2018 Chicago Auto Show: The Police Cars


Lights! Sirens!
The goodies are always in the back. Hidden behind all the mainstream display areas on the showroom floor were a fleet of vintage emergency vehicles from Chicago’s police and fire departments that patrolled the windy city.
Oh the stories these cars could tell…


1973 Chevy Bel Airs issued to police forces had either the 350 cid V8 or larger 454. Other upgrades included larger 15-inch wheels, thicker door beams and a stronger roof panel, beefed-up transmission, and power front disc brakes. This particular car originally served in Erie County, OH as a vehicle for the prosecutor’s criminal investigations office until it was scooped up by Greg Reynolds in 2013 and repainted in tributary livery from the CPD’s Traffic Division.


Covering the rear of the Bel Air was this box Chevy, a 1990 Caprice with the 9C1 Police Package. In 1990, CPD purchased 300 marked patrol cars. This car on display earned its stripes from the Carrboro, North Carolina Police Department and was later sold to a retired traffic officer, George Donchez. There’s a 350 V8 that made 190hp, a Whelen Edge strobe lightbar, Muniquipp moving radar and…a blue heavy-duty cloth interior! Oh the 90s.



Seen in the hero shot up above, this Plymouth Fury with a single blue gumball light on top next to the mentioned Caprice. You can’t help but love the stance and dual exhaust on this old-school cruiser.



Last was the big red sled, a 1970 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance, wearing a bright red Chicago Fire Department livery complimented by a black top. Everything is big on this rescue whip, the oscillating lightbar above, spotlights on either fender, the chrome grille and of course what rests under that Grand Canyon-sized hood. While originally ordered for the CFD, this Caddy ambulance actually found duty with an Oglala Lakota reservation on the other side of the country.




[All images copyright Robby DeGraff/Redusernab 2018]

By |2018-02-08T10:00:29+00:00February 8th, 2018|Chicago Auto Show|10 Comments

We the Author:

By day, Robby DeGraff is an Industry Analyst for an automotive market research and product-consulting firm. Based an hour from Road America in Wisconsin, he once piloted a Suzuki Jimny around Iceland for two weeks in the middle of winter. Robby still has his first car, a red 2001 Camaro, a Saabaru with 233,000 miles and a 1981 Honda CB650. Someday he lusts to own a first-generation Aston Martin Vanquish or a Volkswagen Vanagon.
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