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I was issued my first patrol unit this week. It's an older car with some pretty high mileage, but it still runs good and gets the job done. What was your first car like?
 

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Originally posted by Stringer:
I was issued my first patrol unit this week. It's an older car with some pretty high mileage, but it still runs good and gets the job done. What was your first car like?
My first patrol car was a 1969 Plymouth with 250K+ miles. It didn't have any power steering, or air conditioning. It kept overheathing so the police mechanics took the thermostat out. This of course never allowed the engine to come up to proper temperature so the heater was anemic and failed to keep you from seeing your breath on a cold snowy Philadelphia winter night.

The seat fabric was some kind of 60's petrochemical synthetic that always had an odd smell and made you sweat like a sumo wrestler on a treadmill during a humid Philly summer day and froze your butt on a cold winter night.

The radio had one channel and was actually a tube set with the guts in the trunk. When you first fired up the radio at the beginning of the shift it would actually load up the generator and drag down the RPM's of the engine until the amp's leveled out.

In the movie, "Electra glide in blue," Robert Blake, the main character said, "I hate that damn bike they make me ride." Just like Robert Blake, I hated that damn Plymouth they made me drive.
 

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My first patrol car was a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice. The exhaust broke in half one night. The shocks and springs were so worn that I could lift up one corner and push down on another and have kind of a custom street rod look to it! I could list the problems for hours with that car but I will never forget it!

Your first patrol car is kind of like your first girlfriend. She may not have been the best but you still remember her!
 

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70 Pontiac Catalina. 3 minutes to get to 120, then blew the coolant overflow and all the oil out through the valve guides. Finally blew the motor at 110 on the Salt Flats and decorated 3 miles of freeway before I could get it stopped. Motor looked like it had taken a direct hit from a 105!

The replacement was interesting. I couldn't park it anywhere that didn't have a water hose available in the summer, unless I wanted to let it completely cool off. For a warm start I had to spray the starter to cool it. After high speed runs, the exhaust manifolds used to glow white hot.

Thankfully, we've come a long way, Baby!
 

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my first police car when i went from a reserve to full time was a 1994 ford taurus police package. front wheel drive v6. it had a lot of miles and the top speed was about 110mph. while i was driving back and forth to police academy the engine started going out so i was issued a 1994 chevy caprice. it was a big difference going to an LT1 corvette engine from a v6!!!! that car got retired this year in july with 190 thousand miles. i really miss that car.

now i drive a 2001 impala. back to the front wheel drive v6. i hated the idea at first, but i have been driving it since august and even though the low end power isn't there, it compares to the crown. and the handling has been awesome. i am really starting to like the car, and it has proven itself to put up with my driving, which is the most you can ask of any car! i was also happy to be back to a slick top, which i prefer.

russel the cop.

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CHANCE FAVORS THE PREPARED MIND....
 

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I was waiting for you to mention the rock wheels on your first patrol car, Patrickl.


A vastly underrated move, that ElectraGlide in Blue.
I'm here to tell you there ain't nothing in the world I hate worse than that elephant under my ass.
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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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When I transferred from the jail to patrol in 1980, my first patrol car was a 1978 Chevy Impala with two red bubbles on a VisiBar on top of the car, and two amber flashers on the rear deck. The deck lights were brighter than the roof lights. I mounted two red 6" sealed beam lights in the grill, rigged them to a flasher, and I finally had some light out front. This car was a non police package, with a 305 V8 w/2 barrel carb, but it was still pretty fast.

My next car was a new '81 Chevy Impala, police package, 305 V8 with a 4 barrel carb. This car got outrun by a stolen AMC Gremlin!

My last car was a police package 93 Ford Taurus we bought from the Kansas Highway Patrol when they retired it with 50K. They didn't figure the process server needed a new Crown Vic. It was small, but it handled well, and with the V6 it had, it ran like a turpentined bobcat.

I'm now driving a '96 Crown Vic, and with 167K as of last week, there's stilla lot of life left in it.

Different agencies have different needs. I can see the high speed chase cars for the highway patrol, and maybe the more compact cars for city use, but out here with miles and miles of gravel roads, not to mention some 'minimum maintenance' dirt roads, some farm driveways that are nothing more than two tire tracks through a pasture, and where it's not uncommon to chase some idiot out into a pasture or a bean field, I'd rather see out guys use a good Chevy, Ford or Dodge extended cab pickup truck. Even without four wheel drive, they'll go places a passenger car won't (I once got an '86 Crown Vic stuck on a maintained gravel road), they have more steel in them, so the officer's safer, they can't be run quite as fast, so the public with be safer, and, as a general rule, they'll outlast a car. to make the pot even sweeter, they generally cost a little less then the Crown Vic, a lot less then the fashionable Chevy Tahoe, and a WHOLE lot less than a Suburban. The pickup truck as a patrol car isn't a popular idea, but for officers in a mostly rural area, I think they're a good choice.

