Built For Pursuit: 1970 Ford Police Interceptor

Ever come across a car you didn’t know you wanted until you laid eyes upon it?  Take for example this 1970 Ford Police Interceptor for sale here on eBay in scenic Bee Spring, Kentucky.  The four doors and dog dish hubcaps don’t give you much of a thrill at first glance.  However, a closer look reveals that this Ford is actually a former Alabama State Trooper patrol car.  With a 428 with a four-barrel carburetor under the hood, this car was built for, as Buford T. Justice said, high-speed pursuit.  Would you like to see what it is like behind the wheel of one of these roadside terrors?  With the current bid at $6,600 with 60 bidders already taking part, it seems that this fearsome Ford has a lot of fans.

Why wouldn’t it have a lot of interest?  Alabama’s State Troopers have a fearsome reputation for upholding the speed limit.  Add to that the rather lax regulations in the early 1970s regarding high speed pursuits, and you can see why patrolling the state’s highways could be a dream job for a leadfooted Southern boy.  If the car was still in service when the 55 MPH speed limit law came into effect, one would imagine there would have been a lot more intercepting to do.

Intercepting was something this car likely did well.  This police package Ford had a 428 cubic inch police interceptor engine under the hood, with a four barrel carburetor, and automatic transmission, and a 9″ rear end.  Ford gave it the Elwood Blues treatment with cop suspension and cop shocks.  Interestingly, the car is also equipped with air conditioning.

Inside, we see there has been some non-authentic repairs made to the interior.  The dash is covered by what looks like a felt material to undoubtedly cover up cracks and sun damage.  The seat seems to have been the recipient of a slick vinyl seat cover and some extra padding.  It must have been tough going around corners in these cars at speed.  Sedans of this era were usually equipped with a bench seat, and late sixties and early seventies vinyl was quickly polished by your posterior to make the slickest surface known to man.  Better buckle up.

Another look at the dash reveals a 140 MPH speedometer that probably has the word calibrated somewhere on it.  Before radar was possible, the pursuing officer could issue you a ticket based on their speedometer reading when following behind you.  Whoever fixed this car up added a CB radio to build up the police image of the car.  A bank of auxillary gauges help to monitor that big Ford motor.

The above picture shows the infamous backseat.  From what I understand, you had to be really bad to not just get a ticket, so that seat carried few lawbreakers.  Notice that there is no divider or even a place to shackle the arrested person down.  It was a different time then.  If you misbehaved with an Alabama State Trooper, you likely got a heaping helping of hickory shampoo for your trouble.

Underneath the blue air cleaner lies the 428 cubic inch Ford big block engine that powered many a pursuit.  These police only engines had 360 horsepower on tap for any high speed work.  The engine bay is clean and tidy, and looks relatively untouched.  Thankfully, the seller has made a short YouTube video of the car both idling and blasting down the road.  The sound is just as intoxicating as you would expect.  The headers and dual exhaust really bring out that big block sound.

You can’t help but smile when you see and hear this old cop car.  As the seventies wore on, police cars got slower and more choked down with emissions controls like every other car.  Big blocks were also an endangered species by that time.  A fellow could have a lot of fun with a car like this.  With 60 people bidding, I’d venture to say a lot of other people feel the same way.

Would you be interested in an extraordinary former cop car like this wicked Ford?

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Comments

  1. nycbjr Member

    😂 hickory shampoo! Great writing!

    Like 23
  2. Miguel

    I was going to comment on the black hood, because this idiotic trend continues, but it looks like that is how the Alabama Trooper cars were equipped.

    Like 5
    • John Wilson

      Just as you see on school buses, this cuts down on glare.

      Like 3
    • Rick Rothermel

      The hood and trunk are a rich dark blue, not black.

      Like 3
  3. Steve R

    It’s a cool car, but where is the Marti report? Any dealer selling a specialized Ford knows the cost of the report will be more than covered by the increase in value it provides.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  4. John M.

    Do this big Blue Oval up in the familiar yellow, red and blue paint scheme of the MFP and Max Rockantansky and his partner Jim Goose would be happily chasing baddies all over the Australian outback in it

    Like 4
    • Gnrdude

      Dude Those were Aussie Ford not Even Close to this design.

      Like 3
      • JLB

        Nice clean car, in 1970 this car would be a 429, which I believe this to be. Great pursuit engine starts to really get up around 45 mph similar to my 460.

        Like 1
    • SubGothius

      Nah, this model is clearly calling for the Ford Timelord treatment.

      Like 1
      • Chebby Staff

        Hahah I bought that 45 in a London record shop just because of the car on the cover! Had never heard of KLF before but became a fan.

