The Most Popular Police Cars in History

Everybody knows what a police car looks like obviously this is largely due to the way that they are painted. However it is also in large part due to the fact that there have really only been two types of cars that have dominated police forces in North America. As a result most people can now recognize a police car even if it isn't painted like one just from the make and the model of the car.

For most of the history of police cars the choice that has been made has been to use the lowest cost full size car that was offered by the manufacturers. It was not until the fifties that companies started making cars that were specifically marketed to police departments. Even then the cars were simply modified versions of production cars. For most of the history of police cars since the fifties there have really been two main players when it came to police cars the Chevrolet Caprice and the Ford LTD.

The reason for the popularity of these two vehicles was in part their cost, they were the lowest price full size models in both companies lines. They are also popular because because they had features that made them ideal as police cars. The feeling is that a rear wheel drive V8 is the best option since it is the most consistent with the way police officers are taught to drive in pursuits. It also offers better interior room and lower maintenance costs than you would get from other options.

In 1996 Chevrolet took the Caprice out of production and Ford came to dominate the market. They actually created a version of the LTD known as the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor particularly for that market. Over the years there have been a few other attempts to enter the police car sales market with the Ford Taurus and the Chevrolet Impala both becoming fairly widely used. The problem is that since both of these were front wheel drive V6's they did not perform the job as well as the Crown Victoria has.

One of the problems that police forces are facing is that there are now very few cars on the market that meet their needs. As long as they continue to demand rear wheel drive V8's the Crown Victoria is likely going to dominate the market for no other reason that virtually all new cars being developed are front wheel drive and most have smaller engines, at least in the price range that police forces want. That means that the police are likely going to have to adapt to the changing situation or they are going to have to get their cars custom made since it is hard to see Ford continuing to produce the Crown Victoria for any purpose other than to be used as a police car.

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