Muscle Cars

The Javelin Police Car

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Javelin Police Car-78y

By Mark Weisseg

Back in the late 1970’s a friend and I took off for a road trip and the idea was to wander ourselves to Miami at some point. Then, with no time table, drive ourselves home through small towns and back road getaways. That was 1977 and the memory is still strong and we had a blast. Except for a minor incident near Sumter SC the trip was flawless.

However, it was our first trip into the southern part of the country as young adults. We were bright eyed youngsters with some money, a lot of extra time on our hands and the desire to see and do things we never did before.

This is also the trip we managed to see for the first time police cars that did not look like what we were accustomed to. Like this Javelin.
When we first saw the car we were not sure it was real. We thought boy someone is going to get into a lot of trouble impersonating the police. But as our travels rounded out we saw more police cars both marked and unmarked that were completely foreign to us.
At one point we even stopped in some small town to check out a car that was odd looking for a police car. I mean the police car back in the day was a blue light, a CB radio, a whip antenna and a big engine under the hood. Even the police sign on the side of the car was a decal. We thought they were all painted on.

To think a police car in 1977 was a store bought AMC Javelin with nothing special is weird today. No interceptor engine, no social suspension, no bullet proof glass, nothing. Heck, the shotgun was in the trunk and just look at the car! No back seat to speak of, no bars or glass between the driver and the criminal. Maybe they just shot you rather than hauled your ass in. Either way, it was a shock to two city boys that they will never forget.

Times have changed , people certainly have changed and I hope the police in Sumter gave up looking for us.

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