      • BILL

        In 1970 this Ford P.I.has a Ford FE Block 428 P.I. Motor (same as what Carrol Shelby used in his Shelby Mustang GT 500). Fords 485 Series 429 Cobra Jet was Ford’s “Police Interceptor” motor in 1971.

        Like 1
  5. firefirefire

    ” Interestingly, the car is also equipped with air conditioning.”

    Have you EVER been in Alabama in the summer?

    Like 33
    • Clay Harvey

      firefirefire, I know it’s hot in the south, I’m a lifelong Texan, but until the 70’s cop cars did not have a/c, nor most any standard family car, we just sucked it up in those days. If you ever watch Mayberry RFD you will notice Andy and Barney have the vent windows swung around to bring in the air. The local deputy in my small county had a black on black 67 Plymouth Fury I with a 383 and 3 on the tree with no options.

      Like 7
      • Gary Hartley

        In 72 I bought a used 70 Plymouth Fury I two door post police car. It had a 440 torqueflite with factory air. I was in the used car business at the time. Drove it for a month or so. Fun car.

        Like 4
      • KevinR

        Mayberry RFD was filmed in California. By the late ’60s, most cars actually sold in the South had air conditioning.

        Mom’s ’66 Ford Ranch Wagon, bought in Buffalo – No A/C
        Dad’s ’69 Dodge Coronet, bought in Georgia – Air Conditioning

        Like 1
      • Clay Harvey

        I was there in the late 60’s and remember only about half the cars sold in Texas had ac. Most would not pay the extra cost to get it, and most of our homes, our schools or our rural churches also did not have it. They built a new school building for the 69-70 school year was the first one with ac. It all started changing more in the 70’s.

        Like 3
    • CanuckCarGuy

      My uncle was an RCMP officer back in the 80s/90s and their Crown Vics were ordered without factory a/c or radios; the theory was with windows up and the a/c on you’re going to miss something audible (shouting, gunfire, etc) They weren’t concerned with officer comfort when spec’ing their cars…it was another piece of issued kit.

      Like 1
  6. Narko

    Burt. Reynolds.

    Like 5
  7. Lovell Linville

    Had a 72 old detective car would pass anything in town( Good thing was early 80’s and gas was around a buck)…but the gas station ,it was a dark brown 2 door 429 carpet was faded except for the hump was a perfect dark brown square,interior was great except where driver got in and out(he must been a big dude corner was wore out and seat sank . Car ran great but if you stomped on it you could watch the gas hand drop faster than it was

    Like 1
  8. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Of all the cars I’ve ever seen on BarnFinds, I want this one the most. My very first car was a ’69 Ford Custom, a retired Connecticut State Police car almost exactly like this one. Powder blue, bench seat, all vinyl interior and powered by the awesome 428 PI with a C6 trans. Although rated at 360hp, the actual hp was closer to 450. I bought it for $200 in ’74 and drove the hell out of it until it succumbed to the dreaded tin worm. On the highway from 50 or 60 mph and up, it was just about unbeatable. I raced a lot of hot cars on the highway; Corvettes, GTOs, Chevelles, you name it, none of them could keep up, especially at over 100 mph. It handled pretty well for such a big car, it was really stable at very high speeds. Jeez, I loved that car! If I hadn’t just bought a ’64 Fairlane 500, I’d be all over this. If only this had come up for sale when I was looking for my next classic Ford, I’d be all over this one. Not the most exciting car visually but what a performer the new owner will get to enjoy.

    Like 27
    • Boatman Member

      @FordGuy 1972- As England Dan and JFC said “It’s sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along”

      Like 4
  9. Bob C.

    Didn’t think the 428 was still available in 1970. I figured the 429 would have replaced it by this point.

    Like 3
    • Scott

      Yes, it’s a common misperception. 1970 was the last year of the 428 in production cars to include the police cars. Yes, the 429 was offered for 69 and 70 XL, Galaxie and base models, but ford did not replace the 428 PI as an option for police cars till mid 71. The 429 CJ was an interim replacement for the first few 1971 cars – probably fewer than 50 units.

      • BILL

        “Interim replacement?” Only 50 cars? I’ve owned 3 of the real, “P-coded” 1972 Ford Police Interceptor Package cars, and still own one. I know two other collectors who each own one of these cars. We were all lucky enough to own 5 out of the precious 50 1971 Ford P.I. cars that all had the 439 Cobra Jet motors?

        Every one of these 1971 Ford P.I. Cars that I have ever seen, owned, or heard of had the Ford 429 Cobra Jet motors in them. The 1971 Ford Police Vehicles Dealer Brochure specs the 1971 Ford “Police Interceptor” Package with Ford’s 429 Cobra Jet motors rated at 370 HP.

