Sunday, July 3, 2011
20th Annual National Police Car Convention raids Kansas City.
I've always had a soft spot for police cars. For one thing, I don't believe in movies that don't involve at least one car chase where a minimum of 18 Gran Furys get trashed. But also, my dad had lots of Caprices and Impalas around when I was growing up, and my current car is a '96 Impala SS, all of which have a connection to the police cars that were derived from them.
But the older cars were really what caught my attention. For example, there was a '38 Buick Century California Highway Patrol car that was really restored nice. Even the tires were period-correct. This thing was as pretty as it was functional.
But thanks to the magic of HULU, we can go back and see that in some of the earlier episodes, the chief actually rolls in a '54 Oldsmobile. And to that end, there was a more-than-suitable example of a '54 Olds CHP car on display. It really was nice, and a great way to restore an old sedan that may not have been as striking if you tried to make it a hot rod or even just stock.
Buford T. Justice-worthy '77 Pontiac LeMans, and a very nice '73 AMC Matador that was meticulously restored in Adam 12 livery.
When I went to the hotel, there was a retired policeman there who was hanging out with his Model A Shay Roadster decked out with Kansas Highway Patrol badges. I incredulously asked him how a two-seat roadster could be considered a police car, and he informed me that the early KHP cars were, indeed, built in this configuration. He also mentioned that there might be another one at the show the next day, and sure enough, a real Model A Roadster, also with Kansas Highway Patrol identification, made its way on the grounds.
All-in-all, this one of the more interesting car shows I've been to in awhile. I'm glad they chose Kansas City this year so we could have the opportunity to check them out. I'm leaving you with a pretty big slideshow, so you can check them out too.
Also, if you like this story, you might enjoy looking back on this one with several vintage factory photos of police vehicles over the years. Many of the cars depicted in this promotional material were actually featured at the convention.