By on April 25, 2017

[Image: IMCDB]

Never mind muscle cars and sexy Italian exotics. Nothing sparks atrial fibrillation in the hearts of motorists like seeing a black-and-white Ford Interceptor, Dodge Charger or Chevrolet Tahoe parked by the roadside up ahead.

Your chest tightens. Your eyes dart to the speedometer in the hopes of finding a reading that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of “sedate.” More often than not, you suddenly find yourself as the commanding officer in charge of Operation Slow Down Without Brake Lights or Nosedive.

When outfitted with heavy duty components, hidden armament and a healthy does of The Law, a normal sedan you’d never look twice at in the Ponderosa parking lot transforms into the most menacing vehicle on the road. Some do it better than others.

Police package K-cars of the early-to-mid 1980s might not have had the clout (or muscle) of their V8-powered counterparts, but God help you if the driver of one decided you needed to spend some time on ice — assuming, of course, you’re not the “just try and catch me, copper!” type.

In a Slack chat the other day, the TTAC crew wasted no small amount of time arguing what vehicle made the best, most #iconic police cruiser. Naturally, everything went back to the ’70s and ’80s. And yes, discussion of Caprice, Impala, LTD and Crown Victoria models paled in comparison to vehicles cranked out by the almighty Chrysler Corporation.

If you watched television at some point in your life, it seemed that 90 percent of police vehicles in the ’70s bore a Plymouth or Dodge badge. Take your pick: the B-body Coronet, Fury or downsized Monaco. The expansive C-body Polara, Monaco, Royal Monaco and Gran Fury. The short-lived R-body St. Regis and Gran Fury.

[Dmytro Kochetov/Flickr]

At some point, every one of these models landed in a creek bed in pursuit of the Duke boys. It was an era where 360 cubic inches was adequate, but 440 was better.

If your TV show of choice never strayed from the mean streets of New York, it might have been the seemingly indestructible M-body Diplomat and Gran Fury that caught your eye. Smaller than its forebears, tough, and easier to park, these cars had brown vinyl seats galore.

If yours truly — a fan of every old cop movie ever made — had to make a choice, the options boil down to one vehicle; the Dodge Polara, specifically one of the fuselage era. There’s invincibility seemingly baked into the design, and a menacing quality that can’t be ignored. It looks like a predator, but not the reality TV kind. No, the hulking, I’m-going-to-pounce-on-that-wildebeest-at-the-mud-hole kind.

The full-size Polara never looked better than it did in 1971. In pursuit guise, a 440 cubic-inch V8 making 370 (gross) horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque sat under the hood, mated to a bulletproof three-speed Torqueflite automatic. If need be, it seemed the Polara stood a good chance of successfully demolishing a house.

Newer police cars treat their occupants better, provide more cargo space, offer (in some cases) all- or four-wheel drive, and give some thought to the environment. Still, it just seems there’s something lacking. Would you rather watch a car chase between a fleeing perp and a Tahoe, or something a little more retro?

Okay, over to you, Best and Brightest. In your mind, what is the cop car? What specific model would you consider the pinnacle of police perfection?

[Images: imcdb.org; Dmytro Kochetov/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

166 Comments on “QOTD: What Police Car Did It Best?...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do feel that the box Panther was a more menacing police car than the areo Panthers.

    Momma Mopar seemed to do it right from a police car standpoint right up until the Diplomat and Gran Fury were canceled.

    Having said that I’d love an early 80s G-body Malibu with the police 350, 4 barrel, and all the other heavy duty goodies.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    The Saab 9000, obviously. Like in Dumb and Dumber.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      CHP almost switched to S70s per Junknopik:

      http://jalopnik.com/5959429/how-the-california-highway-patrol-swapped-crown-vics-for-volvos–almost

      This however is the best:

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/70/4b/74/704b74360a0ad325f25bd2933915cc19.jpg

      Here’s another one.

      http://pics.imcdb.org/0is143/volvo74019902bh5.3528.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Years ago, IIRC, Tennessee Highway Patrol was going to be offered a few BMW 5-Series, but the deal fell through when they were expected to wear Roundels on their uniform (have to go back and look that one up to make sure).

        Of course, in some Middle Eastern countries (Dubai), the local police cruise around in plebian runabouts…like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        From what I understand they wanted to use S70s, but volvo was canning them at that point “No! You use Station wagon! V70!”, the fuzz didnt like being in wagons, I’m sure they’d love a near constant CEL light too.

        Turbo 240s/740s Were used briefly, quick but not as hardy as the domestic V8s of the time. Still, they were decent if more expensive, and of course politicians snarled at the idea of a foreign cop car.

        Likewise, back in Sweden they were using Aspens, Valiants, stuff like that back when they were new. Seemd off when they had the native Volvo 100 at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You laugh, Corey, but Vail, CO had 9-5s as police cars for real.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I now question the government of Vail.

      • 0 avatar
        PhilMills

        Aspen had Volvo wagons / SUVs when I was through there about a decade past.

        • 0 avatar
          CaddyDaddy

          In Vail, when Village police as they call them selves, were in hot pursuit of a wayward Trustafarian coke head who wanted to see what their dad’s 911 would do, the town Cops would call in the CSP who’s 94 – 96 LT-1 B Boides would make short order of the situation before the top of Vail pass. The Village cops would show up about 2 minutes later in their Volvos or Saabs to haul the perp off to Eagle County lock-up.

          Most CSP guys I know always said the Caprices were just flat out hot! Panther’s were newer, but just would not get up and scoot over the mountains.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    I got no problems with cop cars; I know most of the older cops around here and I drive slowly through foreign wastelands like Illinoiss.

    Among the myriad things on our highways and byways that cause my stress hormones to squirt, cop cars are not.

  • avatar
    John R

    The current “Caprice”. The cats out the bag with Panthers and Chargers and those who aren’t automotive cognoscenti can’t tell the difference between this and the SS from the Malibu or Impala. What’s more the the dynamic fundamentals are there.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    “It’s got a cop motor, a 440-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.”

