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Jeff Kleb

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Everything posted by Jeff Kleb

  1. The 1968 Satellite (one of the cars used by the LAPD) police cars had many engines from which to choose, from the "tower of power" Slant-6 all the way up to the big-block V8 (383, 440, etc.). For a police car, it was rather light. Think of it as a four-door Road Runner if there were such a thing. Coming back to modern times, Mopar is back in the cop car business. Dodge is coming out with a pursuit version of both the Charger and the Magnum. They will be available in the Fall of 2005 as '06 models. Law enforcement agencies can get a big V-6 that nearly equals Ford's SOHC 4.6-liter V-8 from the Crown Vic, as well as an optional "Magnum" V-8 rated at 345 horsepower! It will be interesting to see if this is enough impetus to convince Ford's bean counters to ante up a special Crown Vic with the DOHC V-8 from the Mustang Cobra. The 320 ponies from that mill should help the Crown Vic accelerate much better than the 250-horse ('03 and later models) block that the police package currently offers. If Roscoe and Enos had only known!! P.S. Ford sold the DOHC V-8 in the Mercury Marauder for two years, but it never really caught on and certainly was not churning out 320 horses.
  2. You are talking about the police-package (9C1 GM option code) Chevrolet Caprice. The "bathtub on wheels" was one of the best cop cars ever made. The fastest ones were the 1994 to 1996 models that had the 5.7-liter LT1 engine. It was almost the same as the engine used in the fourth generation Corvette. No Crown Vic can catch it! Most of them have been retired from service, but you will still see one from time to time. A friend of mine who is a town cop here in VA drives a 1996 Caprice (the last year GM made them), and he'll probably be giving it up this summer when his new Crown Vic comes in and the Caprice is retired because of the age & mileage. GM makes a police package for the front-drive Impala, but it is only a V6 and a lot of officers prefer rear-wheel-drive for pursuit duty. That being said, the 3.8-liter block puts out 200 horsepower and the cars scoot along pretty well. The Impala is also superior to the Crown Vic in snow and ice.
  3. The Crown Vic police package ('99 through '01, anyway) is good for about 120 to 125 mph -- mostly depending upon the type of light bar in use. These cars have 215 to 225 net horsepower (varies by state) and the automatic transmission has an overdrive fouth gear that helps a bit. 2003 through 2005 Crown Vics have the same 4.6 engine, but the horsepower was bumped up to 250. '03 models have rack-and-pinion steering, better brakes and some other suspension tweaks lacking on earlier cars. The seats are nicer and the headrests now protect officers of varying heights. The 351-2v Fords ('79 to '90 or so) were only good for about 175 to 190 horsepower, as the engine just could not breathe properly. They almost would have been better off with the civilian 5.0 EFI under the hood.
  4. Yes, cop cars are somewhat heavier........but a lot of that weight is not from having four doors. It is from the equipment carried. Radios, extra ammunition, steel push bars, light/siren setups, prisoner cage, larger cooling systems, transmission and electrical parts all add a few pounds. I was a deputy sheriff and our Crown Vics were a bit heavier than the civilian model - and only had a few more horsepower coming from the 4.6-liter V-8 engines. You'd be surprised at the wind resistance that a light bar can make! I don't think a 4.6 Crown Vic has the "oomph" of a late-'60s 440 Mopar, but the modern cars handle much better, have superior brakes and ride on better tires. Wait until the 2006 police-issue Dodge Charger is released in October. A 5.7-liter "Hemi" V-8 will be optional, and will make 345 net horsepower!
  5. A Valiant? A friend of mine had one of those (or maybe it was a Dodge Dart - I do not recall) that was equipped with the Slant-6 ("Tower of Power") engine. I think he drove it forever and it just would not die - even running with hardly any oil in the sump! It rusted out before the powertrain gave up. Chrysler had a good thing going with that engine, as many of them were even used in taxicabs. Funny story about the juiced Neon. Amazing what a little recreational chemistry can do, eh?
