What’s under their hoods?
I wonder why they were all 2 door sedans. That would be a challenge to get an uncooperative prisoner into and out of the back seat.
My guess is that being Michigan State Police the vehicles would be used primarily for speed enforcement on state highways, and it would not be often when an individual would be taken into custody.
Neat photo. It’s interesting how police cars in the 60’s and earlier were often two doors, especially highway patrols. It kind of makes sense, since troopers don’t routinely arrest suspects. But I’m sure it happens enough that it would be better to have rear doors. Two doors would be a little cheaper, but not that much. From a cool factor, though, I love the two doors. The Mustangs and Camaros in the 80s/90s were the last to recapture that. Now, in Texas at least, DPS mostly uses SUVs.
I have always liked the 60 Plymouth’s strangeness. I think the 61 was peak Exner, though. The 61 really looks like it’s from another planet.
I am at work, so I can’t look up in my Chrysler Police Cars book to see if it has any info on what highway patrols were typically using for engines.
From my copy of the Chrysler police cars book, the top engine for Plymouth police cars in 1960 was the 361 V8, rated at 305 gross horsepower and 395 ft-lbs of torque.
Other Plymouth engines were the 318 (two- and four-barrel) and the 225 slant six. Page 39 shows a picture of an in-service 1960 Plymouth two-door sedan owned by the City of Chicago.
That 361 was what Plymouth called the “Golden Commando 395” after the torque number – just like they did in 1959. The 318 was a plebian “V-800”. I have no idea what the 800 stood for.
Thanks. I’d be willing to bet the MSP used the 361. A former MSP 60 Plymouth (in working condition) would be a really neat car to have today!
Highway Patrol, on TV with Broderick Crawford, used 2-dr Highway Patrol cars. That’s was just the way father did it back then.
In its first season, the Highway Patrol TV show had the technical support of the California Highway Patrol. Real CHP cars with the show’s “badge” on the doors were used…1955 Buicks and a few 1954 Oldsmobiles, all two-doors. Later seasons used movie prop cars that reflected what the CHP was buying: Dodge, mostly. Mercury in 1957. Two-doors, all. The CHP went to four-doors later.
CHP went four door starting with the 1960 Dodge.
Agree 100% on the ’61s, having grown up in the back seat of one.
I suppose along with being the cheapest, 2-door sedans would be the lightest models available as well.
I’m glad I discovered CC AFTER I retired! 🙂
It’s strange how the Plymouth went from sleek and gorgeous in 1957 and got progressively uglier each year. The 59 had the toilet seat trunk and a fussy grille. The 60 got more extreme. The fins got larger and look like they obstructed rear vision. The front lost the sleekness and looked more like a monster. A precursor to the weird 61’s. I think the styling went down hill each year.
The ’62 Fury had even less presence.
I think the 62 looked good, for its time, as an intermediate mid sized car. It definitely was not a full size car of it’s time. I believe that the 57-59 were body on frame cars and basically the same underneath. Then the 60-61 were full size unibody cars. The 62 was on a smaller platform. If I am wrong, I am sure someone here will correct me.
The RCMP used two door cars back in the day. If I recall correctly mainly for highway patrol use. Those cars had the white doors.
Municipal patrol cars which usually had four doors were all black. However, I have seen pictures of two door all black RCMP marked cars. Two door patrol cars were dropped by the mid-sixties.
One if my Dad’s ftiends, who always bought Chrysler even to the R-body Dodge St. Regis, said about Chrysler styling in the 50s that they started off with a clean “look” but then cluttered it up with ornamentation and excessive “makeup,” like an aging dowager.
Very good observation.
Might that be the Belvedere Il. Plant ?
Lynch Road, in Detroit.
Certainly not Belvidere. Plant did not open until 1965.
I remember two door sedans as highway patrol cars in both Colorado and Nebraska in the early ’70s and maybe (but not sure) Iowa. Colorado and Nebraska were Plymouths then too.
30-D Economy Six TorqueFlite-6
I think I like the Dodge a little better…
I love the ’58-’60 Dodge trucks. Just enough Exner to look good!
If it’s the 361/395, here’s the brochure writeup. I see that all the civilian models had at least some door/fender chrome, but these police cars are really unadorned:
I guess the plain untrimmed sides would make it easier for putting the department’s logo on them.
Good looking cars IMO .
I wonder if any survived .
“No more shake, rattle and roll”….Bet those cars rusted to oblivion by 1963!
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