    Actually just a 1974 Dodge Monaco.The license plate of the Bluesmobile is Aykroyd’s homage to a defunct local ‘motorcycle’ group.

    Although in Toronto it was Plymouth Fury’s, painted an iconic yellow (Big Yellow Taxi).

    As an aside an currently listening to Elvis singing a ‘mash-up’ of The Battle Hymn of the Republic/Dixie, something that I have not heard in years but which came on the demo 8-Track tape for the Quadrophonic sound system standard in 1976 Pucci edition Mark IV’s. Still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand-up.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Learn something new everyday!
      Never knew the “Big Yellow Taxi” Joni Mitchell was referring to in her seminal song was a police car.
      Thanks, Arthur!

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Reminds me of the Faygo TV commercials with Alex Karras. Alex enjoyed a large diet Faygo with his pizza. When asked if this was not counterproductive, Alex would reply “they don’t make diet pizza”.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Blackcloud: That’s the story and interpretation here in Ontario, where Joni got her start in Yorkville at the Riverboat. Neil Young, Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn and Murray Mclaughlan also played the Riverboat, as well as Dylan, Phil Ochs, the Chapin brothers and many others. Rick James also stayed and played in Yorkville.

        When Dylan sang it, he changed the lyrics from ‘big yellow taxi’ to something else. Presumably because he did not understand the significance/meaning.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          I totally never knew BYT referenced a police car, Don’t think I’ve ever seen a yellow police car in the States (or Montreal).

          I only recently learned that Neil Young and Rick James were once roommates, and also played in a band together and made a record.

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      I grew up in Chatham, Ontario and my dad was an OPP for 30 years. Back in the 70s and 80s, many municipalities in Ontario (and possibly the rest of the country) used yellow as a police cruiser colour (with the notable exception of the OPP, who stuck with some variation of black and white). Chatham, London, Toronto, Barrie, etc., all used yellow cars. For whatever reason, yellow fell out of favour around 1985. My favourite cruiser of my youth was the 1976-78 C-body Plymouth Gran Fury. Those cars had presence, and the heat thrown off by that idling 400 or 440 V8 was enough to melt your shoes. Those cars were often parked in our driveway when I was a kid when Dad was home for meal breaks.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @TCCragg: the public reason given for the change in Toronto was that the cost of the special order yellow paint was too expensive.

        Changed to a white colour. OPP went back to black and whiten, when Fantino was the Commissioner.

        Now after a public backlash when they tried to go with a stealth grey colour the Toronto Police are holding a public survey for which colour then should change to. Unfortunately yellow is not one of the choices provided.

        • 0 avatar
          sutherland555

          Those grey cruisers are sneaky and blend right in. I’ve driven (safely)right by them and only noticed them at the last possible moment. I’m glad they were forced to reconsider the colour scheme. Personally, I’m Ok with the current white with blue and red lettering.

        • 0 avatar
          TCragg

          My dad was not a fan of the white OPP cruisers, or when they replaced the red stripes on the trousers with blue. Interesting to note, however, that back when he joined the force in 1964, OPP highway patrol cars were white with black hoods, and non-highway cars were black and white. In the late 60’s, all of the cars went with the black and white scheme until 1991. As you mentioned Julian Fantino reintroduced the black-and-whites in 2007, much to my father’s delight.

      • 0 avatar
        azfelix

        TCragg,

        Your mention of yellow police cars sends me back to my youthful days as a Chathamite. Do you recall the lavender taxi cabs?

        And yes, the Plymouth Fury looked the best.

        • 0 avatar
          TCragg

          I do not remember lavender taxis. I do remember that there were only two cab companies in Chatham, Radio Cab and Courtesy Cab. My knowledge of police cruisers is far better than that of taxis. I remember Chatham city police using mainly C and R-body Plymouth Gran Furys/Caravelles with a few Panther Crown Vics and B-body Bel Airs thrown in before the change to blue and white around 1985 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      TomHend

      Wait a second, Big Yellow Taxi is a cop car that Joni Mitchell sang about?

    • 0 avatar
      DrGroove_phd

      Child of the 80s here, so yes, a series of ’78 Dodge Fury/Coronet/Monaco wrecking themselves in piles was How American Cop Cars Are.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    The best cop cars (for cops) were the 1977-79 Chevy Impalas with 350 4bbl and the 9C1 police package.

    In NYC/Long Island, we had the Plymouth Fury/Dodge Monacos, and Volare/Aspens. I suspect they were the cheapest. Good cop cars.

    Now the best is the Crown Vic, but they are old. Before GM pulled the plug on the Caprice in 1995, that was the best cop car.

    The current “new” Caprice is the best car, followed by a Dodge Charger. But the older cars were simpler. Solid rear axles and frames hold up better, IMO.

    Good cop car = quick sedan (V8) with DECENT handling (that rules out SUVs) and room (that means a big American car)

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Those Mopars you mention were unibody.

      I have no axe to grind against body-on-frame designs–one of my favorite road trips was in a rental Town Car–but the notion that police cars need to be BOF is primarily a rationalization dreamt up when people started to feel sentimental about Crown Vics.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    ’71-72 Ford Galaxie

    youtu.be/Y03zBX_q4TM

    Loved to see those big BOF beasts thrashed in the desert.

    Aggressive front ends with those sunken in lights and almost a shark nose or something in the middle.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Ironically, most current TV cop cars are Dodges too. FCA does a ton of product placement.

    However, the crown of Most Iconic Cop Car can only go to one vehicle, and that’s the Crown Vic.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Most Iconic Cop Car can only go to one vehicle, and that’s the Crown Vic.”

      I agree. When my #2 son was CHiP, that’s what he drove. And he put tons of miles on it, with only regularly scheduled maintenance.

      My grandson’s wife is currently a CHiP and she drives…… an Explorer! Before that she had an AWD Tahoe.

