What’s the best-ever police cruiser?


Not many drivers enjoy red and blue lights flashing in their rear-view mirror, but if the officer has a sweet set of wheels, it might at least make for a cooler story.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/06/04/the-best-police-cruiser


I have heard from more than a few older officers that the Caprice Classics from the 90s were their all time favorites. My personal favorites would have to be mid-late 90s Camaro interceptors though.


From a coolness factor, the Mustang of the California Highway Patrol. Rumor has it that back in the '70’s a certain family in North Carolina was making engines for the Dodges and Plymouths of the NC Highway Patrol. Today, I’ll take the Charger any day - nasty looking coming up from behind and wicked quick and handles too.


@rsheola - The late model Chargers do look pretty mean in uniform. I always wondered if any of the cop spec cars ever got the SRT8 6.4 liter V8. That would make a heck of a pursuit car!


I don’t believe they are the SRT spec HEMI’s - believe me, they are plenty quick as is and even offer al AWD version. A number of departments are ditching the overhead light bar in favor of lighting them up like Broadway on a Saturday night with grill, side and rear strobes. Effective, but blinding.


For me the Crown Vic is the all time champion. A dream to drive and you knew it was a cop car… The cool factor for me is the 1973 AMC Matador that the LAPD loved back in the 70’s and was featured in a couple of seasons of the show, Adam-12. We just finished installing a re worked 401 in our 73 Matador, now on to paint, body and interior. 2 years in to this project. Thank goodness I have an understanding wife!


Gotta be the Dodge Hemis.


Maybe not the best ever but the only one that ever impressed me was an undercover Kentucky State Trooper car that was a 1987 Grand National. Shortly after totaling out my 1986 WH1 T-type in late 1987 I bought one of the last Grand Nationals on the dealer’s lots. I drove that puppy exclusively until 1993. I was working and living north of Cincinnati but all my family were in West TN and I had a house in East TN so I made countless trips up and down the I-75 and I-71, I-65 corridors. I learned early on that the KY Highway patrol would drive anything. A lot of Mustangs, but the one I remember was another 87 GN. I was tooling up the 71/75 three lane just before the river going into Cincinnati at about 80 mph one fine day when an exotic sports car, probably a Porsche, came flying by me and I started to nail it and show him what a real car was all about when I spotted another car identical to mine coming up behind me like a bat out of hell. I let off it and thought he’s got his momentum up already, let him do it. About a mile down the road there is the little sports car and the GN on the side of the road with blue lights flashing in all nooks and crannies on the GN and a really irate looking officer writing this sick looking little guy a ticket. After that I got religion and tried to keep it within speeding ticket range and out of reckless driving range when in Kentucky. Those guys are real bad sneaky.


I asked my Dad a couple years before he passed the same question. He was retired from the NYSP. He said back in the mid sixths they were given a bunch of Chevy Bel-Air 4 doors with 4 speeds. They came from Chevy as test cars and were shipped directly back after they reach certain mileage. Under the hoods were all aluminum 427’s. He said it was the fastest Police car he ever drove in his almost 30 years. He retired in 85. I can just imagine what it felt like to downshift at 85mph and have the rear brake loose!!! He said it took a little getting use to.


I own a fully restored 1968 Plymouth B-body police car (Belvedere/Satellite series) which is wicked fast with a 383 big block, 727 transmission and a suspension system like a tank. It corners like a sports car! If you’ve ever seen early episodes of Adam 12, Reed and Malloy drove a 68 Belvedere police car all of season one.


The 1969 Dodge Polara is the BEST ex-squad pre-1994. In my opinion the next would be the 1970 Plymouth Fury. I own one, ex-Washington State Patrol. Restored as a clean top un marked car. See it at 2018 Iola WI. Car Show with other “service vehicles” and movie cars. Its the largest car show/swap meet in the Midwest.


I knew of at least one 1971 Plymouth Satellite Patrol Car with a 440 in it. You knew it was coming down the road, just sounded like a monster, even with mufflers. It just echoed between building like the sound of doom.


My father was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany from 1962 through 1965. It was there that I saw the most memorable police car for me – 1965 (first year) Porsche 911. “State Patrol” green with white accents complete with light bar. Of course, the siren made all the ‘wrong’ noises – but still, it was a 911 cop car. Pretty cool.


In 25+ years working in the S.F. Bay Area (1975-2002) I had the opportunity to drive a variety of Plymouths and Dodges in the 70’s and later Chevys and Fords. Handling-wise and pursuit-wise the best car I ever drove was a '78 Chevy Nova with the 350 Corvette engine. It was fast and handled extremely well. Comfort-wise the Crown Victoria was my favorite. It had plenty of power, handled fairly well and was very comfortable.


Anything in the Dubai police force


5 liter Fox Mustangs:

Wisconsin State Patrol - 1990 WSP SSP Mustang (In - Service)


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1991-1992 Camaro B4C’s
But I’m partial because I own 2 of them :slight_smile:




Try this 70’s AMERICAN MOTORS JAVELIN AMX , the bought about 133 units and the last one came off the road in the late 90’s Got to love them .javcop02


Don’t for get the Toyota Prius may not be fast but it’s very reliable and can go a long time between fill up’s. You can out run it but it will catch you at the gas station.:grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning: