Jump to content

police car specs


Recommended Posts

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

360's for police package mid to late 70's B-bodies (Fury's, Monaco's and Coronets) like they used for most of the show's run (could have been 318's or even slant-6's if they used some non police-package cars which I am sure they did). The earlier episodes had some C-body police cruisers (Plymouth Fury's and/or Dodge Monaco's) which in all likelihood had 440's, just like the big Mopar C-body in the "Blues Brothers" (1974 Dodge Monaco). 1974 was the last year of the big C-Body Fury's though the "Gran Fury" continued as a C-body until '77. The Monaco's remained as C-bodies until '76. The regular Fury became a smaller B-body in '75 and along with its twins, the Dodge Monaco ( '77-'78 ) and Coronet, was the "classic" cruisers that are most commonly associated with the Dukes of Hazzard. The AMC Matadors from the early episodes commonly had 360's as well, though they could have also had 304's or 6 cylinders (258 c.i. "Leaning Tower of Power" (lol) slant-6's).

Almost without exception, police package cars have automatic transmissions. 727 Torque-Flites in the big-block (383 or 440 typically) C-bodies and 904 Torque-Flites in the later, small block (318 or 360 typically) B-body police cruisers.

To recap: The cars that looked like this:


Were B-bodies and depending on the grill, tail lights and a few other minor things, could have been a '75-'78 Plymouth Fury, a '71-'76 Dodge Coronet or a '77-'78 Dodge Monaco. The one in that picture is specifically a 1975 Plymouth Fury. These cars with a police package typically had a 360 and a 904 Torque-Flite automatic transmission.

The earlier cars that looked like this (such as in episode number 1):


Were C-bodies and depending on the grill, tail lights and a few other minor things, could have been a '74 or earlier Plymouth Fury or a '76 or earlier Dodge Monaco. These cars with a police package typically had a 383 or 440 with a 727 Torque-Flite automatic transmission. That particular car is a '74 Dodge Monaco.

There were a few AMC Matadors similar to this too:


360 or a 304 in those most likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. :lol:

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.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

I am curious about the 1979 Fury. I was under the impression that there was no Fury in '79. I searched the internet and found this at www.allpar.com:

"1979 had no Fury. In 1980, the Gran Fury name was brought back and applied to the R-body Chrysler Newport (an odd decision, since both were sold in the same dealerships). It came only as a four door sedan, and was intended mainly for fleets. Sales were dismal, and it was cut loose in 1981."


Also, I found this:

"R Body--1979-1981.

Plymouth: Gran Fury ('80-'81--no '79 Fury or Gran Fury of any type)

Dodge: St. Regis

Chrysler: Newport, New Yorker, New Yorker Fifth Avenue


118.5: all models"


Anyway, if there was a Fury in '79, or even a Gran Fury, I would like to see a picture of one because my mind is drawing a blank trying to remember ever seeing one. You say it was twin to the St. Regis, so it would have been an R-body, right? (gotta love the St. Regis, lol, that was Inspector Sledge Hammer's car)


That car was a riot.


The most impressive cop car I ever saw was a 1968 Satellite; which was a Roadrunner twin, and in the case of this cop car, was a Roadrunner twin with 4 doors. It had a 383 in it I believe though there is nothing to say that they couldn't have ordered it with a 426 Hemi. Imagine a '68 4 door Roadrunner with a Hemi. Now that is a car that could have given plenty of chase to the General Lee (in stock form, a Roadrunner was always faster than a Charger, all else being equal (drivetrain, tires, driver weight, etc) because the Roadrunner was typically a few hundred pounds lighter than the Charger, even though they were both B-bodies.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!! :p

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's some good information. This has got me wanting a clone of Sledge Hammer's St. Regis, bullet holes and all, LOL. That car he had was probably a police package car; at least it has the right wheels, tires and vented dog dish 'caps. I remember one episode of that show where his car was stolen by a local high school gang. He ended up making friends with them by the end of the episode and they returned his car to him but they fixed it up first. He looked at it and said that something wasn't right. Then he took his .44 and shot the bullet holes back in it and his partner, Dori Doreau kicked the fender to put the dent back in, LOL.

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.

You're right, especially about the idling part. A pre-emissions era 440 Magnum could actually beat a Hemi off the line; up to about 70 MPH or so. Was the '68 Satellite available with a 440? The late 60's Roadrunners weren't. They were only available with 383 or a Hemi. The GTX of the same vintage however (also a Roadrunner twin) was available with the 440 "Super Commando" (as well as a Hemi; but no 383 option), Plymouth's version of Dodge's 440 "Magnum".

A '68 Satellite police package even with a 383 would have still been a screaming car, since it was the 383 Roadrunner motor (not the more mundane 2 bbl 383's that came in Chargers) though not painted and marked as such. 383 Roadrunners were pretty much the best bang for the buck back then, regardless of the manufacturer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

383s were screamers. Even the 2bbl lo po model was rated at 290 hp. I have a friend that built a 383 Magnum(or Commando for you plymouth boys) to the T. Even used the correct Road Runner camshaft and the factory 600 Carter AVS carburaetor. The Road Runner engine was rated at 335 HP. When Steve put it on the Dyno, after a bit of tuning on the ignition and fuel curve, he pulled 338 HP.

Thats a lot of power. One trick used to get more power out of them is to put the 440 750 AVS carb on them and pick up about 10-15 ponies. From what I have heard, some of the Sherriffs cars recieved this treatment.

A cop car is not light though, It's no road runner, it's got 4 doors so don't be thinking it would be lighter then the general.

And you could get a Charger with the HO 383 in it as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yea, I know, those push bars and stuff they put on the bumpers weigh about 75 lbs...

a 4 door is usually heavier then a 2 door though by 100 lbs, maybe a bit more depending on model.

The real heavy cars are the convertibles!

And yea, the new cars definitely handle and stop better. I think my favorite cop cars are the mid '90s Chevy(what were they, impalas?) I forget the name, but my uncle had one. It was pretty quick for a newer car, and the v8 sounded pretty good too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

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. :lol:

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!! :o

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.