  6. Stop it! You're giving me flashbacks now. Ah, the late-'60s cars (Ford, Chrysler and GM) were all forces with which to be reckoned. Since you mentioned it, I recall my great-grandmother's 1966 Chrysler (Newport?). That thing didn't have a 440 in it, but it sure would go. High compression ratios, high-octane fuel and no emissions control all helped from a performance-based standpoint. It is not until well into the 1980s when technology/computers were able to overcome EPA rules, unleaded fuel, low compression, etc., etc. Do you remember how 'awesome' the 1985 Mustang GT was in its day with 210 horsepower? Hard to believe that it is up to 300 in a stock '05 GT now. One of the biggest limitations on cars back in the '60s and early '70s was tire and suspension technology. It is hard to get all of that torque onto the pavement or to steer into some hard curves. New cars definitely have the advantage on that. Heck, my 2005 Toyota 4Runner probably pulls more g's on the skidpad than those old MOPARs. Regarding the hemi, I find it funny that Chrysler has brought it back. Many folks buying the new Magnums, 300s and Ram trucks might not even have been alive when the "original" hemis were ruling the tracks. Also, there was a dual (4-barrel) carb option for some of those cars.....but you hardly ever saw them. It was not the most streetable engine - kind of like the high-zoot 427 3x2 that Chevy had in the '67 and '68Corvette. Check out http://www.carsinbarns.com if you want to see some old Superbirds and Daytona Chargers - along with other muscle cars - that are shamefully rotting away.
  7. For the most part, what you said is correct. That being said, it is hard for any car -- regardless of power output -- to reach its maximum speed or power output on Hazzard County's dirt roads. 250 or 500 horsepower won't do much good if you just spin the wheels and fishtail everywhere. On a related note, why is the General Lee never dirty? I hit one spot of dirt along a paved highway on my way home and my whole car is filthy. Hazzard must have a lot of car wash places. You said that no car from '74 could keep up with a '68 or '69 Charger R/T. I can think of maybe one exception to that: a 1974 Pontiac Firebird with the 455 Super Duty H.O. engine. I know horsepower measurements prior to '72 were "gross" and later cars were rated at "net" (more realistic) horsepower, so a 275-hp Firebird could probably give an older 375-hp Charger a run for the money. If you have ever ridden in one of those SD Firebirds (only made in '73 and '74), you would be quite impressed with what it could do with a 'smogger' engine under the hood. I used to have a '79 Oldsmobile with a 403 V-8 (witha four-barrel, of course) that was rated at only 190 horsepower, yet it would "lay to rest" quite a few cars with a lot more rated power. No, it was not a dragster.....but it did have one heck of a kick to it once it got going. Maybe there is something to be said for torque. Boss Hogg's Caddy would probably have a top-end speed close to or greater than that of the General Lee - depending upon the axle ratio. Ah, this board is awakening the gearhead in me!
  8. Oh, back to the Gran Fury thing. There was not one for '79 (but you can find the Chrysler Newport in old cop car pictures), but they did make them (at least a few of them) in 1980. I found a photo of an '80 Gran Fury that was used by the VA State Police. It is exactly like a St. Regis shown in the previous post, but with a different front end. Of course, we all know they did make a Gran Fury in '81. Big cars they were! When I lived in PA and they had them in the early '80s, they filled up my rear-view mirror. The Chevy Malibus that the state purchased in 1983 looked downright puny in comparison - although they were much faster with that 350 in such a small car.
  9. Regarding Daisy's yellow car, I do remember the 'switcheroo' from the '73/'74 model to the '71/'72. Not only is the front bumper and turn signal different (round blinkers on the '71/'72 & rectangular ones on the '73/'74), but the tail lamps are very different as well. Don't remember anything about the wheels, though. That was a long time ago! As for Uncle Jesse's "Black Tilly" moonshine car, it was a 1971 Ford Galaxie or LTD. My grandmother actually had a two-door version of that car. Hers had a 351 Cleveland, but I do not know what Jesse's had. The easiest way to tell a Galaxie from an LTD was the red center strip between the tail lamps. The LDT had one; the Galaxie did not. It was kind of like the Chevy Impala versus Caprice -- same basic car, different trim level. Ah, those were the days. Cheap gas, no catalytic converters and that nice cushy ride! P.S. I would not mind taking Boss Hogg's 1970 Cadillac deVille for a spin, either. It most likely had a 472 under its hood - certainly no slouch.
  10. The Confederate Battle Flag, which is painted on the General Lee, was originally ( I believe ) the regimental flag from the Northern Virginia Infantry.....and adopted later as the "common" Confederate Flag. Ah, nothing like history to invigorate the mind -- instead of political correctness that runs amok today. Next thing you know, someone will say that slavery existed before the United States. P.S. Twenty years ago, I used to live right down Route 30 from you (near Abbottstown, PA).
