New Member, seeking help on 1966-71 Buick Police Cars

1966sevenlitre

New Member
Hello folks, thank you for the add. Long time 30-year car enthusiast here, especially unique iron. Let me provide some backstory, then I'll share my interest in Buick police cars.

After restoring my car (`66 7-Litre) I started looking into police cars offered back in that era. It was really fascinating because starting around the mid-1960s, all the manufacturers were coming out with their own versions of big-block, high-powered engines. As more fast cars hit the streets, police agencies needed to keep up.

That led to a new breed of cop cars like the 427 Chevy Biscayne, 428 solid-lifter Ford Custom, 440 Plymouth Fury, 428 HO Pontiac Catalina, 455 Olds and so on. There were even 421-6V Catalinas and 426 Hemi Dodge Polaras. The latter was a special spec for the California Highway Patrol (which surely Buick fans are familiar with).

The era between 1966-71 is unique because these big-blocks were coming into their own and factory police cars were getting disc brakes, radial tires, rear sway bars and even AC for the first time. Of course by 1972, leaded gas was here and compression fell, then the Arab oil embargo assured manufacturers would give up big cars forever.

While researching this market, I decided to focus on the full-size, big-block, high-speed pursuit cars only. That's mainly because the vast majority of state and highway patrol agencies preferred large cars with the high-speed capability. There were good intermediate cars which I'm sure you know, but perhaps I can explore those later.

So far I've identified most all the models and specs from 1966-71, thanks to reading several books (Sanow, McCord, etc), searching endlessly for period/authentic pictures, making contacts in the vintage police-car community and finding factory literature such as Police Brochures, Fleet Buyers Guides, Fact/Data Books and so on.

I've fleshed out all the manufacturers, models, engines, codes and even specs from Ford to AMC ... except Buick. It has been one tough nut to crack.

To this point I've been able to find authentic pictures of 1967-68 & 1970-71 full-size Buick police cars, a newspaper article of 1969 Wildcat Police cars for sale, the cover page of both the 1966 Fleet Facts book and 1970 Buick Police Car brochure and even a 1980 Police Car brochure describing the "Lawman Action Package"/BT1.

But really nothing concrete like full brochures, spec sheets, etc which provide full data on the 1966-71 Buick Police cars. At least not in comparison to what I've been able to find on Olds, Pontiac and even AMC which weren't very common as cop cars back then.

Does anyone have this kind of info here? If so, I'd be truly grateful. Goal is to pull together a complete list of full-size, big-block, high-speed pursuit cars complete with specs and available options. Thank you kindly.
 

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1966sevenlitre

New Member
LARRY70GS ... thank you for that. Interestingly enough that thread was started by Diego Rosenberg who's been trying to offer a helping hand with this endeavor. :)

Attached are pages 12 & 14 from the 1964 Buick Police Car brochure. The LeSabre police package was called the "Expressway Cruiser". Engine options included the Wildcat 340hp 425-4V and Super Wildcat 360hp 425-8V.

The way the brochure is worded, it seems the police package features were optional ... including handling package, HD cooling, 52/62-ampere generator, HD seats, calibrated speedometer, roof flasher wiring and hand throttle.

When looking at the LeSabre Expressway Cruiser description on P14, it sounds more like a traditional passenger car. No?

Also attached is a list of 1966-71 Buick full-size big-block high-speed pursuit cars that I know of so far. As you can see, I'm unsure what motor(s) were offered in 1966-69 full-size cars ... what models, if the full-size was still called the Expressway Cruiser, if there were any engine codes (L83, etc) and so on.

For instance, the 1966-67 Chevy Biscayne 427 cars weren't typically using a name for their police packages, the RPO code for the 427 was L36 and for the police package it was Z04/B01. Yet finding similar info on Buicks has been near impossible so far ...
 

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The Buick Master Parts Books provide some info on the police models at a granular, component level. The 1940-72 edition covers the 1966-71 models of interest here.

The majority of the part numbers specified for police car use are also used on other Buick models. Many items like the high-output alternators are just listed by rating, not specifically for police usage. One interesting bit of trivia is the use of the LeSabre grill assembly on the '66-69 Wildcat police cars.

The specially calibrated speedometer is one item unique to police models. The only full-size model using a police speedometer in '66-68 was the 6469 (Wildcat 4-dr sedan with standard interior trim). For '69 the special speedo was used on 50-60-8000 TH400 less long console police models. In '70 usage was specified for 50-6000 model AT police cars. The '71 B body police cars are listed for the special speedo.
 

1966sevenlitre

New Member
Todd - that's a good idea. I may end up having to do just that.

I can see from some of the 1966-71 Buick literature I have that some of these components were already offered, such as HD suspension (towing package), HD cooling (ditto), larger wheels and so on. Yet actually understand what comprised the "police package" is a different story.

For instance, attached is a page from the 1968 Oldsmobile Salesman SPECS book. You can see how Olds identified the models which offered a police package as well as the B01/B07 packages and all the other options (with codes).

As of now I haven't seen any such info or literature on 1966-71 Buicks, though my understanding is that it does exist. Whether I can eventually find copies and how long that might take is another story. In the end I might have to do just that, figure it out piecemeal through the Buick MPC.

Thanks again for your input.
 

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1966sevenlitre

New Member
Hey Folks ... just wanted to add that if anyone knows of a Buick fan/expert or someone knowledgeable with 1966-71 Buick police cars, please pass along the link to this thread.

Goal here is to track down all the 1966-71 full-size, big-block, high-speed pursuit cars so that they can be documented and preserved in history. I am looking for copies of any Buick factory material such as Police Car brochures, Fleet Facts and the like. Same for police car production numbers which I understand either may not exist or could be very hard to find.

Feel free to reach out to me personally if it helps. I offer full confidentiality and discretion. Thanks a ton for your help.

Roger
 
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