LAPD Registered 1955 Chevrolet Police Car

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I always wanted to build a replica of the Chevy Caprice police car from the movie Black Sheep. Police cars are a really cool subset of the classic car hobby and can draw a ton of attention if they are done right. However, there are certain legalities in each jurisdiction about what markings/lights, etc. can be installed on a “civilian” car. It would be a good idea to check with your local law enforcement officers to see what restrictions there are in your area or you might have a project that can’t leave your driveway. This car is a genuine cop car from the Los Angeles Police Department and is still located in the L.A. area. It can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $31,500. Let’s check out this cool ride and thanks to Larry D. for the tip on this one.

Here you can see some of the LAPD markings on the rear of the car. With nearly 10,000 officers and 3,000 civilian support staff, they are the third-largest police department in the United States. I’m not exactly sure what “Explorer Post 114” and “41D” mean, but hopefully one of the readers will know and drop a comment.

The interior has some of the original police equipment still in place including the Motorola radio. There is no photo of the engine compartment but the ad states that it features a new GM 350 crate motor, Edelbrock manifold, carb, dist, MSD, headers, Flow Master Mufflers. All of the power is shifted through a Muncie 4-speed with a new flywheel and clutch. There are a ton of other suspension and drive train upgrades, which should make this car really fun to drive.

Overall, this is a really sharp car that you would swear is a reproduction and not a survivor. Can you imagine the stories this car could tell from the 50s and 60s in the Los Angeles area?

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  1. John

    Explorer is a law enforcement training program for high school students structured similar to scouting. 114 is just the number that belongs to the LAPD post. LAPD probably has multiple posts in different parts of the city I would imagine.

    Like 9
    • carey w mason

      Explorers are part of BSA (Boy Scouts of America) for boys and girls 14-21. It’s a program that associates with specific careers. The police are just one of many possible options. I’ve seen them tied to firefighters, Coast Guard, general aviation, etc. Unlike mainstream scouting, they have been co-ed for decades.

      Like 1
  2. Joe Machado

    I, being born in Torrance, living in Gardena, Harbor City, San Pedro, Norwalk, Cerritos, and was 10 in October of 1955, never was pulled over for anything by a 55.
    My dad got a ticket goin slower than the posted speed on the Harbor freeway, year unknown.
    Mom is still living at almost 98 might not remember.
    I do know of a couple guys here in Southern Cal that are owners of official police cars, although retired, have to cover the bubble gum machine while driving. Have permit-s, to operate them for fun. You cannot use the external speaker, siren, etc, period.
    You can drive it though.
    All was good till the sentence with the 350, 4-speed was mentioned.
    Great history item anyway. This should have a 265, power glyde

    Like 25
    • Steve Clinton

      LOL, I got a ticket in 1967 for going too slow on the 5 Freeway in my mom’s ’65 Monaco, when I was 16. My mother had to go to traffic court with me in downtown LA. She was NOT a happy camper.

      Like 7

        Too slow on the 5 ?? … last time in LA couldn’t get over 10mph …

        Like 16
    • joenywf64

      Reminds me of the “Sanford & Son” traffic court episode, where 1 defendant said “that’s as fast as my car can go!”. lol
      Good thing dad did not get a $150($300 adjusted for inflation today) early ’90s “loud radio” ticket like i did in 1 small town – from a mickey mouse ’80s radio & no subwoofer.
      Spent the WHOLE ENTIRE DAY! in court & at the end of it, the judge just said “pay the fine!” – how would i defend against that? By saying, “i’m hard of hearing”? lol
      Even worse, i am actually a lot madder TODAY than back then since i’m retired & i’m constantly reminded(unlike your mom) of all the younger drivers getting off scott free with insanely loud stereos(as well as “mufflers” or lack of them).as i walk around town – & even just sitting inside the house with the windows closed!

      Like 8
  3. Quentin Lange

    The Explorers are something like the Boy Scouts but for law enforcement. A car with that marking would have been used to ferry them around and for training them.

    Like 4
  4. Nick M.

    About the “Explorer Post 114”, Explorers are a part of the Boy Scouts. The post is a way for youths, aged 14 to 21, to familiarize themselves with a possible career in law enforcement. I would think this vehicle was used as a recruitment tool. Source, former post commander, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Florida.

    Like 6
    • PRA4SNW

      Interesting about the Explorers. We had a Post at our small High School and I never thought too hard about what they represent.

      They ran a snack bar, and that was all I was interested in.