      My #3 son is a supervisory Border Patrol Agent and he drives an AWD Tahoe.

      All of these cop cars can do the job, but nothing beats the Crown Vic for on-road comfort.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Minor point, but AWD is not available on the Tahoe. RWD/4WD only – the AWD is reserved for the Denali and Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Corey, the Border Patrol version of the Tahoe has AWD. You are confusing civilian version vehicles with police version vehicles.

          The Border Patrol spends a lot of time off-road and doesn’t have the luxury of engaging/disengaging a manual 4WD system when in pursuit.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Huh, didn’t know that. Is the auto-select 4WD not good enough?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Corey I’m almost 100% sure you’re right.

            It has the standard Chevy Tahoe system which includes a “4wd Auto” that gives the functionality HDC is talking about

            “The pursuit-capable Tahoe PPV and the special-service package Tahoe 5W4 use exactly the same 4WD drivetrain, hardware and software. The 4WD system on the police package Tahoe PPV is not new. It has been used on the special-service package 4WD Tahoe 5W4 for a decade. It has also been used on hundreds of thousands (some company officials estimate over a million) of retail Chevrolet Tahoes and Silverados and GMC Yukons and Sierras.
            The police-package and special-service package Tahoe both use a truck-based 4WD system. The transfer case in AUTO mode works very similar to a car-based AWD system. They both activate a clutch to send torque to a second axle either when slip occurs or pre-emptively when slip is anticipated.
            The main distinction between this truck-based system and a car-based system is in the transfer case operation. This truck transfer case has a 2HI, AUTO, 4HI and 4LO. The 4HI and 4LO are available modes that allow the Tahoe to navigate off-road conditions that a standard AWD system cannot.

            The 4WD system manages the clutch pressure to divide the torque between the front and rear axles. A clutch pack in the transfer case applies progressively more or less pressure to send progressively more or less torque to the front wheels. In AUTO, it is always partly ON (engaged) and never fully OFF (disengaged).
            In AUTO mode, the front axle is always engaged so the clutch in the transfer case is ready to immediately send torque to the front axle. It is easier on the driveline to remain partially engaged rather than to have the mechanical and hydraulic stress of a sudden engagement or a sudden disengagement throughout the life of the system.
            Driving in AUTO mode affects the fuel economy because the front axle is engaged all the time. It is the drag from the spinning front axle that reduces the fuel economy in AUTO mode by about ½-mpg. In 2HI mode, the 4WD system disconnects, or completely disengages, the front axle for improved fuel economy. With the option of selecting 2HI, the Tahoe achieves the maximum fuel economy since the front axle and driveshaft are disconnected from the drivetrain. Otherwise, the system is always engaged, i.e., the driveshafts to both axles are always spinning.

            Driver’s Actions
            The AUTO system sends a constantly varying amount of torque to the front axle, as dictated by the driver’s actions, and based on many inputs. The system’s primary inputs are throttle position, throttle acceleration, engine rpm, trans gear state, lateral acceleration, and steering wheel angle.
            Simply put, the sensors and software for the ABS, traction control, and stability control are all involved in the AUTO system. During lower speed maneuvers with high steering input, the system also provides slip correction during aggressive cornering.
            For all practical purposes, if the rear wheels ever turn faster than the front wheels, the AUTO system increases transfer clutch pressure to send more torque to the front axle. As the rear wheels begin to turn at speeds closer the front wheels, the clutch pressure is reduced to send less torque to the front axle.
            At full throttle and lower speeds, about one-half of the engine’s torque can be sent to the front wheels, while at full throttle and higher speeds, about one quarter of the engine’s torque can be sent to the front wheels. That is, the AUTO mode defaults nearly all the power to the rear axle, but can put vary up to one-half the torque to the front axle or any combination in between, monitored many times a second.”

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I am relieved to be correct!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HDC – Can you tell the story about your son quitting the CHP?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, It is not relevant to this board and someone would be offended.

            But the short story is that he got a better job offer, a GS12 offer at the MCRD in San Diego.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HDC – Thanks, good point! I’m sure there’s lots of regulars here that are cops but don’t dare admit it!!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, exactly right, since my son was a regular on this board for many, many years.

            Most highway cops just want to do their job, the ones they were trained for at the Academy, without undue pressure of behind-the-scenes top-down politics.

            But like I told him, life is a journey. Take advantage of what comes along during that journey and what is offered to you, and then be the best you can be at the job you chose to do.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HDC – Thanks again, but can you tell the story why your son quit commenting here?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, he lost interest in ttac, like the other nine commenters I knew personally who were on ttac with me since Robert Farago, and later during the Niedermeyers.

            Not to mention several others who were also auto business-related acquaintances from GM, Toyota, or Cal Worthington’s old haunt where my brother got started in the auto retail business way back when with elephants and the dog&pony ads. LOL!

            Remember that guy who did that Las Vegas, NV, auto dealership show on TV? It dealt with the drama on the sales floor and it was (heavily edited) but for real. He was also on ttac.

            Things change. Times change. Readership changes. Participation changes.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “All of these cop cars can do the job, but nothing beats the Crown Vic for on-road comfort”

        I can’t imagine the crown vic’s poor seating ergonomics being more comfortable than the Explorer, or Charger, or Tahoe for that matter. They don’t ride any better either, especially with the cop-spec 1 inch taller and stiffer springs.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The cop’s version of the Crown Vic had special seats, designed for extended seat-time.

          Plus, they were infinitely adjustable.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            That would make sense. I test drove a “civilian” Grand Marquis once, high on the Panther platform mythology I read online and was severely disappointed. The ride was wholly unremarkable in terms of “smothering” the road, and the split bench was too low to the ground, the floorboard to close to my feet (non telescoping steering column of course).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            There are a number of differences between run-of-the-mill civilian-market vehicles, and those designed for specialty use like cops, firechiefs, CBP, sheriff, indian-reservation patrol, military, etc.

