My quest for a 1969 Dodge Polara
California Highway Patrol car

As a kid I like to build models of police cars (still not sure why) and I was a Mopar fan probably because of my Grandparents 1967 Barracuda that I now own. Mid to late 80’s I recall looking into some Diplomats being retired from the City of Lompoc, don’t recall the details other than I didn’t try to get one, so the idea of owning a retired police car goes back probably as long as I have been driving. It was sometime in the mid 90’s I was at a car show and saw a restored 1955 Buick California Highway Patrol car which is what probably got the wheels turning about restoring a vintage police car not just having a package car and painting it a normal color.

By 2005 I had already done some research and learned some of the history of the 1969 Polara, mixed with the styling I was pretty well set on trying to locate one when the time came. It was in June of 05 that I contacted someone I knew that owned a vintage CHP car to get a list of other cars used by the CHP in the 60’s and 70’s. Even after going through the list I was still set on the 69.

It was about this time I saw one on ebay that went for about $29,000 that is when I realized I might be in trouble. A little while later (maybe 2007) I was at a show and Ron Hurwitz had his car there that was just completed, it was quickly apparent that he was the one to know.

At that time I was focusing my efforts on getting my 1967 Barracuda restored because till it was done nothing else was happening. I still kept an eye open for what might be a deal even knowing I’d probably have to pass with the idea that it could turn into an opportunity later.

In April of 2009 I was done with the Barracuda and set out to pursue a vintage CHP car. I was open to different years but if I found a 69 four-door sedan first I would get it. The first car that showed up was a civilian Polara in Iowa, it was a 383 AC car with a painted roof so it even had the right trim package. Being on ebay I was outbid, at the time I didn’t have the savings for a project yet. In September another car showed up on Craigslist in Montana but I was weeks away from my trip to France and Italy so I printed the listing and figured I’d check into it when I got back.

After my trip I checked into it and found it to be still available. Still a little shy on funds I sold a Valiant. November 2009 Money in hand I flew to Montana and drove the car home.


Highslide JS

Unit 4870 owned by Ron Hurwitz