call on a marked unit to back them up.

      As far as the active rear doors that varies for example 90% or more of my state’s state patrol vehicles have active rear doors. They are in the business of revenue enhancement, not transporting perps. If transport is needed they will leave the perp sitting hand cuffed on the side of the road until a transport vehicle arrives. They even order the cloth rear seat instead of vinyl and you won’t find one with an ABS rear seat.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    This is definitely more interesting that the last item in this series that was advising me to buy a Chinese digital torque wrench for my race car.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do love the M-body Gran Fury and Diplomat police cars but those are getting pretty rare.

    Personally I’d love a 70s Nova police car (basically a Camaro with 4 doors the way GM built it) or a RWD 80s Malibu police unit, 350 4 barrel and heavy duty suspension.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d love me a new-ish Holden-built Caprice with the V8.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea if the 6.0L Caprice was available for civilian purchase I’d own one right now.

      I’m still heavily considering the Caprice for my next car but there’s a few issues. The “detective package” has the nicer interior but they are super rare, cost a considerable premium, and went out of production in 2012 IIRC. A lot of the ones I see have questionable mods as well.

      A normal 9C1 has the full-on jailhouse comfort cop-spec interior and likely lived a tough life compared to the average used car. You can swap some parts with the SS, G8, or Commodore to make it more liveable. But, after all that it might be better to just strech to a used SS, G8 GXP, Q70, CTS, or whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      agent534

      I got myself a used 2011 version in Black and White. It was a dealer trade. I was going to paint it one color, but everybody seems to like it, no one looks at it cross, so I’m going to leave it.
      http://www.newcaprice.com has links to auctions and cars for sale ( http://newcaprice.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=31&sid=c1d49222655d440964a489681d8eb843 )
      An Autotrader.com search will show a few for sale.
      Generally, if they sit on the lot too long, the dealer will put some miles on them, and then sell it as a used car. They won’t loose too much, if you look at city contracts for new cop cars, they generally pay around $26k for the Caprice new. 2014 and up have the shifter on the dash (looks like a column shift, but its dash mounted). Before that you have to find a 9C3 detective version to get a G8 style console and shifter.
      I’ve sat in the new SS at the dealer, and the extra rear seat room in the Caprice makes it hands down the better car. I don’t even mind the auto, its a 6 speed, and moves pretty good.
      I can get up to 26 mpg highway, but overall average is just under 20mpg.
      Totally love the car, and recommend it to anyone listening.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Did they ruin every ’74 Monaco in the world during the making of the Blues Brothers? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person outside of a Universal Studios exhibit.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The gas lines in late ’74 really hit sales so there weren’t too many of them to begin with. You needed the 440 engine to get more than 150 hp with a stiff mileage penalty, and when the ’79 gas lines hit, traditionally heavy Chrysler steel fetched a good price at the automotive recycling center.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    No love for the B4C Camaro?

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Those are by far the cleanest composite headlights I’ve ever seen on a late ’80s Caprice.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Somebody either recently replaced all four sealed beams at the same time or polished the clear plastic sheet that covers them (did the last four-headlight Caprices have those or were the sealed beams directly exposed to the elements?).

      @Kenmore- I like the analogy of the rhino head and Caprice passenger compartment. The same is true for the Diplomats.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      I recall paying $125 1990 dollars for a very large sealed beam light for my sister’s work wagon Caprice “B”. It was easily 14 inches wide. The one on the passenger side looks like my memory, not the near ones. Brain fade?

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I want a ’74 Monaco, because it’s got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty cubic inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters, so it’ll run good on regular gas.

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    I hate these cars and think they should all be crushed. I want to pull the driver out and horse-whip them every time I stand on my brakes thinking it’s a real pig. Cop cars should be a unique make and model and nobody else can drive them. I prefer they all drive N/A inline 4s with CVTs that are painted safety orange because they are for our safety and freedom.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      That’s kinda harsh. Anyway, Carbon Motors tried doing the unique police car thing, but nobody was interested.

    • 0 avatar

      I hate the new Explorer interceptors, because there are Explorers all over the place and I never can tell if it’s a cop or a soccer mom.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        The local cops where I grew up ran quite a few Chevy Luminas. Those stuck out like sore thumbs because they were 1) a plain gunmetal blue, and 2) the amber parking lights behind the grille louvers, made them easy to see from far away at night.

        The cops got pretty good service out of them too- because the cars got driven a lot, the rear calipers didn’t seize like some Luminas in normal service did.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        No kidding – I was tailgated in the middle lane at 65 mph by one, and when the soccer mom passed me on the right I was going to middle finger the biyat, byatc, beeyat – the mother, but it was the CHP.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Idea- buy a Charger R/T Scat Pack (or, better yet, Hellcat) and dress it up as a Cop Car. Tint the windows so nobody can see in. Proceed to SEEK AND DESTROY.

  • avatar
    sco

    I don’t see that many cops in actual cars here in No Cal, they’re more likely in SUVs or pick-ups. The latter always baffles me as I’ve never seen a cop towing anything or picking up building materials. I think the decision as to what vehicle the police force buys mostly begins with what vehicle the cops want to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      The decision has a lot to do with fleet discounts too. $$

      Mopar cornered a lot of the cop car market in the 1960s and 1970s because price.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No what the cops want to drive does not factor into the equation. If that was the case then you’d be seeing lots of Chargers and no Utility Interceptors.

      In the case of the CHP the Utility Interceptor was choosen because if it faster, better handling, and gets better MPG than the only other choice that met their specs which was the Tahoe PPV. None of the sedans on the market had the required payload capability which CHP defines as the ability to haul 4 fully outfitted officers and the usual equipment which means a ~1700lb payload rating is the minimum. They also need to be proven to be able to run at a minimum of 120 mph for at least 1 hr continuously.