            The way it works, the buying agency lets out a Request for Bids on specced-out vehicles, like Police Pkg, or other special requirements,and publishes it in the Commerce Business Daily, or similar.

            Anyone can bid but so far only Ford, GM and Fiatsler have been getting the Awards (for cop cars).

            AmGen, FWD and other specialty-vehicle manufacturers, like for Dune Buggies, ATVs and dirt-bikes for the military, follow pretty much the same process, and NONE of those are available to the civilian market in that guise.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…the split bench was too low to the ground, the floorboard to close to my feet…”

            Are we still talking about the Tacoma?? Any fullsize sedan with a full frame guarantees a high floor, but when lounging on a recliner, do you prefer your feet straight out? Or down?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Are we still talking about the Tacoma?? Any fullsize sedan with a full frame guarantees a high floor, but when lounging on a recliner, do you prefer your feet straight out? Or down?”

            The problem was that they were straight out but there was not enough room for them to stick out before they hit where the floorboard kicks up to the firewall, and I don’t think of myself as having particularly long legs. I have an older 4Runner with the same sort of low to the floor seating, but it manages to be much more ergonomically sound by way of bucket seats that I can raise the front of the cushion for more thigh support, and apparently a longer steering column(?)

          • 0 avatar
            OzCop

            Maybe in later years, but the early Crown Vics had terrible seats, and fore and aft adjustment only…

            The heavy duty vinyl covered seats in the Dodges and Plymouths were hot, and slick, but thickly padded and more comfortable in my opinion…at least back when all they offered were bench seats.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      The Most Iconic Cap Car of all time IMHO is completely dependent on when you first learned to watch for police cars when you were young and dumb. For me, ya it’s crown vics. For my son who is 15 it’s Chargers with a side of blacked out Ford Explorers, Chevy Tahoes. I do hate that the police use ‘whatever’ now instead of sticking to something. I bet my Dad would say the Polara.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    As a B-body fanatic – the square body Caprices of the late 70s/and the 80s are some of my fav cop cars. They looked especially good in black and white. See the second Terminator movie for examples (being blown up).

    Growing up, it was the Dodge Diplomat that was used most around here. Poor cops had to deal with teenagers in muscle cars.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      “We got a war zone here!” A dozen square Caprices suddenly filled with a gajillion 7.62mm holes, but casualty count: 0.0.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I loved those Diplomats and ‘Gran Fury’ police cars, since they allowed me to go through my fearless and selfish teen years without ever being caught in a ‘high’ speed pursuit situation. I wasn’t rocking a muscle car either.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I cannot disagree. The Fuselage cars reached their pinnacle in 1971 and the Polara was my favorite. Going back in time a bit, the ’68 Belvedere as featured in Adam-12 was also a contender, especially if equipped with a big-block engine. I never bought into Fords as police cars because of their poor handling and steering and their generally lackluster engines. GM didn’t seem to be much of a contender back in that era.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    The Volvo 240 Police Package. Yes, it was a real thing. And yes, they were the squad cars adopted by my hometown in the mid-80s.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Addison, Texas? I remember when they drove those. They also later had some W-Body (ninth-gen) Bonnevilles.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Any FWD Bonneville was H-body.

        H > W

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          Oh yeah. Kinda confusing, because Vega and Astre were H-Bodies (HV), along with the Monza/Skyhawk/Sunbird/Starfire (HM/HR).

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Yes there was much alphabet shuffling going on at GM in the 80s. A body became G body so that the A body moniker could be slapped on the Celebrity/Century/Cutlass Ciera/6000, which was really an improved and lengthened X body…

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Addison did have Volvo police cars back in the 1980s.
        http://www.addisonmagazine.com/2014/12/throwback-thursday-addison-fire-and-police-departments/
        I never saw the Volvo police cars in person, but I do remember seeing Addison using Dodge Durango SUVs back when all other Dallas area police departments used large American sedans.
        http://www.policecarwebsite.net/fc/rwcar4b/4b/addison.html

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The V-8 Interceptor!

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m not really old enough to remember the Mopar or Caprice heyday so I’ll go with the Crown Victoria.

    Those P71 cars held mythical abilites to dipsh*t middle & high school students of the late 90s/ early 00s (at least they did at my school).

    I’ll also say the police Harley-Davidsons with the T1000 clone behind the handlebars are quite intimidating.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    “Shamu” AKA the’90s Caprice TJ taxi.

  • avatar
    xidex

    SVO mustang !

  • avatar
    jfbar167

    1985 Fox Mustang LX 5.0 coupe (FL Highway Patrol)

  • avatar
    duffman13

    My uncle has been a cop in the greater Boston area for almost 30 years. In his opinion, there was no better cop car than the 5.7 LT1 powered Caprice of the mid-90s. He has said he would have it back tomorrow if they would let him.

    He also swears by a .40 instead of a 9mm because it’s easier to send through a windshield if you really need to, and can still be fired quickly unlike a .45. He’s worked some pretty rough beats over the years, including the finish line at the marathon when it got attacked, so I’m inclined to respect his opinion on these matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      The ’90s 9C1 Caprice just screamed “cop car”. With the lights, it just *looked* right.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Didn’t they have a lot of issues with the brakes?

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        Brake issues on Caprices. None. 9C1 has 4 wheel discs and trailer towing equipped have massive rear drums.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          I was thinking the PI edition. I recall that the brakes would overheat when driven in a pursuit.

          • 0 avatar
            OzCop

            The brake problems I recall from the early 90s 9C1 cars was really not a brake problem. It was actually lack of training on proper operation of those first cop cars equipped with ABS brakes. Most really did not understand the ABS kick-back and during hard braking would attempt to modulate the pedal as learned on pre-ABS cars, and cause the computer confusion that lead to overheating of brakes. As fleet commander and police driving instructor, I wrote an ABS training module as part of our driver training program after an Indiana State Trooper was killed in a car wreck that was blamed on brakes on his new 9 C 1 unit.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    What the heck is the average age on this site? Didn’t any of you watch Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford and his iconic black and white Buicks? 10-4.

