Memphis TN Police Cars Over the Years

LRGJr72

Premium Member
Original poster
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
I was once an MPD officer. Both then and now I wish this agency would return to the all royal-blue cars with gold door emblem and, more importantly, try red/blue lighting. That's me (first pic) as a four-year old outside my grandparents home in Memphis. The officer was responding a "suspicious vehicle" call. It turned out to be stolen. It was an annual ritual for me to visit Memphis every summer as I was born and raised in suburban Detroit. We moved south my 8th grade year.

64755_246dbb9241173635cb581c6c3247e2d7.jpg MPD oldies.jpg mpdDoor.jpg n1069336752_343869_2437.jpg n1069336752_396871_214109.jpg Untitled-1.jpg
 
Last edited:

RL1

Veteran Member
May 20, 2010
1,641
Ga
Cool pics, but you seem to have changed a lot between pics 1 and 2 ;)


I guess MPD has been a fan of thick bars until recently. I think the Memphis being in the TN outline is my favorite design.
 

LRGJr72

Premium Member
Original poster
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
RL1 said:
Cool pics, but you seem to have changed a lot between pics 1 and 2 ;)

I guess MPD has been a fan of thick bars until recently. I think the Memphis being in the TN outline is my favorite design.

Actually, I'm the little kid in the 70's pic with the blue car... then I'm the officer standing with the car and setting sun in the backdrop. They did have a thing for thick bars. They had a whole mix of stuff at the same time in the 1970s (TwinSonics, Federal 184s, Whelen strobe & rotator beacons in singles and pairs). Around 1982 they went exclusively with the Whelen 8000 series lightbar, blue domes loaded with clear cut-outs. From the front you had blue strobe/takedown/clear strobe/SPEAKER GRILL/clear strobe/takedown/blue strobe while there were side cutouts for alley lights. The rear was the same minus the takedowns. When the 8000 series production ended MPD replaced it with the Whelen Edge series strobe bar. Exact same format... blue/takedown/clear/CENTER/clear/takedown/blue. When the LED bars took over they finally dropped the flashing clears. The bars are now all-blue with clear takedowns and alleys.


The Memphis Police car graphics with the outline of Tennessee were a copy of the TN State Trooper design.
 

richie5335

Member
Feb 10, 2012
108
US/Texas
Did they have a powercall siren on there cars? I remember hearing it or something similar on a episode of cops it was a vehicle pursuit with a black and white cop partners
 

LRGJr72

Premium Member
Original poster
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
LarryC said:
My additions

ALL awesome pics, Larry! I LOVE the last one... the royal blue Plymouth with the TwinSonic "rollers" fired up. I try to imagine the new MPD Chargers with THAT design, all-blue body with the gold door badge.
 

WS224

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,049
West Tennessee
LRGJr72 said:
Actually, I'm the little kid in the 70's pic with the blue car... then I'm the officer standing with the car and setting sun in the backdrop. They did have a thing for thick bars. They had a whole mix of stuff at the same time in the 1970s (TwinSonics, Federal 184s, Whelen strobe & rotator beacons in singles and pairs). Around 1982 they went exclusively with the Whelen 8000 series lightbar, blue domes loaded with clear cut-outs. From the front you had blue strobe/takedown/clear strobe/SPEAKER GRILL/clear strobe/takedown/blue strobe while there were side cutouts for alley lights. The rear was the same minus the takedowns. When the 8000 series production ended MPD replaced it with the Whelen Edge series strobe bar. Exact same format... blue/takedown/clear/CENTER/clear/takedown/blue. When the LED bars took over they finally dropped the flashing clears. The bars are now all-blue with clear takedowns and alleys.

The Memphis Police car graphics with the outline of Tennessee were a copy of the TN State Trooper design.
When they were new, the 8000's also had cruise lights.


After the 8000's, they went with A mix of Edge and AdvantEdge bars (the one on the car your standing by) or however Whelen spelled those things.


Now with the Liberty's, I will give them that they are more specific to function. The traffic cars have amber in the rear where the standard cars do not. Also, the takedowns will operate in flash or steady.


I agree that the retro blue cars would look great! Especially with red/blue bars like you suggested. Maybe that will be a photoshop project one day. Maybe I can find a Michigan State Highway Patrol charger and change the graphics. I also wish they would let fire put a couple of blue lights on the back, just to mix things up some and stand out more at night, but that will most likely never happen.