      So once LA and CHP determined that the Utility Interceptor was in a class by itself that lead to it being the default choice for those depts that can’t afford to do their own testing.

      • 0 avatar

        In my area, we have Dodge troop cars, the Caprice, and a few Crown Vics. I asked one local guy which car he prefered for his shift.

        He thought about it, and said “The Dodge”. The reason ?

        Most comfortable to sit in with full belt and equipment.

        Performance ? All pretty much the same in normal use.

        I’d buy the detective’s car, or the chief’s car, but that is it.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Believe it or not, some states had the gall to ask a bidding dealer to submit a 10% deposit with any bid for their fleets. So, to make maybe a $250 net profit, you would tie up $2000 (per car) for three months, babysit the one or two cars with “special” options for the fleet buyer and the boss, then occupy three or four staff for the day to deliver. The zones I was sent to immediately suspended all of the contingent fleet bids, with the explanation that we couldn’t service their cars in bankruptcy. Never understood government fleet managers as they believed the myth of making it up on volume.

  • avatar
    MQHokie

    WTF is a “Puchase”? Proofread much?

  • avatar
    truecarhipsterdouche

    The 5-0 by me use a combo of new Ford Explorer and Taurus models in AWD.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    I hope all these vehicles are bought by enthusiasts and collectors, but I suspect there are some creeps with various motives for cruising around looking like a cop. For that reason I wish that ex-cop cars were not sold to the public – unless they got a serious civilian “makeover”.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Five-O 5.0 Mustangs came with 10-hole alloy wheels, but were powder-coated black to look “cheap”, so to not offend the tax payer, if not, the ticket payer. No 15X7 steelies existed, with the right offset, etc.

    But I remember captains, or police chiefs had their 5.0s with the bright, machined-finish alloys

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    My town has them driving new Tahoe’s, which is ridiculous in my opinion. A lot of tax dollars are wasted on high end police cruisers when 99% of what they do is just hand out traffic citations. And they also HAVE to have newish ones, we can’t dare have a cop driving a car that’s more than a few years old.

    They should be driving 10+ year old Toyota Camrys.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    No idea why, but there is also a Chevy Lumina police edition. A friend spent a lot of time trying to find a good example of one to fix up as his daily driver. No idea what was special about the police edition of those.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Why? Because at the time of its introduction (or rather, at the time of its original genesis in the mid-’80s), GM firmly believed that cars the size of the Lumina would be the large cars of the future.

      Here’s a copypaste of the specs of the 1995 Lumina police car:

      “The Chevrolet Lumina was restyled in the 1995 model year, with a major suspension upgrade and a more powerful engine.
      There was no 1994 Lumina Police models [sic]. In 1993 Chevrolet had released two police model Luminas, one was a full police package (Lumina 9C3) and one was a police special service package (Lumina B4C) that was first released back in 1992. The retail Lumina was released as an early 1990 model in 1989.

      The 1995 Lumina Police Package was powered by a 3.1 litre V-6 with 160 hp. The Police Package Lumina did not have an electronic speed limiter like regular Luminas and Monte Carlos do. The Police Lumina used the same F41 Sports and Handling suspension that was found on the Chevy Monte Carlo Z34 and Lumina DOHC 3.4 sedan. 1995 was the last year that Ford made the Taurus Police Package, so for 1996 the Chevy Lumina was the only front drive police car available. For 1997 the Lumina was Chevrolet’s only police sedan, the Caprice was out of production after 1996. For the 1998 model year the Lumina finally got a more powerful engine, a 200 hp 3.8 litre V-6. The new engine made the Lumina much better suited for police work. The Lumina gained in popularity with police departments, preparing many departments for the switch to front drive police cars. The 1999 model would be the last year for the Lumina. It was replaced in both the police and retail market by the new 2000 Chevrolet Impala, powered by the same 3.8 litre V-6 engine.”

  • avatar
    sbspence

    I’ve driven the P71, The 00s Impala, the Diplomat, 80s Caprice, early 70s LTDs, 80s Ford E350 Class A ambulances and assorted fire trucks. My favorite was the 80s Caprice! I’d still like to have another one. For me they were the perfect size decent power, mpg was okayish and they were easy to get in and out of not to mention I loved the way they drove. The P71 would be a close second though. As an ex civil servant now on disability I can’t afford many toys ,but, I can always dream!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    There was also a Police version of the last F body generation Camaro. Basically replaced the Fox body Mustangs. Florida Highway Patrol had a fleet of them.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Florida Highway Patrol doesn’t need fast pursuit vehicles, they need regular cars to pull over and ticket left lane slowpokes.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @JimC2 – they have actually been enforcing left lane slow poke laws recently. Have had several friends posting on facebook that they’ve seen FHP cruisers either driving down the left lane clearing out slow vehicles by using the PA to warn drivers to get out or actually pulling over. Apparently a number of the FDOT info boards are also posting warning messages to stay out of the left lane and mentioning the fines that you can get.

        That being said, while we aren’t Texas, there are plenty of highway stretches where the flow of traffic is easily in the 80+ mph range. I can understand them needing good power to merge and join quickly. That’s probably why they’ve gone for Hemi Chargers as the primary vehicle – the best of both worlds.

  • avatar
    brn

    Why does the “buying guide” not include the Ford PI Sedan or Ford PI Utility? They are available on the used market.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    There are a few cop-car Grand Nationals out there. I don’t think there was any special police package for them, but they do exist.

  • avatar

    I need help sourcing the pants seen in the pictures. I can find the top but having a hard time finding the pants. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks, all in advance. https://www.filmsjackets.com/indiana-jones-leather-jacket

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