    Hope that the link to images of these cars shows up.

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=highway+patrol+tv+series+cars&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJnJnY-L_TAhVrwYMKHf_jBVUQ7AkIOw&biw=985&bih=656#spf=1

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Gawd, a two door cop car. That was a thing?

      • 0 avatar
        TCragg

        The Ontario Provincial Police used a lot of 2-door cars until the early 70’s, where the switched almost exclusively to 4-doors.

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CKCPrA-UkAEREWI.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        California had some 5.0 Mustang notchback cop cars in the ’80s

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        My first cop car was a 65 Ford Galaxy 2 door, 390 engine with solid lifters, and 3 speed automatic. If I were to select a police car that had it all in terms of power and handling, and an intimidation factor, that would be the car…it had a lower stance than the normal Galaxy with stiffer springs and anti roll bars. It was indeed a great handling car. I worked a rural area though, and often had to call for assistance to haul more than one perp to the holdover.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Didn’t any of you watch Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford..”

      The show aired from ’55-’59 so I mostly remember it from reruns. As a preschooler I was much more impressed with Sky King.

    • 0 avatar
      Salzigtal

      The Keystone Cops are available thanks to their transfer to Safety Film. Not sure if the originals were silver nitrate, but that’s my story and I’m sticking’ to it.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Steph, what movie is the lede photo from?

    http://pics.imcdb.org/12851/snap546.4.jpg

    I was trying to work backwards from the photo to find the movie (like using the movie number (12851), but didn’t have any luck.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m getting a strong “Sugarland Express” feel.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      IMCDb.org: 1972 Dodge Polara in “Gone in 60 Seconds, 1974”

      Right click on any image, and select “search Google for image.”

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Facts are inconvenient. Guessing is way more fun.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Ah, thanks. The movie ID threw me off – the picture is from the user comments on another picture, so it doesn’t follow the same path. Gone in 60 Seconds was my first guess, but the movie ID (71571) didn’t match the 12851 from the picture, so I discarded it.

      • 0 avatar
        cls12vg30

        I had a feeling that was it as soon as I saw it. The original Gone in 60 Seconds was the first movie I ever owned on DVD. It was a revelation to be able to instantly skip through the painful first hour of the movie and get right to the beginning of the chase. No more stop-and-go fast-forwarding through the tape to get to the good stuff. That movie was perfectly suited to DVD.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    I liked the Crown Vic’s. You can spot them a mile away. No other car has that shape.

    For a few years in the ’80’s, Minnesota State Patrol had some Mustang GT’s. By todays standards they may be a bit slow, but compared to other ’80’s cars they were fast.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    “… you suddenly find yourself as the commanding officer in charge of Operation Slow Down Without Brake Lights or Nosedive.”

    Which is pointless since if you can see the cop/trooper s/he got you on radar/lidar a half-mile ago.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I always though the cops liked to see a little reaction since A) it shows you are paying attention as a driver and B) it shows the proper amount of submission to their power which assuages their egos.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        S2k that’s always been my take on it as well, and has worked out so far.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        I knew some cops that had that exact attitude. When working speed traps, they’d make sure they were clearly visible. If nighttime, they’d make sure their parking lights were also on. If someone saw them and slowed down, they were paying attention and not a threat on the road. If they blew by them, they weren’t paying attention and needed to be reminded.

  • avatar
    matador

    1969 Dodge Polara with a 440. 375 HP, and a 6.3 second 0-60, and they could push 150MPH. You want fast, that’s the answer.

    • 0 avatar
      55_wrench

      Santa Clara County (Ca) sheriffs had those back in the day. Metallic green and white, with dual exhausts sticking straight out the back.
      When one came up the street, the exhaust burble out of that 440 was unmistakable.

      At the same time San Jose was poking along with AMC Matador sedans….not near as intimidating.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Most NON-menacing police car of all time?

    Any police car driven by Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      “Any police car driven by Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane.”

      The original funny one? Or the maniacal glove-obsessed one?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m going to disagree with you here, Dan – ol’ Roscoe drove a Plymouth Fury, which was the ride of the St. Louis County Police back in the days when I began driving. I was menaced by them all the damn time.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @napaladin – the original of course. My only acknowledgement of the “other one” would be a Google Image search of Jessica Simpson – which I can neither confirm or deny.

        @FreedMike – what I’m saying is that by Roscoe getting behind the wheel the menacing factor is automatically divided by 10.

        I assume that you weren’t actually being pursued by the Hazard County Sheriff in your teenage years?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          My nemesis was Officer Massicks (sp?), the only black man in west St. Louis county whose paycheck didn’t read “St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Club.”

          He pulled me over. Every. F**king. Weekend. Knew my car and everything. He confiscated enough toilet paper (yes, we went on tee-pee missions) to supply his family until the year 2021.

          But thankfully, he never pulled me over with beer or weed in the car.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    When I was in high school in the mid-late 70’s, my school newspaper published a poster of all the local police cars to facilitate identification. Each car was shown front, profile and tail for about six different local police forces. The local constabulary were none too pleased but we high-schoolers sure appreciated it. At that time, my town, Upland, CA were driving ’74 Gran Torinos. The large parking lights made for easy identification day or night.
    Now, why would high-schoolers of that era be interested what kind of car might be following them…hmmmm…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Back in the ’70s, Car and Driver ran a feature showing all 50 states’ highway patrol cars, complete with make, model and markings. I recall it ran under the banner of “know your enemy.”

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Yes, I remember that. Back when they were doing radar detector shootouts. I remember a comment made about one of the Whistler detectors, which did poorly in a test: “Whistles Dixie”.

      • 0 avatar
        cls12vg30

        Yeah there was a whole different attitude toward the police back in the bad old days of the double-nickel. It’s why movies like Cannonball Run and Smokey & the Bandit were so popular.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    The quintessential cop car is a Crown Vic for anyone born in the last 30-40 years or so.