  11. Check out some of the old Mopars available on this site. Cool pictures and lost of information. http://members.fortunecity.com/copcarsite/rbody.html http://members.fortunecity.com/copcarsite/rbody2.html
  12. The Car that Enos had in his spin-off was a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle. I never saw under its hood, but it had dual 4-barrel carbs with a high-rise intake manifold. My guess is that it would have been a 396 or perhaps a rare 427. Then again, knowing the popularity of the small-block Chevy, it just might have sported a 327 or 350. Whatever it was, I know it was very quick. By the way, was Daisy Duke's car a Roadrunner or was it just a Satellite Sebring? It was a '73 or '74 model, but I could not tell which year. Chrysler had so many trim and option packages, that you often could not tell the exact model until you got close to it or even peered inside the car.
  13. I am 60% Dixie......which is hard to believe. I was born in NC to Yankee parents, but only lived there six months. I lived "up Nawth" for my whole life until I was 23 years old --- and then moved South again (to VA). I am "too fast" to be from the South, but am not "rude" enough to be a Yankee. That, perhaps, just makes me a misfit; but I yam what I yam (as Popeye would say). My girfriend is from Long Island, so she keeps my Northern attitude and speech going strong. The Dukes was my favorite show when I was in high school and I even had a Confederate Battle Flag on the front of my car back then. Too bad that it now has been misused by racist organizations and is seen as something bad. Likewise, Old Glory was flown on the slave ships that brought people to this country in bondage. Not trying to start that type of discussion here (sure it has been done already), but the anti-heritage folks need to study their history a liittle bit better. The so-called Confederate Flag did not even fly over Richmond during the Civil War (War Between the States) anyhow. Also, because the KKK hijacked the Cross for their rituals, I doubt that we should view it is a symbol of "hate" because of a few cretins who misuse it. You could probably fly the actual Flag of The Confederacy in Washington and 90% of the people there would not even recognize it. Okay, I am off my soap box now. The way I see it, we are all Americans and we'll stick together when it gets rough. Just think of the song by Charlie Daniels, In America, and you'll get the drift of it. Anyhow, great site here!!
  14. If you want to talk about a "bogged-down" police car, check out the LTD from the '79 to '87 body style. They had that 351 (5.8L) V-8 with the variable venturi 2-barrel carburetor. Those cars would not stay tuned and were horrible on gas mileage. The overdrive transmisson that came in the '83 to '87 model helped a bit, though. Chevy's 350-powered Impala was probably top dog, performance-wise, but I think Chrysler still sold a heck of a lot of Diplomats (usually 318-powered) in that era. My personal favorite was the '77 & '78 Monaco with the last of the big-block 440 Interceptors. Mopar went downhill from there, huh?
  15. While I just found out about the "absence" of the '79 Fury, I do know that a St. Regis was made for the '79, '80 and '81 model years. I am not sure about the '80, but I believe I have a photo of a 1981 Gran Fury that was used by the VA State Police. If I can find it, I will post it here. Lots of good info here! Great site!!!! P.S. A way to tell the '77 and '78 Monaco/Fury cars from the '75 to '76 models is by either the headlamps or tail lights. On the older ones, they'll have all-red tail lights and single, round headlamps. The '77 and '78 cars will have red & amber tail lights and square, quad-style headlamps.
  16. Regarding the '79 Gran Fury (or lack of), you might be right. I lived in Pennsylvania at the time, and there were plenty of Dodge St. Regis sedans in service back then. The state police had a lot of them, but you saw a lot of the old LTD cars in service, too. Chrysler also sold a police-service package for the smaller Diplomat line. I know the local cops had some 1981 Gran Furys, but the '79 and '80 models I saw were usually the St. Regis version. Now you have ignited my old-timer's curiosity!! Anyway, the easiest way to tell a St. Regis from a Fury was by looking at the tail lamps or headlights. With the St. Regis, the tail lights had little shiny-looking dividers in the segments (easily visible on Sledge Hammer's car in the photo), while the Gran Fury had none - even though the tail lamps were otherwise similar. From the front end of the car, the Dodge St. Regis had the turn signal lenses down in the bumper and they came with those funky-looking headlight covers. The Gran Fury had the blinkers directly below the headlights and no 'covers' on the lights. {BTW, the PA State Police actually had those little plastic shields removed on their cars because it violated the vehicle code for that state!} They only used these cars in '79 through '81, however. They were equipped with the 360, a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust. Chrysler did the same thing with the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare. Essentially the same car, the difference was in the front bumper and where the turn signal lights were. Look hard and you are bound to see a Volare with an Aspen bumper. Chrysler was not much into quality control in those days. BTW, this is one cool board!! P.S. I don't think a hemi-powered cop car would have done too well back then. Too much power, too thirsty and all of that idling would not be good for such a high-zoot engine. Besides, a 440 of that vintage was just fine.