The current design is compliments of budget cuts. Plain stripes and letters.


Lastly, the ole 223 & 224 sirens were the best. There still a few out there, but not many.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

LRGJr72

Premium Member
Original poster
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
WS224 said:
When they were new, the 8000's also had cruise lights.

After the 8000's, they went with A mix of Edge and AdvantEdge bars (the one on the car your standing by) or however Whelen spelled those things.


Now with the Liberty's, I will give them that they are more specific to function. The traffic cars have amber in the rear where the standard cars do not. Also, the takedowns will operate in flash or steady.


I agree that the retro blue cars would look great! Especially with red/blue bars like you suggested. Maybe that will be a photoshop project one day. Maybe I can find a Michigan State Highway Patrol charger and change the graphics. I also wish they would let fire put a couple of blue lights on the back, just to mix things up some and stand out more at night, but that will most likely never happen.


The current design is compliments of budget cuts. Plain stripes and letters.


Lastly, the ole 223 & 224 sirens were the best. There still a few out there, but not many.


I had no idea those 8000s had cruise lights. Very cool. When I was still there only two lightbar types existed on MPD cars... the Whelen 8000 series (less than 5% of the fleet, mostly COACT cars) and Whelen AdvantEdge strobes. The only time I got to run the old 224 sirens was during a 30-day TA at the Westwood COACT post, which was all 93-96 Caprices with 8000 bars. There were two or three "DARE" cars that were identifiable only by their Federal Vector bars that were actually red/wht/blue. I wanna say it must've been around 2002-03 that the Edge series started showing up.


The blue car subject.... I thought the EXACT same thing about it being a Photoshop project. Michigan State Police also occurred to me, especially since I'm originally suburban Detroit.


If it were up to me this town would try what they already do in TX, AZ, IA, MO & NV... all police, fire & EMS units sport red & blue lights. When I was assigned an unmarked MPD precinct car I'd use my own dashlight (a red Federal Flashbeam with an UltraFlash mirror that was setup to reflect blue). Looked awesome!
 

WS224

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,049
West Tennessee
LRGJr72 said:
I had no idea those 8000s had cruise lights. Very cool. When I was still there only two lightbar types existed on MPD cars... the Whelen 8000 series (less than 5% of the fleet, mostly COACT cars) and Whelen AdvantEdge strobes. The only time I got to run the old 224 sirens was during a 30-day TA at the Westwood COACT post, which was all 93-96 Caprices with 8000 bars. There were two or three "DARE" cars that were identifiable only by their Federal Vector bars that were actually red/wht/blue. I wanna say it must've been around 2002-03 that the Edge series started showing up.

The blue car subject.... I thought the EXACT same thing about it being a Photoshop project. Michigan State Police also occurred to me, especially since I'm originally suburban Detroit.


If it were up to me this town would try what they already do in TX, AZ, IA, MO & NV... all police, fire & EMS units sport red & blue lights. When I was assigned an unmarked MPD precinct car I'd use my own dashlight (a red Federal Flashbeam with an UltraFlash mirror that was setup to reflect blue). Looked awesome!
It would be easy for the police to do, not so easy for fire. Currently, State laws says that Law enforcement must display blue, but may be in conjunction with red and white. All other agencies are banned from blue and limited to red, white, and amber. So basically, Director Armstrong could change to red and blue or red, white, and blue with the swipe of a pen. Fire Departments would have to lobby to get the State law changed.
 

WS224

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,049
West Tennessee
WS224 said:
It would be easy for the police to do, not so easy for fire. Currently, State laws says that Law enforcement must display blue, but may be in conjunction with red and white. All other agencies are banned from blue and limited to red, white, and amber. So basically, Director Armstrong could change to red and blue or red, white, and blue with the swipe of a pen. Fire Departments would have to lobby to get the State law changed.

The cruise lights were small 12v twist and lock bulbs on the front and rear outer edges of the 8000 bars. They were wired to only come on when the st of e bar was activated, not independently. Seemed like once they burned out no one ever really payed attention and they seemed to rarely get replaced. The fire department had identical bars albeit with red lenses and a mixture of the clear cut outs. Some had them on both sides, some only on one.
 