    But the coolest has to be the Fox-body notchbacks used by CHP and others.

  • avatar
    gasser

    1950s Buicks with the gumball on top, driven by Broderick Crawford in the TV series “Highway Patrol”!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      YAAAAAAAAS!

      Great, now that theme music is stuck in my head.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Gasser: agree but I posted it earlier!

        Toronto Police drove Fury’s in the early to mid 70’s. They were easily identifiable from afar by their unique front ‘running’ lights. The ability to identify them, saved us many an embarrassing incident.

        When The Old Man was transferred from kick start Police Harley’s to ‘patrol/squad/scout cars, his was a ’57 Chev.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    One of my favs was the ’76-’77 Pontiac Le Mans Police Enforcer with the 400:

    http://www.pontiacsonline.com/PD%201977_Enforcer.jpg

    and the first 9C1 Nova:

    https://msu.edu/~bellr/B&W%20from%20%2777%20brochure.jpg

  • avatar
    SteveRenwick

    It was a state cop in a full-size Dodge or Plymouth that pulled over my high-school buddy Mike on the Maine Turnpike at 110 mph. So I agree with Steph.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    In the summer of 1981, I rented a Coronet former police car from a small town dealer. It was a pretty good ride compared to what Hertz, Avis, etc. offered at the time. Steering was tight and accurate, suspension was firm without rattling my teeth and it had enough power to pass everything but a gas station.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    FIRST to nominate the AMC Matador! Preferably with the 401 V8.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Growing up in 1960s in the inner suburb of STL, Jennings, Mo., our police force was bent on little else than cruising around town in their mid-60s Dodges, harassing teenagers whether they were in a car or not. Andy and Barney would have felt not all that far from home.

    When I went in the USAF and was stationed in Nocal, it was a much different story. The CHP had to be the best, most professional police force I had ever seen, and their black & white cars were tops. Dodge Polaras with massive push bars on the front and rear, 440 engines and all.

    Those cars were built for war, it seemed, and I didn’t want to mess with those guys – or their cars!

    Any other type of car used for police forces just didn’t impress me after that.

  • avatar
    countymountie

    The 1994-1996 LT1 Caprice was incredible. Fast, good handling, and tons of room, at least up front. The rounded shape gave a ton of shoulder room, felt like the B-pilllar was in another time zone. Got mine up to 140mph once but it was a downhill stretch and that was all the car had in it but still rather impressive for having 187k on the clock. Biggest downside was the cooling system. It could be a bitch to bleed out air pockets and the cars would overheat at times.

    Crown Vics were ok but they were stones. The one that replaced my Caprice was good for 126mph all in and if you ever had to lift, you would never get that speed back. The biggest advantage to a Crown Vic was reliability. Couldn’t kill a 4.6 even if it was slow. The later ones improved performance but they were never an LT1. I hated the handling of a Crown Vic, especially the way the tail would kick out going from pavement to dirt. Caprices never had that issue that I observed. Fords also had a great trunk with that deep well. Caprice trunks weren’t as good in that respect.

    Newer cop cars are great handlers and performers but too small until you get into a Tahoe. A Taurus B pillar may as well be part of you and the door opening is way too small. Chargers are adequate but still cramped. 5.7 hemis and the 3.5EB sure do scoot though. Like a kiss, a girlfriend and everything else, you never forget your first and nostalgia takes over from there. I’m surprised the late 70s Nova hasn’t been bragged about yet.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “especially the way the tail would kick out going from pavement to dirt. Caprices never had that issue that I observed.”

      Did your P71s have the Trac-lok differential and did the Caprice have the G80 LSD?

    • 0 avatar
      mankyman

      Yeah, but the performance difference between the later CVPIs and the Caprices is pretty small. If you put in 3.55 gears on the CVPI, it was pretty much as fast as a Caprice. Sure, not the same top end, but how many of us do 110 mph+ freeway runs? Of course, civilian Crown Vics are another matter entirely. Poor acceleration, terrible handling, etc.

      I can’t speak to the handling of the Caprices, but my CVPI handles a lot better than one would expect from a 4100 pound BOF car. I swapped differentials from a LSD to an open and I find handling is much worse.

    • 0 avatar
      OzCop

      We purchased 10 of those 350 Novas, and all went to our Traffic Division, and were unmarked. Others in Traffic, unmarked as well, were 360 Aspens and Volares…All Aspens and Volares had the computer ignition systems replaced with Accel distributors, and intakes/carbs were replace with Holly units, including 350 Holly carbs. Reason being, you could seldom pull away and accelerate hard in those cars without the engine dying. Chrysler reps did not have a fix for the problem. They were worse on fuel economy than our 460 Fords and 400 Plymouths. Removing the factory pieces really opened those cars up, and they were were quicker accelerating and faster top end than the Novas…but they had terrible front end steering and suspension reliability…

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Fullsize C-body Plymouth Fury.

  • avatar
    skor

    I grew up in North Jersey just outside of NYC, and started driving in the early 80s. At that time the NYPD switched to the Dodge Diplomat, painted in a NYPD white/baby-blue color scheme, which was supposed to make the police look less menacing. NYC was still recovering from the municipal financial meltdown of the 70s, most of the cars were beat to hell, repaired just enough to get them back to patrol duty, and usually dirty as well. Talk about scary.

    In the late 80s, early 90s, the NYPD siezed a number of Fox Body Mustang GT’s used in various crimes. A few of these cars were pressed into service with the NYPD highway patrol unit. I saw one of these on patrol, and yes, it was quite intimidating looking.

    http://shnack.com/gallery/13/medium/0408mm_big_25_z.jpg

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    k car cop cars!
    http://www.imcdb.org/i252446.jpg

  • avatar
    George B

    The 2011-2014 Dodge Charger just looks angry and menacing. I think it looks great in black and white. http://www.allpar.com/squads/police-cars/dodge-charger.html

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Before the later Panthers turned into relics, they looked the business. Washington State Patrol had a few unmarked aero-Panthers in dark colors (the ones that stick out in my mind are dark red, dark blue, and gray) with dark windows all around including the windshield. Some had full wheel covers, others had steelies with trim rings, and they were always immaculate. Despite being “unmarked” they were clearly intended to show police presence, with spotlights, a thicket of antennas, and sometimes roof-mounted mobile radar units. They wouldn’t look like much today but circa 1994 they were a bit terrifying.