  17. I am a former deputy sheriff, but not from Hazzard County. I would not worry too much about the "impersonation" problem, so long as you take a few basic steps. After all, I do not know too many people who will be spooked by seeing a 25-year-old police car on the road -- especially one with ancient Federal Twin-Sonic or 'bubble gum' light bars. First, do not use a red or blue light on the roof -- unless it is covered. One hobbyist solves this problem by using a light bar with amber lenses on it until he gets to the "show" area. Then, after the car is off the public highway, he replaces them with blue lenses. Second, use magnetic decals. An opposite of this is to use "blank" magnetic decals to cover up permanent ones while you are on the highway. In VA, it is illegal to have "Police" or "Sheriff" showing on the exterior of your car. I suppose a star or shield on the door is okay, so long as it does not contain a 'real' state seal or mention an authentic area agency. Third, do not try to do any traffic stops, speed like crazy or intimidate any other motorists. They will call the real cops on you. If a real cop sees you, just smile and wave. If they pull you over, they'll probably want to ask questions about your car. Be polite and two other things will work in your favor: Have a membership to some sort of police car restoration club. Have antique tags on the car, so they know it is not a daily driver.
  18. Good comments! It appears as though the police cars in Hazzard were primarily Chrysler products (as they had most of the cop car market back then in reality as well), although I did see an AMC Matador or two on the show. The big-block (400 and 440 versions) was available in the Dodge Monaco and Plymouth Fury through the 1978 model year, although it is likely that most of the cars on the show probably had a 318 or 360 under the hood. All of the 400 and 440 Chrysler police cars had dual exhaust in those days, but so did some cars that had the smaller 360. Hey, I am old enough to remember when those cars were still in service with area police departments! With the 1979 body style (I have not seen any on the Dukes shows), the biggest engine available was the 360. Dodge called their car the St. Regis and Plymouth had the Grand Fury. I believe a police package was available for the similar (but cushier) Chrysler Newport....but I have never seen one of that vintage. Chevy made a nice cop car package for the Impala and Ford had the trusty old Galaxie/LTD, but Roscoe and Boss Hogg must have worked out a deal with the local Dodge dealership. I am sure that most of the police cars used in that show were either 'retired' cars that were purchased at auction from a real police agency -- or "clone" cars that were civilian models with decals applied to make them look like a sheriff's car. More often than not, a "real" police car will still have the spotlight or a small hole where it used to be. Real police-spec cars will usually have tan interiors (blue in some models) and front bucket seats. Most civilian cars of that era had bench seats. BTW, to see some nice photos of both old and new police cars, go to the site listed below. http://www.copcar.com
  19. Thanks for both of the replies. Wow! Now that was fast......even for Hazzard County. Ah, Lorraine Bracco......I remember seeing that during the credits on The Sopranos. Maybe I should have looked for her name at the end of the Dukes episode. Doh! Well, I know I have seen Ms. Watkins elsewhere......I just can't place where it might have been (and I never watched Remington Steele when it was on). Quite a hottie, huh? I figured that she could have passed for a younger Lorraine Bracco with darker hair. Take care now!
  20. I recently rented the first DVD of the first season. Nice drive down memory lane, as I saw the original show when I was a freshman in high school. Anyway, there was en episode where Unlce Jesse fired up his old still - so that he could make some moonshine for a non-fossil fuel contest held by the government. A very pretty, dark-haired female FBI agent (revenuer) was a guest-star in that episode, and I thought she looked familiar. Is she the same lady who plays Dr. Melfi on HBO's "The Sopranos" every week? I know many years have gone by, but the voice and the eyes are quite similar. Am I right about this, or am I just a confused old man? Thanks to any of you who can figure out who that mystery lady was.
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