    • BILL

      The Ford FE Block 428 P.I. Motor was included in Ford’s top-of-line “Interceptor” Police Package until the 1970 model year. When in 1971, tthe “Boss of the Highway” (according to their “Ford Police Vehicles” dealer Brochure) in the 1971 Ford “Interceptor” Police Package was the 429 Cobra Jet motor rated at an “insurable” horsepower of 370 HP, with them actually being dynoed at between 450 HP to 475 HP, bone stock from the factory, with top radar clocked Speeds upwards of 160 mph; this with a 3 speed HD C6 automatic transmission and 3.00 open axles.

      Re: Ford Police Package Vehicles Factory Air Conditioning; Ford factory A/C has always been available in a Ford Police Package vehicle from the 1960’s, 1970s IF it was available in its’ retail car equivalent. Any Ford factory options available on their retail vehicles of whatever years, e.g., Custom, Custom 500, Galaxie, Galaxie 500, LTD, LTD Crown Victoria, et cetera, could also be ordered on any of the Ford Police Package vehicles. Typically, by the late 1960s / early 1970s a “stripped” (without any options) Ford Police Package vehicle costs the Federal, State, County, and local governments approximately $3,000 per unit, give or take for volume discounts, et cetera. Adding A/C to a 1970 Ford Police Package vehicle would have cost approximately $300 to $350, give or take depending on volume discounts, et cetera. This equates to an increase of approximately 10% per vehicle. Budgets were so tight back then that when Government agencies of all sizes Whether they ordered 10 or 300 Ford Police Package vehicles, the cost for A/C was usually fiscally prohibitive. With few exceptions, e.g. Alabama, South Carolina, et cetera, THAT is the real reason why most Ford Police Vehicles from the 1970s, 1960s on back did not have A/C. [Emphasis Added]. I drove Ford Police Package vehicles as an Army MP, and as a civilian police officer in the 1970s and early 1980s, and we sweated our you-know-whats off especially in the warmer months of the year. By the late 1970s the cost of Ford factory A/C In Fords and other manufacturer’s Police Package vehicles had come down relative to the costs per Ford Police Package vehicle. By the late 1970s and Early 1980s Many more LE agencies, e.g., the Connecticut State Police, and many municipal agencies were starting to order A/C in their Police Package vehicles. By 1982, Ford had captured upwards of 90% of the Police vehicle market in the United States. Because the cost of A/C had dropped so much in all Ford vehicles, FORD Fleet Operations (the Government / Commercial side of FoMoCo) had decided to give free A/C to all Ford Police Package vehicles ordered by Government agencies commencing in 1982. Just my 2 1/2 cents.

  10. Troy s

    First thing came to mind was the brown moonshine rig in White Lightning, always thought that was a hot machine. Then I wondered if it had the 428 instead of the 429, yep. California Highway Patrol bought these in ’70 instead of the much loved Dodge Polara, forced to really, and they had the old 428 police interceptor engine as well, no 429’s.
    This would be a blast to go screaming down the interstate, stopping it from speed could be more dramatic.

    Like 8
    • Tim

      The CHP did NOT have Fords in 1970, it was the Mercury Monterey. It did have the 428. The 1971 Ford from White Lightening probably had the 429, but the confusing part was that it was shown as both
      an automatic AND manual transmission. Hope that clears things up.

      Like 5
      • Troy s

        Mercury had a squad car, still a Ford in the blood line though, and not well liked by the CHP who drove them. ’69 440 powered pursuit cars would have been a tough act to follow anyways.
        Yes, the brown Ford movie car with the stick shift automatic, I give some slack when it comes to Hollywood hot rods, it’s all for entertainment. Favorite thing about that particular car was the sound of the four barrel carb sucking atmosphere through the open air filter, for me anyways. Gave it an edgy vibe.

        Like 1
      • Ralph Terhune

        The shot of the manual transmission was from a 1971-’73 Mustang. Look closer when you watch the movie again.

        Like 1
  11. David G

    The 428 engine was the Interceptor from 1966-1970. The 429 was the Interceptor in ’71 and ’72. This is a great looking car. It sold at Barrett Jackson in Las Vegas three weeks ago for $2,750. Was wondering if it would go to a collector or a flipper. Now we know.

    Like 16
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      $2750?! Wow

      Like 8
  12. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    What a great, interesting car.
    Right up my street this one.

    Like 4
  13. Fred w

    I find it amazing that this car exists- I’ll bet 99 percent were scrapped within 5 years after decomissioning. I owned a 74 polara ex police back in the day, and it had similar vinyl, for easy cleanup.