  • avatar
    SirRaoulDuke

    Menacing? The old Jefferson County (KY) Police (now replaced by Louisville Metro PD, after the city/county government merger) had a few black Grand Nationals back in the day. One of those parked on the shoulder of one of the local highways made my heart stop every time. Same as the FBI Grand Nationals, these had a 145 mph speedometer and the 124 mph limiter removed. It is also rumored that FBI chip gave a little more power.

    Anyway, all black, faster than anything else on the road outside of a new Corvette or exotics, yeah those put the fear into me.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    I once read that in the early 1980s, Ford provided some Lincoln Town Cars and Mark VIs to the City of Dearborn to be used as police cars. The cars even had the police markings.

    • 0 avatar
      jf1979

      Having grown up in Dearborn I certainly remember a couple of the early nineties Taurus based Continentals mixed in with the regular cars. Having worked at a GM store that was next to the East Dearborn Ford dealership that performed the work on the police vehicles, that was above the scope of the DPW garage, I learned that at any given time there were several vehicles on loan to Dearborn police that had hoods that were bolted shut etc, for real world durability testing.

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    I’m gonna vote for the Mustang SSP.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would have to say the neatest cop cars that I remember were the late 60’s Plymouth Belvedere and Dodge Cornets that the Texas Department of Public Safety used with either a 440 or other big block Mopar. I remember there was not too much that could outrun them and in a plain pillared sedan form they were not anything to snicker at. They would outrun many a muscle car from that era and they were really good revenue producers. I got real use to looking for them when I got my driver’s license.

    @Arthur Dailey–I remember Highway Patrol with Roderick Crawford and the Buick police cars. Weren’t there also some Mercuries as well. Highway Patrol was a favorite of my older brother as well as 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, the Fugitive, and the Untouchables.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @JeffS: Your brother had impeccable taste. 77 Sunset Strip had a great convertible T-Bird and some ‘snazzy’ jazz. Maverick starred Jimmy Garner. The Untouchables had a great theme song and lots of violence.

      Would also have to mention; M Squad starring Lee Marvin and The Detectives starring Robert Taylor and some of the finest chrome and tailfinned Detroit iron you will ever see on the screen.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    typo meant Broderick not Roderick. Broderick Crawford was an alcoholic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broderick_Crawford

    “Crawford’s heavy drinking increased during the filming of Highway Patrol, eventually resulting in several arrests and stops for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), which eventually gained him a suspended driving license.[5] While representing the California Highway Patrol as “Chief Mathews”, Crawford was known with considerable embarrassment by the CHP as “Old 502” due to his habit of driving under the influence of alcohol (“Code 502” was the CHP police radio code for drunken driving). According to the show’s creator, Guy Daniels, “We got all the dialogue in by noon, or else we wouldn’t get it done at all. He [Crawford] would bribe people to bring him booze on the set.” The show used their CHP technical advisor, Officer Frank Runyon, to keep the actor sober: “I was told to keep that son of a bitch away from a bottle. I think his license was suspended. Some scenes had to be shot on private roads so that Brod could drive.” Eventually the drinking strained the show’s relationship with the CHP as well as Crawford’s relationship with ZIV.”

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    The Motorway patrol cars in the West Midlands (UK) are Jaguar XF’s with the high performance diesel. They replaced BMW’s and the police seem very happy with them. More comfortable and lower running costs.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Sorry, it has to be the mid 1970’s Dodge Coronet/Monaco or Plymouth Fury. It was EVERYWHERE on TV. A close second would be the bubble body Crown Victoria.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    OK, I’ll submit one for the old guys…

    The 1959 Dodge Coronet cruiser

    http://www.dailyturismo.com/2014/08/10k-ex-chp-cruiser-1959-dodge-coronet-2.html

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    The 2 in the lead picture look great.

    If it’s all about speed in a factory built police package, I would think the 2002 B4c Camaro would be a strong contender.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Here’s a link to a 1961 Dodge Polara CHIP police car fully restored on Jay Leno’s Garage.

  • avatar
    A4kev

    Ah you guys missed the fun stuff.Back in the late 60’s we had a toll road ,the eastern township’s autoroute in Quebec.They had a private police force and ran Torinos with 428 “thunderjets” under the hood.My buddy and I were in a 79 AMX 390 and thought we’d be clever and leave them behind.Hah! They had us within 2 miles.$$$
    Nowadays I find nothing more intimidating than the current Hemi Chargers with AWD.They have the look and the stance.Never taken one on.Guess I’m just an old pussy.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    A not common selection: When I lived in Southern California, the CHP still had some 4th gen Camaros with the Special Service Package B4C set up in the fleet.

    It was basically a Z28 with the racing and handling package of the special 1LE option list. And some of them didn’t have light bars on top.

    Yes, sure, the Camaro wasn’t some pure handling sports car. But highway patrol cars need to go like a bat out of hell on 6 lane limited access freeways with sirens blaring to clear the way, not race around twisty roads. That’s what radios are for…..

    My introduction to this was when I saw what I thought was a black Camaro pull out on I-5 on San Diego from seemingly out of nowhere in my rear view. Then the grill and headlight array started flashing red and blue and white, and the siren started, and I let out an expletive. Before I could even move over to the right, it blew past me like I wasn’t moving. I had slowed down, but I was probably still doing 45-50mph as I tried to move right. I could FEEL it as it passed me. And the sound…….

    For YEARS after that, whenever I saw a black Camaro, I checked my speed and took a little pressure off the pedal.

