The Chrysler Enforcer police cars
The Chrysler Enforcer was a model built by Chrysler for Police Pursuit use. Introduced in 1961 as a fully separate model based upon the Newport body, the Enforcer sat on what was considered by Highway Patrol Departments as the "magic" number wheelbase of 122 inches. It should be noted that it was also available with a "station wagon" body as well.
The Enforcer had all the usual Chrysler Police Pak items, suspension, brakes, transmissions [well, Torqueflite of course, but a surprise 3 speed stick on the floor if you wanted it!] and all the other heavy duty abuse goodies that cops need.
Try to picture that in 1960, Dodge tried to back away from the 122" wheelbase as the police package of choice. The cop option was bestowed upon the newly introduced 118" wheelbase Dart. To sweeten the deal for the Dart, the division offered every single engine it had in its line up, up to and including the wild dual 4 barreled Ram Induction option! The reason behind this move? The guys over at Plymouth were still roundly thumping the Dodge boys when it came to selling fleet cars. For every police package that Dodge sold, Plymouth sold four! Remember that Plymouth did not have a car in the 122 inch wheelbase class. Again, Dodge wanted to compete directly against its own corporate division, instead of worrying about Pontiac, Oldsmobile, or Mercury.
Because a howl might be raised by giving no notice to cops of these actions, Dodge did make the 122" wheelbase available as a “special purchase," whereby the division imposed a minimum order requirement before they would build any. Of course the California Highway Patrol easily met that minimum. The engine chosen was the corporate 383 ci V-8.
There were some differences just for California, even from the normal police package. CHiP specified that the cam had to be hotter. Instead of the usual 0.390 inch lift and 252 degree duration, the CHiP had a 0.430 lift cam that held the valves open for 268 degrees. That is a big difference. As well, the CHiP had the normal Holley 1971A four barrel carb replaced with a Carter AFB 2968S four barrel. Never let it be said that cops are not street racers at heart, or that they don’t know what will make an engine perform. With these changes the big CHiP Dodge, with full equipment, and a large cop on board, ran out to a top speed of 130 miles an hour! Big stuff in 1960!
However, these small moves marked the first steps for Chrysler Corporation towards introduction of the Chrysler "Enforcer" to become the single Chrysler Corp car with the 122" wheelbase available with a Police Package, as shown in 1961.
The 1961 Dodge line up still had its 122" wheelbase Polara. However, no police package was officially available for that model. At least that was the opening shot upon the early fall season introduction.
Not to be denied, the CHP had tremendous influence. Admittedly, the sale records are not complete. What is well known that the CHiP got around two 600 unit purchases, or 1,200 1961 Dodge Polara Police Pursuit units. Another very reliable source claims that the purchase was up to 1,800 cars, with the CHP making a third purchase of an additional 600 units. As far as is known these are the only Polara models that were built with the Police Package. There is one of them that has been preserved and fully restored. Exceptionally rare, it is worth a ton! If anyone were to find one of these cars, they would have one of the rarest vehicles ever built in this country.
As for the 1961 Enforcer, again, records appear to be incomplete with no actual production figures. Missouri HP, Indiana SP, and some other agencies did purchase the "Enforcer" Chrysler, but to what level of production no one seems to know. The 1961 Michigan State Police tests gave the nod to the Dodge Dart Seneca and the Plymouth Savoy. In reality, the cars were exactly alike except for the way they wore the sheet metal. Both models were equipped with the 383 ci, single four barrel carb, and dual exhaust engine, along with Torqueflite and all the available Chrysler Police Package accessories. The MSP vehicles were two door sedans! These cars were also capable of 130 mile an hour speeds, even with the standard unmodified Police Package 383 V-8.
An interesting note is the that the "Enforcer" was the first use of the Dodge built 383 ci V-8, replacing the Chrysler built 383 V-8 that was a two year only engine in '59 and '60. That is correct: Chrysler Corporation officially had two 383 cubic inch engines for 1959 and 1960. The Dodge-built 383 had a bore of 4.25 inches and a stroke of 3.38 inches, which was a bored out version of the corporate 361 or “B” V-8. This followed corporate lines with the original 3.38 stroke being introduced with the 350 ci V-8 of 1958. The Chrysler-built 383 came out of the same corporate 361, however, it was bored to 4.03 inches and stroked to 3.75 inches.
Engineering wise, they were both superb engines. Chrysler achieved the stroke length by raising the deck height of the block, thus, earning this engine the motif of being a “raised block” or an “RB”. By increasing the bore of this RB engine to 4.18 inches, the highly touted 413 cubic inch engine was created. Only the Chrysler marque had this 383 engine. Eventually the Dodge 383 engine won the day, because engines with big bores and shorter strokes usually achieve higher torque. So when the Chrysler “Enforcer” model was introduced, technically, it had a Dodge engine!
Of course, we all know far too well about the wacko 1962 styling year, and the loss of the long wheelbase cars in the Dodge and Plymouth lines. The only car available with the Police Pak with the 122' wheelbase from Chrysler was the 1962 Chrysler "Enforcer". Without much hesitation, CHiP selected the model, with a claimed purchase of 1,221 units. That marked the high point of the Enforcer model's popularity. Dodge had relief in the works with the production of the 880 model, which essentially was the Newport with a Dodge front clip.
The 1962 ChiP Enforcer was just about the same vehicle that the 1961 Dodge Polara was. All the equipment was the same including the 383 cubic inch V-8. With the same engine modifications as was done in 1961, the 1962 CHiP Enforcer had a top speed of 130 miles an hour.
The 1963 Chrysler Corporation officially listed a Chrysler Enforcer Police Package. However, no literature, as far as we know, ever existed for this model. No production figures exist, and no sales charts were ever found where any were sold. It is rumored that the Missouri Highway Patrol bought some. No record exists to confirm this.
With the introduction of the Dodge 880 model, the 122” wheelbase drew all the major Police Package orders in 1963 for Dodge. The “RB” engine that remained was the 413 ci V-8, and it joined the Police Force in 1963.
The ChiP, as usual, insisted on some engine modifications, which resulted in the Police 413 package. Chrysler liked the results so much that this “Police Only” engine was applied across the board, and could not be had unless specified for a Police agency! It was rated at 360 horsepower.
A large circulation car magazine obtained permission to test a 1963 Dodge slated for use by the California Highway Patrol. Just how that permission (if any!) was gotten was never made clear. In any event, the officially timed tests at a certified race track proved that these were very fast, big cars. Three runs through the quarter mile were conducted. Keep this in mind: the car weighed about 4,200 pounds. The tests were done with the car in absolute stock condition, just like the CHP would be using it on everyday patrol - full mufflers, air cleaner on, a big guy behind the steering wheel, and a trunk full of journalists' junk. Average speed through the quarter was 86.1 miles an hour with a flat 15 second trap time! Top speed was an honest 130 miles an hour.
1964 also saw the Chrysler Enforcer listed in the Newport series. There are pictures from the Missouri Highway Patrol to confirm that they did buy and use Enforcers in 1964. How many, and what equipment the models had, unfortunately seems to be unobtainable. The pictures show a well dressed up vehicle. It had full chrome trim, and full chrome wheel covers. MHP always seems to have great looking patrol vehicles. They also do not limit themselves to one color either. Their units come in the full color spectrum. There was only one engine option, and that was the full boat Police only 413 ci V-8. Believe it or not, the standard transmission was a manual 3 speed, with a floor mounted shifter. As has been shown, this would have given the MHP 130 mile an hour capabilities. However, 1964 was the Enforcer's last gasp, and it was dropped at the end of the model season.
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