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Roger Shambaugh
Ottawa, Kansas
 

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I still remember my first patrol car. A 1967 Ford, no power steeting, no power brakes, no air conditioning, no good time radio (AM) who ever heard of an FM in a car, and three speed on the column shift. Equipped with a 390, a red spot light and a wind up siren built from an old starter. The radio was one channel, a Motorola DynaMotor, key the mike and the damn thing actually had a little motor that whirred and whined so you could transmit, all this was mounted in the trunk. Be sure the RPM's were up before you key up the mike, it would darn near kill the engine with the load it put on the electrical system. I've actually had to turn the headlights off at night to get enough power to transmit. I was issued a stack of credit cards for gas and had a constant supply of oil in the trunk. The "decal" was hand painted by the local sign shop, the tires were six ply and rock hard, the seats were made for growing hemmroids.

Best running car I ever had, it would catch anything but a cold.

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No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.
 

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1979 Dodge Aspen. Was black with white doors. Big Mopar engine. Went real fast.


Nothing like the anemic Ford Crown Vics we have now!

NAA.

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Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 

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My first patrol car was a baby blue colored 1993 Ford Crown Vic. The car was kinda ugly with that color but it sure did run. I really liked the bench seats with the fold down arm rest that it came equiped with too. The only bad thing about it was anti lock brakes which suck for police work IMO.
 

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1975 Plymouth Fury 4dr sdn with 440. P/strg and Torqueflite trans. No Am radio. Motorola 100 watt 5-channel radio with 2 active. Federal Twin-Sonic lightbar and Federal wind-up siren under the hood. 126 mph with lightbar, Unmarked cars of same make and model would do about 15 mph more without the lightbar.

Current assignment has me in an off the showroom floor 2001 Lumina. Excellent AM/FM stereo with cassette deck. No motor to speak of, but I'm old now so the trade off is fine with me.

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"Sic Semper Tyrannus"
 

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My first patrol car was a 1965 Ford with no AM radio, no AC and a 6 cylinder engine with 3 on the tree and you rookies think you have it tuff these days.


7th

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When I first started we used our own cars and were paid milage to operate them .
#1 a 84 Caprice classic loaded out on options . I put in heavy sway bars and springs from a Wrecked Police car I built an 350 four bolt main ( LT1 ) type engine with a 375 horse cam and turbo mufflers with dual exhaust , quiet but flowed really well . Car ran like a fire was after it .
#2 88 caprice police pkg. used patrol rig .
#3 80 Caprice Classic with fuel injected 350 and all the options was a Captains car with MSHP . Really fast and plush .
Then we got County owned cars
#1 1993 Crown Vic , hated this car
#2 1994 CAprice LT1 , police pkg. , Loved this car .
#3 96 Crown Vic , it was a troublesome car from start to finish .
# 4 my current ride a 2001 Crown Vic , Runs great has 8000 miles so far with no problems , will do 139 mph so far , I like this Ford which is unusual for me I am a CHevy Fan .

I really want a extended cab 4x4 ford off road , we have two of them now and one dodge ,
 

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1st patrol car was a '77 Chevy Nova. Full police package with L-82 350, and Z-28 suspension. It was a little cramped to sit in for 8 hours, but the thing would really handle. Replaced it with a '78 Dodge Monaco, 440 pusuit package.(Last year of the Mopar Big Block) It would pass everything but a gas station. I really miss that car. From that point on, I've had diplomats, crown vics, and caprices. (YAWN!!!)Now days, Police cars are pretty much just heavy duty sedans. Power trains are pretty much over the counter civilian engines. Since the high speed pursuit is becoming politically incorrect, horsepower isn't much of a concern when administrators are buying fleet cars. Longevity, and fuel economy are the major factors.

Memories.......
 

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I also think Electra Glide in Blue was an awesome movie. Too bad about how Robert Blake's life turned out.

As for cars, my first one was also a 1978 Dodge Monaco (former mide size Satellite/Coronet body style) with 440 and two huge gumballs and Federal horn on top. That sucker would do 135 with all the junk on top! Mopars used to rule in those days, our Fords blew up and the Chevys were the best handling, but not nearly as fast the Mopars.
We also had an unmarked 350 Chev Belair that was "tweaked" by a local tuner and it went like a raped ape. Mucho creative accounting on the parts put into that car!
 
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