First, it's more like a 49 1/2. The side chrome strip is from a '50
Merc. The grille is a '49.
Second, I doubt that police cars back then had quite that elaborate a
light bar. A solitary Gumball Machine was the usual equipment.
The body has rear fender skirts moulded on the body. And the lakes pipes
mark it as street rod.
One can order a '50 merc grille and dash from Modelhaus in Illinois to
help you reach a more stock appearance.
I have with mine but I'm still puzzling over what to do with the rear
skirts. Since I'm shooting for a semi-Street Stock coupe the skirts
aren't a big issue. For an honest cop car you almost have to remove them.
The interior is a bit cheap and the wheel/tire combo are almost toyish.
Getting an 'AMT' '49 Merc kit for parts is a good idea.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Another point, the "Police" on the hood that is reversed. I don't that
started happening until the 1970s or maybe even later.
This model is as much a police car as the old Aurora (?) Garbage Truck
or the S'cool Bus were stock vehicles.
Like Bill said, that's more of a custom lead sled than a true depiction of a
cop car. For starters, cop cars are going to be 4 door sedans. Wanna take a
guess at the least kitted and hardest to find body style by all makes and
manufacturers? Yep - 4 door sedans.
If they simply had offered up some 4 door sedans instead of the preferred 2
door coupe sport model kits, it would be a fairly simple process to model
vintage cop cars from an ordinary street car kit. You'd start with a 4 door
door sedan model and strip it down to a base model sporting little or no
chrome, plain rims and a plain bench seat interior. Toss on the right paint
job and add a little police brick a brack (gumball light, windshield post
spotlight, whip antenna, etc) and you'd have a model police car that would
look right as rain with little extra effort.
It's an old saw of mine on how the manufacturers obssess on kitting 2 door
sport models to the exclusion of just about all else. I would have loved to
have built a collection of vintage police cars - especially a fleet of
As for dedicated cop car kits, I imagine there's a few out there. I couldn't
really say, I stopped looking for them a long time ago.
There are resin bodies available for some of these and I think I saw a
'61 Plymouth among those.
Drat! I just got a new Modelhaus catalogue but I can't find it at the
moment. I believe they have a '65 Ford Custom 300 sedan body to fit the
'AMT' hardtop kit and possibly they have an '80s Chevrolet Impala
sedan in the catalogue yet.
Revell did offer the '90s jelly bean Chevy as a fire chief's car and
Lindberg did the '90s Crown Victorias in both fire and police versions.
JoHan altered their '68 Plymouth Fury into a sedan after '68 just for
police use. NYPD was one of the choices.
The thing is that most of these model car companies started out selling
promotionals to the Big Three and they built whatever versions the auto
companies wanted. It seems the model kit business was just an
afterthought, profitable though it was.
Ahh, the good old days when every boy on the block, and some girls, were
building model cars! We were always trading parts and projects around.
I assume that's why I still have parts for cars that I never owned.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
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