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Finding tips in unexpected places

For those of you who’ve met me in the real world, you’re probably aware of my love for police vehicles. I love snapping and collecting pictures of North American police interceptors, especially from the 70’s and 80’s. I’m not entirely sure where it started but I began expressing it by collecting 1/43rd scale die-cast models and sort of went from there. I used to shoot pictures for a website a few years ago called copcruisers.net. The site is shut down now but I’ve always thought it would be cool to run a website for displaying police vehicle photos. These days copcar.com is the seminal work on the subject as no one can top the collections and knowledge of Dave Arnold and Greg Reynolds. I don’t see the point in starting another site when theirs is so spectacular. Stay tuned for some pages displaying some of my favourite CopCar show photos though, as I’ll be putting them online here soon!

Max Rockatansky's Ford Falcon XB Sedan from Mad Max

I spent a fair amount of time attending the annual Cops & Cars show put on by the Waterloo Regional Police Service and I think that owning a classic police vehicle would be extremely cool. A dream of mine is to blend my love of science fiction and police vehicles and own a replica of Max Rockatansky’s Falcon XB Sedan Interceptor from Mad Max. Like this replica displayed at madmaxmovies.com

It’s possible that viewing “The Dark One’s” burnout in the early minutes of the movie is where my love of police vehicles stems from, I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure. In any case, the Mrs has been phenomenally supportive of this hobby and it seems it’s something that I’ll be doing for a while.

When my ever-so-cool sister purchased a copy of Police Cars: Restoring, Collecting and Showing America’s Finest Sedans by Ed Sanow for me a couple of Christmases ago, I simply couldn’t put it down. I was fascinated by the level of detail that goes in to locating, researching, restoring, and preparing these cars for shows. In many cases these cars are judged more on authenticity than appearance or restore quality and one of the most desirable portions of a police package vehicle is the engine. Many of these cars had engine and drivetrain packages that weren’t available to anyone other than police departments and a lot of these engines are legendary. For people to really appreciate these cars, they want to see the engines that made them so special. Because of that it’s important to have the engine in show condition as much as the rest of the car.

What does my extraordinarily long segue mean to the rest of us?

Mr Sanow has dedicated an entire chapter on not only detailing the engine bay, but repainting the engine and it’s components WITHOUT removing it from the car. Mr. Sanow explains how to clean up the engine bay to make it look as new and stock as possible and makes it surprisingly simple to follow his steps. For anyone with an interest in classic police vehicles there is tons of good information contained in this book. For anyone with an interest in preparing a show car or even just cleaning up a daily driver the chapter on detailing is more than worth the price of the book.

For anyone who’s spotted this on the shelf at the local Chapters or Borders and wondered just how many people are likely to purchase such a book, know that there’s a lot of really useful information there that goes beyond just what the cover would indicate.

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  1. There was a Falcon XB at a local show here a couple of years ago. It was done in the Road Warrior motif. I love that car!

    The police car from The Blues Brothers was fun too!

  2. Blues Brothers is one of my all-time favourite movies! I even like the sequel as I love the Blues and seeing all of the musicians is a blast. I do have trouble watching all of those MOPAR cruiser clones get destroyed though. It’s the same when I watch Smokey and The Bandit 2. That’s a lot of classic Pontiacs taken out of action!

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