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Automated System
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With numerous states and municipalities adopting the Dodge Charger as a police car, one fleet manager told  Allpar that he was very satisfied with it, and that transmission failures were practically non-existent; downtime has been dramatically reduced since they switched to Dodge cars. He also said that he had never met an officer who did not like the Chargers, and “When officers love a car like the Charger, cost per mile is lower.” Dodge Chargers for the police differ from civilian units, with special provisions for equipment and seating; police Chargers also have much stiffer suspensions and use the five-speed automatic regardless of engine, while civilians get the eight-speed with the V6.

Charger has outperformed the old Ford Crown Victoria police cars since the first comparisons in 2006; and while Charger has done well in recent tests in Michigan, California, and Virginia, one new rival, the Chevrolet Caprice, did poorly at..

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Outstanding!
 

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Good thing they have unique headlighs and the racetrack rear lights!!! As long as i can still recognize and keep an out for em...its all good haha
 

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Am I correct in assuming the latest Chargers and not the 2006-10??
Good to hear reports like this. Police cars have to earn their keep, eh??
 

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I am a MOPAR fan now but even ALLPAR should not deny the outstanding service of the Panther platform. Millions of miles of police, taxi and livery service proved how good it was. And when the CVPI was still in production most of the time even though it was outperformed by the Charger, the CVPI still won most bids. There are far more things than just performance numbers when buying a police cruiser. Things like how the Ford was easier to get in and out of (both front and back) and the huge trunk. Although the Romeo V8 in PI form was not that powerful for the times, it was incredibly reliable. Just like any fleet car there were problems but overall there just has never been a fleet platform that has performed in so many different roles and performed so well.
I am sure the Chargers will do as well if they are given the time, but give credit where credit is due......and admit that if the CVPI was still in production, it would still win bid around the country.
 

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overall there just has never been a fleet platform that has performed in so many different roles and performed so well.
I am sure the Chargers will do as well if they are given the time, but give credit where credit is due......and admit that if the CVPI was still in production, it would still win bid around the country.
Chrysler B bodies and C bodies - both platforms performed well in so many different roles and beat GM and Ford most years.
Charger was winning bids left and right during the time the CVPI was in production.

Maybe some cops like to turn and stop and stuff.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
Chrysler B bodies and C bodies - both platforms performed well in so many different roles and beat GM and Ford most years.
Charger was winning bids left and right during the time the CVPI was in production.

Maybe some cops like to turn and stop and stuff.
The B and C platforms did very well indeed say from around 61-78....the R platform was a disaster from begining to end. Redgap was very kind when talking about them but even he was hard on them. I was 17 yers old in 1980 standing on a runway at McClellan AFB watching the CHP desperately try to get thier StRegis' to hit 100 MPH (My dad was CHP)...they finally got desperate and took off the full lightbar and they hit 105 on that test. They were just pathetic. The Diplomats were better but the transverse torsion front ends fell apart over and over.

The Panther platform started in 1980 (really just using the 114 WB from the 72 Gran Torino/Ranchero platform that came in 114 and 118 in) and just ended in 2011......the MOPAR C and D did not come close to the length of time or miles that the Panther has. Pretty small of some not to even acknowledge what an acheivment that was. Before the Town Car and CVPI went out of production livery companies and Sheriff/police/HP departments bought extra so they could continue in service even after production ended.

CVPI turned and stopped just fine, as good as the Chargers do? Nope. But is that all that matters in a law enforcement machine? Not even close. I grew up around cops (CHP) and they loved thier late 60s and early 70s Dodges, but as the 70s went on they came to hate them. The R bodies were the absolute worst and were despised by the CHP. Diplomats they like better because they handled better but reliability was terrible with the front ends. The CHP likes their Chargers for the most part but there are problems with driver seats breaking and entry and exit, they dont like at all. They like how quick they are and how they handle.

My point was, and is the same now, is that sneering about the CVPI is just sour grapes at a machine that has served fleet use like no other.
 

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The R body was a very highly regarded cop car in much of the country in 1979 and 1980 where you could get the E58 360. Sure California screwed themselves and got stuck with the 318 powered St Regis but that car was still the fastest squad that met their emissions that year.

You also conveniently forget that the Crown Vic had a design flaw where the rear sway bar could puncture the gas tank which Ford didn't care to fix until several agencies began excluding them from bidding.
 

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Supposedly the 1980 Federal R body with its E58 360 was quite good and ward is the 1981 model with just its 318-4V was still better than its analog from 1980............which was a dog.

Side note here: the 114" WB Panther started out for 1979 and except for the motors (302 and 351W) and trannys; it shared probably nothing mechanically with the 1972-79 Torino/LTD II. Flip side: the St Regis and friends was essentially a restyled 1978 down B body sans the 400-440 engines but virtually every other major mechanical/electrical part carried over. :)
 

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Just about everything in the very late seventies and very early eighties was a dog compared to both what preceeded it and followed it, Ford and GM included.

One of the R-body's bigger problems was that if one lifted the car from the back end indelicately, the shape of the unibody at the C-pillar area compared to the B-body sedan that it replaced allowed it tweak more than it should have. Obviously this is not a good thing. Though it was slow conventional sales that killed it off more than anything else.
 

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Excuse me, but I was not particularly "hard" on the "R" body in fleet service. We used them for three full years, purchasing 79, 80, and 81 units, and some of those stayed in service 3 or 4 years after they could have been retired. A couple of my buds bought and are still using some of the ex squads. The 318-4V was all we could get in 1981, same as CHP, (which choose the DIPLOMAT in 1981) which was mandated or relegated, as you choose to the 318 4V in 1980. It was NOT a pursuit car, and we KNEW that before buying them! So did California!~ (NOTE: I said that in my article!) however, it was a damned good patrol vehicle, which I also pointed out. DO NOT BLAME THE DODGE IN CALIFORNIA! They were tested, and the performance parameters were WELL KNOWN! At the time....... it was the single BEST performing car for Police work! The CHP knew it, checked them out, tested them, accepted them, then began to cry later. A whole lot of other states used the R body cars, along with counties, towns, villages, and Federal Agencies, Mexico and Canada! They used them, liked them, kept a lot of them past turn in time, including many counties, cities, towns in California. None of those municipalities cried like CHP did about them.

What was Ford doing in '79 - '80 or 1981? Their new 4 speed OD was a maintenance nightmare, strangling a lot of fleet budgets. The "variable venturi" on the 351 was scary to operate, uncontrollable in application, refusing to get beyond idle, and at other times, jumping to wide open. The engine could not maintain enough power to keep up speed in overdrive. Officers were ordered NOT to use the OD on patrol. They were poor, vague handling units, numb in response to driver inputs. (Commentary courtesy Minnesota State Police) NOTE: This was the PANTHER platform. Only the body work and the engine changed later.

Do not try to revise what I wrote! I resent that! Are you just trolling here or what? Post appears to me to be better suited on a FoMoCo site!

The R bodies were so much liked that when a certain enthusiast magazine ran a questionnaire about the "best" or "most liked" squads........guess which one came in first....... by far..... the R bodies!

As for the CHP, I do not know when or where it changed, however, selection of the later model CVPI did not follow the LA tests as being the best vehicle for the taxpayer dollar. From the same agency that back in the 1930s used Chrysler Imperial Airflow, Buick Century, Hudson, Graham, and some of the fastest cars then, through the 1950s when they jumped into the Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" Pontiac V-8, Dodge Hemi, and began selection by testing in the mid 50s for the best performing vehicles, to adapting the '82 Mustang, Chevrolet Caprice, Dodge Charger..........then? Ford Utility "Interceptor?" Stock piling the last of the CVPI? What emasculated CHP? If, the so called "Panther" platform, the CVPI was soooo good, why is it not in production yet.......a fleet only thing? Ford certainly amortized the tooling costs ages ago for this vehicle. For one thing, the body lacked total integrity. The Federal Transportation agency initiated a full investigation of the CVPI for cooking people when the units were hit from behind... totally deforming the body, trapping the people because the doors where jammed shut. Most were labeled as "Cop Cookers" (or Cooking Various Police Individuals - CVPI) by those officers forced to use them through either low bid or politically influenced bids when better vehicles were available. As well, have you not noted the Michigan State Police Testing since Charger arrived for duty? That the CVPI is limited in top speed due to "driveline harmonics?" And NEVER corrected by Ford engineers. Changes, yes, such as speed limiting via computer inputs. Guess cop safety, like prevention of flaming BBQs in Fords was not a top concern. Oh, it was addressed, but never corrected engineering on the production line wise, only through add on items. Perpetually, they were doggy performers as well. The OHC V-8 lacked (and still does lack) low end punch when you truly need it. Like getting out of your own way! Ford had to resort to going back to the 1970s to update the EEVC-III computer to get past 110 mph while the Caprice was out there whipping along at 130, without the LT-1 Corvette engine package.

Just because a department purchases a certain type of vehicle, doesn't mean it is the "best" thing on the road, quite contrary to what the manufacturer wants to project to the public. Free, widespread advertising comes to mind first before actual "best" for the money purchases. A clue might be gained when in the last year of production, 1996, the Caprice was beyond ALL doubt, the single BEST police unit out there. Of which, the CHP had used the Caprice for two full model years previously! Much like Chevrolet resurrected the 1969 Dodge Polara sort of thing. And what did the CHP choose? The 1996 CVPI. Even in the face of MOST of the entire police forces in the USA opting for the Caprice. A joke, I thought. Heavy politics were afoot there, however, I am not going into that rat's nest here.

Further, you have a whole lot of resistance to change. How many years did agencies, like the CHP decry that ONLY 122 inch wheelbase cars would suffice. As well, we see yet, resistance to the unit body, the old guard baying in the back ground about "body on frame" as somehow being so much better. NOT. Chrysler went to unit bodies in 1960. How many years did the CHP use UNIT BODY DODGE vehicles? And... would not buy anything else?? A whole lot BETTER deal. Meanwhile in 1981,CHP crying all the way, accepting the SPECIAL SERVICE NON POLICE PACKAGE UNIT BODY 1982 Mustang as some sort of saving grace for their officers. Most of the reason that you see agencies using things like the SUVs and CUVs is that they are still built with the body on frame. Nothing at all to do with being the "best." That being relative to the wants, beliefs, and buying ability of the fleet manager.

Pointing to taxi fleets is also a matter of relativity since most taxi companies buy the well used fleet cars from police agencies after those agencies put them out of service. Yeup, Ford got a whole lot of mileage out of the ol' Panther platform. Ford also got a whole lot of miles from othe platforms. Doesn't mean that they were the best. Ford, by its own admission to fleet buyers, never, ever, and still does not strive to be the "best" in anything. What they seek is a good solid "average" for about what the unit is going to be used for.

Adequate, dubious, the best, no.
 

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The 2013 Ford Explorer is a 'unibody'.

Taxicabs: more and more fleets; at least in the Phx area, are going with the Toyota Prius vs. retired police sedans of any brand. 50 MPG from the Prius plus 200K miles reliability and maybe 3-4 qts of oil per oil change vs. ca. 6 qts for the 12 MPG cop cars all go a long way towards cancelling out the higher up front costs of the little Japanese hybrid. And apparently the Prius is quite reliable which shocked me.
 

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Addendum:

One thing not many people realize is the importance of gearing; especially in the days of 3 spd AT's. Case in point: the old 440 Magnum cop cars typically had 3:23 final drives vs. the 2:94's that the R body and M body both got stuck with. And I won't even go there re: the poor M's with the 318-2V with their pathetic 2:24 ratio axles. :scared:

In defense of the 318-4V R bodies: I suspect that 3:23's would've woken them up vs. the 2:94's and possibly helped the top end too since the engines would be pulling (slightly) higher RPM.
 

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Bearhawke said:
Addendum:

One thing not many people realize is the importance of gearing; especially in the days of 3 spd AT's. Case in point: the old 440 Magnum cop cars typically had 3:23 final drives vs. the 2:94's that the R body and M body both got stuck with. And I won't even go there re: the poor M's with the 318-2V with their pathetic 2:24 ratio axles. :scared:

In defense of the 318-4V R bodies: I suspect that 3:23's would've woken them up vs. the 2:94's and possibly helped the top end too since the engines would be pulling (slightly) higher RPM.
I don't know about that Bear. I mean the 318 4V was all in all a good rig for what it was meant to be for..... patrol. Had enough juice to get you there if there was an emergency response needed. It was just not meant to be a "pursuit" vehicle, although we did engage with them, just the same, and got decent results too! Handling was superb. :cop: The thing is, we KNEW what to expect going in.

California acted like :excited: when they TESTED the 1980 St. Regis, and ACCEPTED them. Then after placing them in the field, the patrol threw fits when the 318 with it's 155 horses couldn't rocket its way to 150 miles an hour!!!! :frusty: Suddenly from hero to zero. With no fault of the Dodge or the engine! Further, their own law makers would not give their own police a break in the air pollution rules! Gotta wonder just how much "pollute" would be spewed into the air over the entire state of California by 1100 vehicles, emitting just a bit more from a 360 V-8 as opposed to a 318 V-8, especially when you consider that most of the '79 and '80 units were still out there.

I am surprised by the use of Prius in a Taxi fleet. One of the worst sort of applications outside of police work.
 

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Curtis Redgap said:
I don't know about that Bear. I mean the 318 4V was all in all a good rig for what it was meant to be for..... patrol. Had enough juice to get you there if there was an emergency response needed. It was just not meant to be a "pursuit" vehicle, although we did engage with them, just the same, and got decent results too! Handling was superb. :cop: The thing is, we KNEW what to expect going in.

California acted like :excited: when they TESTED the 1981 St. Regis, and ACCEPTED them. Then after placing them in the field, the patrol threw fits when the 318 with it's 155 horses couldn't rocket its way to 150 miles an hour!!!! :frusty: Suddenly from hero to zero. With no fault of the Dodge or the engine! Further, their own law makers would not give their own police a break in the air pollution rules! Gotta wonder just how much "pollute" would be spewed into the air over the entire state of California by 1100 vehicles, emitting just a bit more from a 360 V-8 as opposed to a 318 V-8, especially when you consider that most of the '79 and '80 units were still out there.

I am surprised by the use of Prius in a Taxi fleet. One of the worst sort of applications outside of police work.
Side note: the 1979 Calif St Regis still had the 360, 1980 brought the (in)famous 'dog cars' with their 318's. 1981 was the Diplomat with its 318. Starting 1982; Calif rolled back its emissions regs to Federal standards where emergency vehicles were concerned.
 

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Bearhawke said:
Side note: the 1979 Calif St Regis still had the 360, 1980 brought the (in)famous 'dog cars' with their 318's. 1981 was the Diplomat with its 318. Starting 1982; Calif rolled back its emissions regs to Federal standards where emergency vehicles were concerned.
Tip of the old hat to Bearhawke. Sometimes you can't tell the players without a score card. I was working from my memories, which, given where they are, are a bit rusty. I sorta skipped over the 1980 CA mandate about the 318 being the biggest engine in CA. The rest of us could still get the 360. Heh! As was said.... "only the names were changed to protect the innocent." The 1981 Diplomat saved Dodge's reputation, or at least, according to the California HP, put a bandage over what was perceived as a wound.
 

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pug-man said:
Curtis Redgap, thanks for your posts here. Very interesting reading.
Thanks for the positive feedback. I deeply appreciate them.

valiant67 said:
The R body was a very highly regarded cop car in much of the country in 1979 and 1980 where you could get the E58 360. Sure California screwed themselves and got stuck with the 318 powered St Regis but that car was still the fastest squad that met their emissions that year.

You also conveniently forget that the Crown Vic had a design flaw where the rear sway bar could puncture the gas tank which Ford didn't care to fix until several agencies began excluding them from bidding.
Yeup.
 

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TWX said:
Just about everything in the very late seventies and very early eighties was a dog compared to both what preceeded it and followed it, Ford and GM included.

One of the R-body's bigger problems was that if one lifted the car from the back end indelicately, the shape of the unibody at the C-pillar area compared to the B-body sedan that it replaced allowed it tweak more than it should have. Obviously this is not a good thing. Though it was slow conventional sales that killed it off more than anything else.
Partially.........more that Iaccoca felt it was the wrong car sending the wrong message at the time.
 
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