      Like 7

    Yeah had me too at 350/floor shifted Muncie. Many elements on the car are reproduction now. The rims are wider than normal.

    If in fact a true former LAPD car would be a find. For that I would need documentation pics and former ownership history. My guess like almost all old patrol cars were used up and sold at auction. Many tri fives sedans were almost all used for parts to repair hardtops and two doors. This looks like it should be in a museum. Too overdone and nice to beat the back streets it’s intended purpose. Cheaper to find a sedan and paint it. This if really an LAPD car should stay in LA

    Finding and actual 1950’s cop car survivor is rare. I seem to remember a Hudson Police car from Iowa unrestored. Had cage and full equipment. Had a brake light kill switch as to sneak up on someone. Was on BAT years ago before it was the go to place. Later sold at Barrett Jackson. The car was as found and had the big Hudson 6 just as it should.

    Have to say. More of a cop car than this.

    Like 7
    • nlpnt

      I’d bet money this isn’t an original police car, for one thing the side chrome means it’s a mid-spec Two-Ten. 1955 One-Fiftys had no side chrome and would’ve been the likely choice for a police car particularly with an LA-sized fleet bid.

      Like 2
  6. Jay E.Member

    I hate to think of all the drunken barf that washed across the floors back in the day. The paint scheme really hides the fact that it is a 4 door. If this were a 2 door it would be long gone. But 4 doors have a really hard time bringing 25K, let alone 35, even with the very nice mods it has. I like it alot and would throw a nice wide set of Cragers on it, become a “cool” cop car.

    Like 4
  7. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Regarding the references to “Explorer Post 114” and “Metro Explorers Learning To Protect And Serve”, the Explorers are a branch of the Boy Scouts, although everybody is welcome regardless of gender. A dwindling number but fortunately still a good size group of civil service agencies across the US such as law enforcement agencies, state Civil Air Patrol and fire departments have a group of young people, usually under 21 years old that are wanting to become full time members of that agency when they are of age. They are generally self-funded, hence this car that was probably donated by LAPD so that the kids could fix it up and sell it to pay for uniforms, local and national competitions, etc.
    This project would have taken a lot of donations and time but the overall outcome was worth that and more IMHO.

    Like 5
  8. HoA Howard AMember

    Fun stuff, but hardly what a cop drove in ’55. I can’t find any Chevy LA police cars, seemed they used Plymouths, Fords and even Buick, but no ’55 Chevy. Besides, in ’55, cruisers had 2 way radios, but weren’t much more than 2 tin cans and a string,( due to range) a 3 speed column shift and not a speck of options. Does nothing for me, as I have no reason to relive the many “run-ins ” with the law I’ve had in an old police car ( not this old), but this is a great way to show your appreciation for todays LEO’s, who have an impossible job.

    Like 13
  9. Steve Clinton

    “One Adam-12, one Adam-12, see the old Chevy…”

    Like 7
  10. Dave Peterson

    If Highway Patrol is in any way accurate, no four door cars were used. With the same logic that young parents employed, no one is falling out of the back seat while moving.

    Like 3
    • Dave

      Back in that era, they took the inside door handles and window cranks off the rear doors on cop cars.

      Like 3
      • Stevieg

        They still do. Don’t ask how I know.

        Like 1
  11. Troy s

    I’m trying hard to remember what the police were driving in the ’55 movie Rebel Without A Cause, based in LA. Just a movie anyways but still not seeing Those old time cops powershifting a souped up ’55 Chevy up to the observatory looking for James Dean, ha ha, no way at all.
    This ’55 squad is more like the one some kid bought used and dropped in the Corvette engine and 4 speed transmission….a hot rod. It is a cool ride despite the lack of realism,,, especially the sound of dual Flowmasters.

    Like 2
  12. Wayne

    Nice car but as the comments have pointed out somethings just don’t do it the justices it deserves.

    Like 4
  13. 57Chevy

    I too, got a ticket on the Santa Ana Fwy for going too slow back in 1960. Doing about 50-55 in the center lane. Speed limit was 65. At That time, you were able to drive more than 10 MPH! especially late at night as we were headed back to Montebello from Skate Ranch in or near Santa Ana.

    Like 0
  14. Marty Parker

    This car doesn’t have the v’s below the Tail lights. Must have been a 6 Cyl. car.

    Like 2
  15. Joe Santos

    I always understood that Chevrolet only offered 4 on the floor manual starting with the 1959 full size models.

    Like 0

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