    Like 7
    • John Fernandez

      Fred W, are you sure your Polara ex-Police car was a ’74? For 1974, Dodge’s full-size Police vehicle was the Monaco.

  14. Chris Mann

    Burt Reynolds as Gator McClusky..wheeling his brown ford around the town and watching the Bad Cop Ned Beatty sore into the pond

    Like 7
    • Mood O

      Why do they call ya Gator?

      Cause I’ll chew ya up!

      Great line…

      Kudo’s Chris!
      I was thinking the same thing looking at this ad.

      Like 4
    • Vinny

      Any good car guy or gal would know in gator the brown galaxie was a automatic on the column they tricked the people when they stuck a stick shot in

  15. Desert rat

    My high school car was a 70 Galaxy 500 with a 390cid for what ever reason I was crazy about it. I installed an aluminum intake and headers ,the car was pretty fast for its weight 4200 lbs, no problem taking down Chevelle SS 396s with her, but in hindsight,I’m sure they were 325 horsepower versions if I had gotten ahold of a 350 or 375 horse it would still be eating my lunch! Seeing this car brings back so many memories and I can only imagine how strong this thing would run with that 428, wow.

    Like 2
  16. Stephan Jerome Meli

    Mohamed Ali stated “When you back it up you’re not bragging.” I am able to state to all I owned two(2)new Pontiac GTOs that would suck up these police interceptors in one exhaust & then spit it out the other! Sure,a police interceptor could out distance an average car,but was not even close to a match to THE GREAT ONE! Then & now I never did see the logic of law enforcement agencies in purchasing slow cars.Standing starts or 40-60MPH kickdowns or all out top end matches the police interceptors lost against the one & only BOLDSHIFTER!

    Like 3
    • David G

      Sounds like a lot of bragging to me. Not seeing how “The Great One” is winning a top end run against an Interceptor that is on average 25 miles per hour faster than the top speed of a GTO. Lol.

      Like 6
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        I couldn’t run against a lot of cars from a standing start in a 1/4 mile run, always lost too much out of the hole against cars with lower gears. My ’69 428 PI was set up for high speeds on the highway where it dominated. I ran against quite a few GTOs on the highway including my brother’s ’70 GTO that had a 400 with three deuces and smoked every one of them. I remember at 55 mph, when you floored it, the passing gear would kick in and the tires would spin a bit. At about 80 it would shift into top gear. At about 95, still floored, the passing gear would kick in again. And that big 428 would just keep pulling.

        I had a ’66 GTO with a 400 that my brother, who was a die-hard GTO guy, set up and I can tell you that while my Goat was really good in the 1/4 mile, on the highway, the 428 PI would eat it for lunch.

        I had both a GTO and a 428 PI. I raced in them and against them, so I know. Maybe there was a GTO out there that could beat my Ford on the highway, but I never came up against one.

        Like 7
      • Rick Rothermel

        Im thinkin’ this was a Supervisors car… no 429, but with A/C. Rank has its’ privileges!

        Like 2
      • Rick Rothermel

        The older he gets the faster he was…

        Like 5
    • Dave

      What you’re missing is an old saying that goes way back: you might be able to outrun the motor but you won’t outrun the Motorola. Cop cars, especially highway patrol versions, could easily keep up with 99 percent of what was out there 50 years ago.

      Like 7
      • Terry R Melvin

        But not the Motorola!

        Like 2
    • BILL

      I think that you are having a bad dream. Ford Police Interceptors aren’t going to drag race you in the 1/4 mile. They’ll be waiting for you at the end of that 1/4 mile street race when you are flying by them at 100 mph. At that point in in time the GREST ONE isn’t so great having been caught by that Ford Police Interceptor equipped with either a 428 or 429 Police Interceptor motor.

  17. Barry L Klotz

    I bought one in 1972 for my Dad. It was a428 Interceptor, ex- Maryland State Trooper car. Could burn the back tires off at 55mph. Loved that FORD.

    Like 6
    • BILL

      A 1972 Ford Police Interceptor Package Police vehicle was equipped with a 429 4V High Output motor which ran on Regular (not premium)gas. The last year for the Ford FE Block 428 Police Interceptor motor was 1970. 1971 and 1972 Ford Police Interceptor Package vehicles primarily used by State Police / Highway Patrol Agencies throughout the United Ststes we’re equipped with very special Ford 385 Series 429 motors. I hope that this helps everyone on this series of posts that appear to be confused by the Ford FE Block 428 vs.The Ford “385 Series” Block 429 motor. They are two completely different, unrelated motors.

