Since first ditching horses and wagons for motorized carriages, police have needed faster vehicles to protect and serve the public and catch up with some pretty cool street cars. From Model-T’s to Lamborghini’s, RadarOnline.com has put together a list of some of the coolest police cars from yesteryear and today.
12. Ford Model-T roadster, Rhode Island
Ford’s Model-T is one of the coolest original pursuit cars. This early 1900’s beauty had a 35 horsepower engine and of course no siren or lights, no radio, no windows and a black canvas roof which leaked when it rained. But it could hunt down Cranston bad guys at a cool 60 mph. (Warning: Transport prisoners at own risk. No protective divider
11. Volkswagen Beetle, New York State
Don’t let the yellow paint on this ‘winter rat’ mislead you. Ithaca police patrol the city’s largest shopping plaza, the Commons, in a modified Volkswagen Beetle. Purchased in 2005, the ‘Commons Bug’ is there to protect downtown shoppers.
10. AMC Javelin, Alabama
The sleek 6.6L Javelin was in heavy rotation by the Alabama State Police throughout the 1970’s. It was the first compact, affordable sports car in America to routinely patrol the highways.
9. Chevrolet Celebrity, California
Long Beach police adopted this Chevy in 1984, adding on the infamous red and blue Aero Dynic light bar. When tested against various police cars of the time, the V6 Celebrity had the quickest acceleration, highest top speed, most powerful brakes, and fastest course times. Unfortunately for hot coffee, it had no cup holders.
8. Ford Econoline
Converted for SWAT teams and bomb squads across the country, this heavily-armored van is a staple of tactical law enforcement. Originally used as a prisoner transports, the Econoline can comfortably seat a dozen fully-loaded officers (or four members of the A-Team).
7. Dodge Viper, Illinois
In 2007, Chicago police seized a 2000 black Dodge Viper from a speed demon going 90 mph over the speed limit. Slap on a little white paint, lights and a siren and you’ve got a new promotional toy for the D.A.R.E program.
6. Chevrolet Camaro, California
Built in nearby Van Nuys in the mid-1980’s, the Azusa police were the first to operate a Chevy Camaro as a police car. Complete with a gas compressor, turbo-charged setup supplied by racing trendsetter Gale Banks, the Camaro spent thirteen years at the top of the desert food chain until being decommissioned in 2000.
5. H3 Hummer, Colorado
The Lone Tree police were the first in rocky Colorado to purchase H3 Hummers, asserting that the demilitarized SUV improved their sight line, increased police adaptability, and because, simply put, they got a good deal on the gas-suckers. We just think they look cool.
4. Dodge Monaco, California
The quintessential police car, the 1974 Dodge Monaco was the forerunner in police pursuits throughout the mid to late1970’s. Most notably used by the California Highway Patrol, the Monaco also served as model for the “The Blues Brothers” 1980 black and white sedan with a “cop motor.”
3. Dodge Charger, Washington and Oregon
Washington and Oregon police purchased more than 50 high-speed Chargers in 2006. The 340 horsepower pursuer accelerates to 60 mph in six seconds. And unlike the retail model, these models feature an Electronic Stability Program, a superior cooling system, upgraded brakes, and super-tuned steering with a mounted shifter (to make room for the radio and siren controls).
2. Lamborghini Diablo, Iowa
Twice as much horsepower as the Dodge Charger, the Lamborghini Diablo is the stinger of choice for Iowa State Patrol. Pretty sweet ride for the lawmen.
1. Chevrolet Corvette C5, Michigan
The Bloomfield Hills police department has several of these V8 engine Corvettes to deter drivers from speeding on a busy stretch between two high schools. Suitable for a 21st century crime fighter, these cars only come in black.