Blogger Craig Fitzgerald put together a great starter list of Police Cars for us TV car buffs!  What cars are missing?  Enjoy!

cars detectives drove on TV get all the attention, like Thomas Magnum’s Ferrari, Rick Simon’s Dodge Power Wagon or even Enos Strate’s beat up Chevelle on the spinoff from the Dukes of Hazzard. But what about the stalwart police cruisers from the TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s? Where’s the love for the black-and-white? Here’s some of the most memorable, in somewhat chronological order

ADAM-12 (1968 to 1975)

Part of the cop car appeal of ADAM-12 is that it ran right through the point when auto design really changed. Styling went from full-on shoebox to fuselage bodystyles in a matter of years, and Pete Malloy and Jim Reed drove right on through all of it.

Cop Cars - Adam12 1967 Plymouth Belvedere
For the beat cops on ADAM-12, it was a steady diet of Plymouth products, beginning with the 1967 Plymouth Belvedere.

From that season forward, every year the patrol would update to the current year Plymouth. Plymouth never received credit in the closing credits, but it was supplying cars left and right.

1968 Plymouth Belvedere

Cop Cars - Adam12 1968 Plymouth Belvedere
1969 Plymouth Belvedere

Cop Cars - Adam12 1969 Plymouth Belvedere
I have no idea why, but I took a tremendous amount of pleasure in catching a glimpse of the Plymouth Belvedere Wagon showing up from time to time, showing the 1970 grille redesign:

Cop Cars - Adam12 1970 Plymouth Belvedere Wagon
In 1971, Plymouth revised its intermediate Satellite lineup to a “fuselage” body, which was a lot more modern. The coupes looked pretty good, but the sedans always looked weird to me. Reed and Malloy switched to these cars in ’71:

Cop Cars - 1971 Plymouth Belvedere
And again, a wagon showed up too:

Cop Cars - Adam12 1971 Plymouth Satellite Wagon
…even in the 1972 configuration.

Cop Cars - Adam12 1972 Plymouth Satellite Wagon
(1973 to 1978)

Kojak rolled around in a brown Buick Skylark Century (as Philip Ruth wisely pointed out from the bottom of his Corgi miniature), but we’re really focused on uniformed police vehicles here. We can’t letKojak slip by without mentioning this NYPD-liveried Boyertown Merchandiser, the exact same step van you could see lettered up with Mister Softee graphics.Cop Cars - Kojak Boyertown Merchandiser

This one was featured chasing Griffin Dunne down in the bizarre Martin Scorcese movie After Hours.

Cop Cars - Kojak Mister Softee
(1975 to 1976)

It’s funny, I remember S.W.A.T. being a big deal, seeing that its theme song made its way to a K-Tel album I had in 1976, but the show’s run only made it from February of 1975 to April of 1976.

Cop Cars - SWAT Metro Van
Along with a bunch of cruisers, the main vehicle everybody was interested in from S.W.A.T. was the van, specifically an International Harvester Metro II, which was the ubiquitous delivery van throughout the 1970s.

Dukes of Hazzard (1979 to 1985)

Yeah, The Dukes of Hazzard wasn’t a cop show, but there were plenty of cop cars in it.

Cop Cars - Dukes of Hazzard AMC
In Season 1, Hazzard County Sheriffs drove around in an AMC Matador, complete with that rebel flag everybody’s up in arms about.

Quickly, though, Plymouth slotted itself into Dukes of Hazzard’s production, pushing little AMC right out the door. By the end of the first season, it was all Plymouth Fury for Enos and Rosco:

Cop Cars - Dukes of Hazzard Plymouth
(1977 to 1983)

CHiPs was another show that owed a tremendous debt to the Dodge Coronet (essentially the same car as the Plymouth Fury from Dukes of Hazzard). But early in the run of CHiPs, AMC must’ve executed one of the last bigtime promotional contracts in its history, because the first few seasons were completely littered with AMC products, including the familiar black-and-white cruisers.

Cop Cars - CHiPs AMC MatadorAMC quickly got priced out of the promotional game, though, and MOPAR came along to fill the void.

Cop Cars - CHiPs Dodge Coronet
Occasionally, you’d see a Dodge Polara in service:

Cop Cars - CHiPs Dodge Polara
But a few oddball cruisers showed up from time to time.

Cop Cars - CHiPs Nova
In front, that’s a 9C1 Police Prep Chevrolet Nova, which was reportedly a favorite amongst the police because of its light weight. It’s driving in front of a Dodge D200 utility body, which was also odd to see in service on the show.

Cop Cars - CHiPs Plymouth Volare
Then there’s this police-equipped Plymouth Volare Wagon. I wonder what happened to this car. There couldn’t have been more than a handful lettered up like this.

Cop Cars - CHiPs Kawasaki KZ900 Police
Of course, the star of the show was the Kawasaki KZ900 Police Special. California used Moto Guzzis just prior to CHiPs going on the air, but the show never used anything but the KZ900s and the later KZ1000C and KZ1000P models.

Hill Street Blues (1981 to 1987)

TV Cop Cars - Hill Street Blues
Hill Street Blues was a cop show, but the only cop cars you’d generally see were in the opening credits. This one is a 1976 Dodge Monaco.

T.J. Hooker (1982 to 1986)

T.J. Hooker – the Shatner-fronted police drama — suffered the most ignominious comedown of any TV cop.

He started out like everyone else, patrolling the streets in a Dodge Monaco:

Cop Cars - TJ Hooker Dodge MonacoThen, things started looking up a bit in Season 2, when he was issued a swank Dodge St. Regis:

Cop Cars - TJ Hooker Dodge St. Regis
Then the recession hit in full force, and the cops in T.J. Hooker started running around in the Fairmont-era Ford LTD, like a bunch of chumps.

Cop Cars - TJ Hooker Ford LTD
What was your favorite cop car of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s?