Flags Across the Harvest #20June 9, 2020
Calling all cars.
With necessity being the mother of invention, sometimes other things ride in on her apron strings. This was the case a few years back at the Bohacz Farm when we got the TV working again.
At this juncture, you may be thinking it is 1945 instead of 2020, and the Rural Electrification Commission finally pulled some wire to us. No, that is not the case.
My mind and thought process maybe 1964, but my calendar reads the same as yours. When the FCC changed the broadcast signal about ten years back, and the old antenna stopped working, we went off the TV grid, so to speak, and to tell you the truth, we did not miss it.
The impetus for making the change in 2014 was I felt it prudent to watch the Successful Farming Show on RFD-TV since I was now part of the program.
But what I discovered was ME-TV, a network that is chock-full of many of the favorite programs from my youth.
I take great joy in watching (The TV is off from May to October.) the old shows. Not only for their simplistic storyline but also the precise boundary between right and wrong and for the cars. It just seems that our society was more “tuned-in” to automobiles than we are today.
I always held a special place in my heart and still do for police cars. Watching the likes of Adam-12, Dragnet, and the FBI rekindled that love affair. In many ways, the ultimate muscle car is the high-powered strong arm of the law.
I was born a Yankee, but I guess I was always a Rebel at heart. As a young boy, I read and heard stories about police cars and quickly realized that they accomplished much more than just hauling the bad guys to the hoosegow.
This was the 1970s, and the magazines I was reading were about ten years old or more. I romanticized about running shine down South and those that would chase me.
Putting all things aside, we can thank the “revenuers” for being the catalyst for the entire muscle car and performance parts industry.
The desire to make horsepower brought the law and those running “Mountain Dew” (another name for shine, not the soda) to a common ground that neither would care to admit.
In so many ways, the conflicts that played out on the dirt roads of our country were nothing more than one man with his machine against another with his.
The police cars that I always had a love for were those belonging to the highway patrol. As an engine guy, these are very impressive for several reasons. They need to make power that lasts. Often city patrol cars only had an in-line six-cylinder.
Making horsepower in any engine is not difficult but making it last is a whole other deal.
Just look back at the now basically defunct import tuner craze from about twenty years ago. Small engine, big turbo, enormous power, and a loud explosion as the crankshaft disconnected from the block.
Contrary to what some of you may want to believe, for the most part, they all blew up. Trust me, I have several friends with dyno shops. It got so bad that the one facility made the car owners agree ahead of time to a fee to mop up the oil and anti-freeze from the shop floor when the inevitable occurred. When an import engine grenades at 8,000 rpm, it really makes a mess.
The highway patrol engine lives a grueling existence. They rack up hundreds of thousands of miles, sit and idle with the A/C pumping and extreme under hood temperature, and in an instant, are in hot pursuit with the throttle matted for miles to catch another car. It is often forced to do this on the taxpayer’s austerity mindset, burning cheap gas and enduring extended maintenance schedules. The Detroit wonders effortlessly roll up 250,000+ miles and then are auctioned off for use as a taxi.
Even in the day, very few police cars ran Sunoco 260 in the tank and Castrol GTX in the oil pan. And remarkably, as they still do, these engines are up to the task.
I recognize that appearance is subjective, but often a police cruiser looks better than its civilian counterpart. I think that is especially true today. It is my opinion that the Dodge Charger, Ford Crown Victoria, Taurus, Explorer, and the now-defunct Chevy Caprice look better in uniform.
I think this is especially true with the Charger. The police version looks tuff like a Marine drill sergeant with a flat-top haircut chewing on a big stogie. The civilian version looks dysfunctional as if the designers thought if they added a bunch of boy racer stuff to a four-door sedan, it would make it cool.
Sorry guys, in my book you missed the mark. But the highway patrol version with hub caps, no body cladding, and a big Hemi under the hood moves the emotion meter.
And the thought of an SUV even though efficient as a highway patrol vehicle is good fodder for a future editorial.
As a patriot, I hold our police’s uniform in the highest esteem and honor their duty to keep us all safe. I would not want to live in a world without them or their faithful automotive companion.
One Adam-12, one Adam-12 see the ……….