High Speed Pursuit Vehicle? 1968 Volkswagen Beetle

The listing says this was an official police vehicle in the 1960s and 70s, but I have to believe it didn’t do much other than appear at school events and in the local town parade. That being said, the Beetle is located in Agawam, Massachusetts, which wasn’t exactly a hotbed of criminal activity in those days (and still isn’t), so perhaps it did just fine pulling over the little old lady who crept over 50 miles per hour on her way to church. The Beetle is listed here on eBay as a non-runner with rust and its original police garb still intact, with bids to just over $200.

Despite the official paint job, the gigantic sheriff’s hat on the roof is probably the best clue that this Beetle was most likely used to entertain children at public events. Still, it’s always fun to discover some long forgotten piece of town history still in the possession of the agency that owned it, whether it was a bookmobile from the library or a miniature fire engine that the fire house’s Dalmatian rode in. This Beetle appeared on a municipal auction site over the summer as a no reserve entry, so it’s a bit shocking to see it still available.

Even Beetles from seemingly good climates have rust in the floors, so I have no doubt one from western Massachusetts that was stored outside is particularly porous. The interior is an interesting mix of accessories, and it makes me wonder how far the Agawam police department took the conversion into an “official” vehicle. Is that an actual police radio and CB unit, or is it just a mock up? The cabin actually looks reasonably decent for its many years of neglect, and would hopefully be preserved in any restoration attempt.

The engine does not run, and mileage is indicated as being around 127,000. I’m sure there’s a few residents of the community that remember the role of this Beetle in the department, and all jokes about its lack of speed aside, there’s no reason it couldn’t have been used for non-emergency calls as a means of encouraging friendly interactions with local officers or educating kids about the virtues of a career in local law enforcement. Despite being relatively close to me geographically, I’ve found nothing in the way of history about this police Beetle – do any of you remember it?

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Comments

  1. sir_mike

    OK..at first I thought that was a toilet on the roof…

    Like 16
    • Ike Onick

      I thought it was a car seat.

      Like 8
    • Robbie

      double on that toilet, lol

      Like 4
  2. Phil B.

    I grew up in Agawam in the 60s and 70s, and I remember this being at the Riverside Park Speedway on race nights. At one time, they actually had VW racing during the Tuesday night shows. I’m amazed it survived till now.

    Like 17
  3. 19sixty5 Member

    We had a 69 Beetle in the town I grew up in. It was one of the auto-stick cars and used for parking management. It was adapted to right hand drive for the officer to chalk mark tires in limited time parking zones. It had a single police beacon on the roof, it looked ridiculously huge on a small car. It was used to replace the Harley Davidson Servi-Car, a big plus on rainy days and the cold winters just north of Chicago.

    Like 7
  4. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I notice the watermark on the fuzzy photos says “govdeals.com.” A friend of mine worked for them, specializing in cars for sale. I didn’t know they used eBay to sell cars as they pride themselves on being the eBay of government surplus like fire trucks and apparatus, municipal pursuit vehicles, radio towers, furniture and the like.

    Like 3
  5. Stan Marks

    This puppy looks tired. RIP

    Like 3
  6. Charles Sawka

    Let it rust.

    Like 2
  7. Mark

    1968. The year the 911 system started…

    “Yeah, police? I called 15 minutes ago about a suspicious character going around trying to open doors to houses in the neighborhood and you said you would send a Patrol car out. Do you know when it……….”

    Like 4
  8. KevinW La

    Back in the 60’s New Orleans Police Department had a fully marked VW Beetle. The car was featured on the local news and was used by the police vehicle repair shop to pick up parts. The VW had a tow bar attached to the front and they would use it to pick up police cars from the body shop or the police district stations for repair. That way only one mechanic would have to leave the shop to pick up the cars.

    Like 3

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