  18. jerry z

    I liked the comments about Gator McCluskey’s brown LTD. I’d change the color to brown and stick in a 4 speed!

    Like 1
  19. P Wentzell

    I have owned a former Alabama State Patrol car, a 1980 Crown Vic, and yes, it had air conditioning. I’m guessing that, yes, this car was for pursuit, as the rear seat window cranks and door release latches are still in place.

    Like 1
  20. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. Two of my favourite cars have always been police pursuit cars and taxicabs.

    Like 5
  21. Terry R Melvin

    Not only was the 428 PI geared pretty high and could reach high top speeds, , it was practically indestructable if you kept the oil clean and drove it “normally”. Ford’s 390 and 428 were the two best “FE” motors.

    Like 4
  22. PDXBryan

    The wide black “cop” steelies and “Dog dish hub caps don’t give you much of a thrill”? I don’t think I’m alone in saying they look awesome to me at first, second, or one hundredth glance!

    Like 8
  23. James Martin

    Is it a true interceptor? Has door window cranks and door opening handles dont know about Alabama but the cop cars I have had the unfortunate time spent in the back seat and there were no handles and no way to roll down window. I think it is a good story to sell a 4 door ford.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      James, while that may be, they could have been added back in the last 50 years.

      Like 4
    • BILL

      Look at the Ford VIN. There should be a “P” in the Ford VIN indicating it is a Ford Police Package Vehicle. If this vehicle sold at Barrett-Jackson as a former Ford “P-coded” vehicle then it is legit, and bonified!

  24. Boatman Member

    Is that a heavy duty gas gauge? You’re gonna need one!

    Like 1
  25. Ken Carney

    As a teen ager, I remember that the town
    of Normal, Illinois had a fleet of these cars and of course, they were police
    interceptors. Dad was a police officer back then and this is the car he drove.
    But as I recall, his car had something called a 428 “Semi Hemi” under the hood.
    It’s been 50 years, but I still recall the rather strange valve covers and the way
    that the plugs were located. They were
    located in a position nearly half way up
    and almost in the center of the valve
    cover on both sides of the engine. The
    valve covers had special “Wells” made into them so that a mechanic could easily
    place his spark plug socket over the top
    of the spark plug to make changing them
    a snap. From what I was able to read about these engines, they put out nearly
    400 HP and made a massive amount of
    torque too. My memory could be failing
    me here, but I think that they used a transistorized ignition setup instead of a
    standard points/condenser/rotor setup
    that you found in regular cars at that time. Dad’s cruiser also had a very lopey
    idle to it until the engine was warmed up
    completely too. Once warm, that engine
    had a very healthy idle indeed. Could you
    imagine taking this car to the cruise at
    Oldtown? Just add a police scanner and
    watch the fun begin!

    Like 1
    • Rick Rothermel

      That woulda been the 429… heavier, more money, more gas, more maintenance. Neat items, rare for numerous reasons.

  26. Rick Rothermel

    Im thinkin’ this was a Supervisors car… no 429, but with A/C. Rank has it’s privileges!

  27. Ted

    I’m impressed that it left barrett ripoff for what most of us would consider couch cushion money.

  28. Del

    No thanks.

    Mopar had best Police cars

    Like 4
    • BILL

      Mopar or No car! They left a lot of cops, including me, with “No Car!” Over the past 40 to 50 years Ford has had the lions share, 70% to 80%, of the Police Vehicle market in the United States. They are the most expensive of all of the Police Package vehicles, and the most reliable and best performing. That’s why most LE Agencies in this country prefer Ford Police Package Vehicles!

  29. Neil

    The only thing I question on this car would be the carpeting. It must have been installed after de-commissioning. All cruisers I know of have come with rubber matting, not carpet. Love the car though.

    Like 2
  30. Gunner

    Ken……interesting read on your Dad’s patrol car. As Rick suggests, this motor could be a 429…..Boss 429 that is. Although these motors were supposed to be only in Mustang and possibly the Cougar, I believe that some found their way into other cars as well. I once met an individual who had the good fortune of purchasing a 69 or 70 F100 that was equipped with the Daddy Boss. Orginal? He believed that it was, but did not have any paperwork. The gentleman that he bought from had no clue of the special and rare motor that it had. So in conclusion, I say that some cars, slipped out into the market simply because one had the money, knew the right people, or both. It was a different time, and rules were bent on occasion.

    • Clay Harvey

      I remember an extended family member went to a Ford dealership in 1970 and found an LTD with a 302 and three on the tree. It did not have a radio, but had vacuum gauges in the place of. It had been ordered by someone and they didn’t take it. I know that back then you could order just about anything.

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