    Given the popularity of the Camaro in car crazy Cali, this actually was probably a brilliant choice on the part of the CHP. Because without the lights on, at a quick glance, it looked like a black, tinted Camaro. So even the civilian ones probably contributed to speed control without knowing it. They had some of the traditional B&W ones too. But it was the unmarked ones that made you think twice about every Camaro out there.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      That makes sense and turns out the Mustang was the CHP’s 2nd choice. Camaros were too low and couldn’t clear center medians without bottoming the pan and scraping the chin.

  • avatar
    mountainlion

    The town I used to live in loved their 9C1 bubble Caprices so much, they had them all rebuilt and ran them all the way through 2005 before they were replaced with Crown Vics. The town I live in now finally got rid of their hated second-gen Intrepids in 2010. Best and worse right there, in my irrelevant opinion.

    But I’d hate to see a coffin-nose Matador with a 401 in my rear view personally.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      I got my only speeding ticket ever from an undercover cop in an AMC Concord. I never once remember seeing a marked police Concord or Hornet, although Matadors were once common here in MD.

  • avatar
    oldlt43

    Since I didn’t see my dark horse candidate mentioned, felt I ought to toss my two bits in. I started in law enforcement with a local sheriff’s office and we were driving hand-me down Dodge Polara 440s from the CHP which were pretty decent on straight sections but awkward in some of the tighter rural roads. Just before I moved on to Crown Vics and a LT1 Caprice at another agency, my SO tried out some 350 Nova 9C1s around 1978 or so. This particular car was always my favorite LEO vehicle; it’s top end wasn’t as high at the Dodges or the Caprice but it was quite quick and very maneuverable and handy on the back county twisties.

  • avatar
    PuckDrop

    As a kid growing up in the Netherlands I would often see the Porsche 911s the Police had on the highways and it made me want to be a cop. To this day I don’t know the government was able to convince the voting public to let them spend money on Porsche cop cars.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    Although the LS2/3 6.0/6.2 Commodore police cars get the kudos here for being “V8 Interceptors” I think the whistling bomber, the Falcon XR6 Turbo has to be the ultimate hwy interceptor.

    400hp ZF 6 spd auto, close to superclass car hwy acceleration. Beats the LS V8 w/ GM 6 spd any day.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    I grew up watching TV shows that almost exclusively featured Diplomat/St.Regis squads, so those are the ones that ‘do it’ for me.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    The only cop show from my youth that mattered featured a couple of Kawasaki KZPs. I also have memories of a 77 Pontiac LeMans chasing another 77 Pontiac all over the southern US on the big screen.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thanx for all the detailed posts, really woke up my old man memories .
    .
    For me, quintessential cop cars will always be 1960’s vintage Dodges, they were indestructible and handled well, the big block ones fairly flew .
    .
    OTOH, in New Your City in….?1964? they were using _Valiants_ with slant six engines and my buddies would give the cops the finger and they raced off leaving them in the dust only to discover a few days later that pissing off your local Gendarme isn’t wise as he might just have a long memory and catch you parked….
    .
    The very best of course were the Chevies from ’78 > , ask any cop who drove one, they out shined the Crown Vics in every way .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    DavesNotHere

    Gotta mention the Pursuit Special, aka ‘the last of the V8 Interceptors!’

    http://madmax.wikia.com/wiki/Ford_Falcon_XB_GT_Coupe_1973_%22V8_Interceptor%22

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Most likely purely a function of where (CA) and when (60’s) I’m from, but the Polara edges out the CHiP 5.0 that showed up later in my life. One time while mom was driving our 69 Valliant home from Yosemite a red Countach shot by (I was thrilled). Much later about a dozen CHP passed at a lower delta, with an older Polara leading the other ones. 10 minutes later we got to a gradual turn which the Lambo had missed and an oak which it hadn’t. The oak was over 100 yards from the road surounded by nothing but grass. I said that I bet he couldn’t have hit the tree if he’d been trying to, and mom got mad as hell. In her way… “That rich a$$hole just died, show some f^#!*& respect!”

  • avatar
    OzCop

    I drove many police cars during my nearly 30 year career which began in 1966. One thing no one can argue about was the sound of a 4 bbl equipped Mopar with unrestricted air filter. When you put your foot down and all 4 venturi’s opened up, there was no mistaking which make of cop car it was.

    As posted earlier, my first cop car, the 65 Ford Galaxy with 390 and solid valve lifters rattling at idle, was my favorite. It had it all…acceleration, handling, and just mean looking as a two door in solid white with silver and gold door badges. But I also liked the 440 Plymouths of the early 70s, as well as the B body Fury’s and Coronets of the late 70s. The GM cop cars just never impressed me that much, but I knew officers who loved them…

    But, if I were still young enough and able to drive one, my favorite would undoubtedly be the current 5.7 hemi Chargers, even though the MSP testing program found the twin turbo Fords to be a bit quicker…

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    The first cop cars I remember as a kid in northern Illinois were Diplomats, then Impalas, then Crown Vics.

    The thing about the CVPI is the iconic headlight configuration. Round headlight Jeeps are the only other vehicles that come to mind as being instantly identifiable even in the dead of night just by their headlights.

    That being said I can still remember the first time I saw a new Charger in NY State Police livery and thought it looked pretty badass. The way it wore the front pushbar was quite menacing and seemed fitting as a ride for the “kNock Your Punk-ass Down” NYPD.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • B-BodyBuick84: Buy the Sentra- fun to drive with the 6 speed and great greenhouse visibility. Drive the Corolla,...
  • rudiger: I’m with Syke. In fact, could be good opportunity to pick up an older, used Bolt with a brand-new...
  • ToolGuy: This is a good writeup on some bad legislation, with some thoughtful comments❗ Does this site still exist?
  • ajla: Seems like Acura missed the mark with the new TLX. Neither the 2.0T nor the Type-S are quick enough to draw in...
  • VWGolfGuy: The ancient Q50 is the better buy in the sort of sport luxury market

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber