Seeing a police cruiser is intimidating, no doubt, but there’s something extra daunting about a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro highway patrol car done-up in black-and-whites. Maybe its the American pony car’s agressive looks, or the knowledge that they could almost certainly outrun your daily driven economy car. Either way, we know the slight panic these sporty service vehicles can illicit is the result of the exact same aura that makes them impossibly cool.
Road & Track recently took a trip down to Nashville to look at Ford’s first-ever Mustang highway patrol car. The car was given to the California Highway Patrol in 1981 after they requested a new vehicle capable of running down whatever it was criminals were fleeing down freeway in. The Mustang needed to do 125 mph to meet their standards, so when it hit 126 mph, the CHP promptly ordered 400 of the cars to be handed out to its officers.
The original prototype, a V8-equipped model with a four-speed manual transmission, was kept by the CHP for officer training purposes. They installed a roll-cage in it and enrolled the car in its Emergency Vehicle Operator Course before selling it off to their head of maitenance, who gave the car to his daughter. She traded the car away to her neighbour, who spared it upon learning its history.
Road & Track says the EVOC Mustang prototype, now for sale on Hemmings, is “light and lithe,” if not a bit loose-feeling. They also say the “steering’s over boosted, the shifter is like stirring a five-gallon bucket of gears and oatmeal, and the brakes checked out sometime in the last century.” But despite all this, the former CHP car is full of charachter, and after driving the thing, it’s hard not to want it. Best of all? Drivers still tap their brakes when they see its black-and-white body cruising down the road, evidence of the lasting fear-factor it has on most motorists.