Wigwam700

Registered Member
May 25, 2011
1,009
New York Adirondacks US
Very nice collection of cars thanks for posting. :D
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Donor
May 21, 2010
11,418
Shelbyville, TN
wow memphis went with the intrepids?


i DONT like the memphis in the state design BECAUSE it looks like a state car. (minus the obvious color differences)


0310_KCLO_interstate01_MP_t607.JPG
 

jph2

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2012
2,122
USA Michigan
I've got relatives in Memphis, so this is a great post for me. :)


Lots of departments are going retro, so the blue car and gold shield, perhaps along with "MEMPHIS POLICE" lettering along the side as well, would look good.
 

ff168577

Senior Member
May 22, 2010
766
Levittown, Pa
Jarred J. said:
wow memphis went with the intrepids?

i DONT like the memphis in the state design BECAUSE it looks like a state car. (minus the obvious color differences)


View attachment 44000

I do not see a problem with memphis in the state design. I think it works better because it is recoginized better by the civilian.
 

LRGJr72

Premium Member
Original poster
May 29, 2010
787
Denver, CO
jph2 said:
I've got relatives in Memphis, so this is a great post for me. :)

Lots of departments are going retro, so the blue car and gold shield, perhaps along with "MEMPHIS POLICE" lettering along the side as well, would look good.

When I was still a Memphis cop I really wanted two things: 1) A return of the solid-blue car with the gold door emblem like the ones from the 70s. 2) A switch to red/blue lightbars.


I think both of these preferences have something to do with my being a native of the Detroit area. I would LOVE to see the DPD go back to their solid-blue cars with the vintage, white rectangle Detroit Police logo (in all lower-case).
 

EVT

Member
May 24, 2010
622
Midwest
jph2 said:
I've got relatives in Memphis, so this is a great post for me. :)

Lots of departments are going retro, so the blue car and gold shield, perhaps along with "MEMPHIS POLICE" lettering along the side as well, would look good.

As do I. My sister actually got nailed for speeding by one of their black unmarked Tahoes. Good post.
 

WS224

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,049
West Tennessee
EVT said:
As do I. My sister actually got nailed for speeding by one of their black unmarked Tahoes. Good post.

The Interstate Tahoes are a joint Task Force comprised of Memphis City Officers and Shelby County Deputies. They run identical vehicles with the City in black Tahoes and the County guys in white ones.
 

irsa76

Member
May 24, 2010
340
Australia, NSW
Slightly related, can someone shed some light on the FedEx security vehicles? I was having a look at our fleet specs, I work for FedEx here, and noticed it lists the security/police(?) vehicles were either Tahoe SSV or Impalas. Anyone have photos?
 

WS224

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,049
West Tennessee
Typically, patrol officers cars are base model with black, steel wheels. Not sure if the cars are being upgraded or if these will be going to Lieutenants or higher ranking officers.


ai69.photobucket.com_albums_i63_memphise34a_IMG_2979_zpscedb8c14.jpg


There was also some previous discussion about he way the siren speakers are mounted:


ai69.photobucket.com_albums_i63_memphise34a_IMG_2983_zps23c54a28.jpg
 

LarryC

Member
May 21, 2010
242
Memphis/Lakeland TN
That is the new fleet charger. They down graded to the V6 instead of the V8. Too many crashes since the V8 Chargers have been in service. The V8 Charger is way too fast for urban city use.
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
LarryC said:
That is the new fleet charger. They down graded to the V6 instead of the V8. Too many crashes since the V8 Chargers have been in service. The V8 Charger is way too fast for urban city use.

Plus the V6 gets phenomenal gas mileage for such a big car, while still being more powerful than the CVPI's V8, and it's probably cheaper too.
 

flahotrod

Member
Aug 1, 2011
254
Florida
I like the blue color, too. I think blue cars with "Memphis Police" in the state outline graphics would make for a good combination.
 

AshSkip

Member
Oct 16, 2011
494
logan co. ky
ff168577 said:
I do not see a problem with memphis in the state design. I think it works better because it is recoginized better by the civilian.

Alot of Tenn Sheriffs use the same stripe design except with green stripes and white cars. Back when the Tn. dot and the Tn highway patrol merged, they put that stripe kit on the white dot cars. From a distance it was hard to tell the difference between sheriffs and troopers until finally all the white cars were weeded out over the years.


Funny story though, I saw a box style caprice Tn. highway patrol car running code 3 back in 2005.
 

HILO

Forum Guru
May 20, 2010
2,781
Grand Prairie Texas
RyanZ71 said:
The 6 cylinder sedans now a days are faster than the old Crown Vic Interceptors.

All the 6 cylinder PPV sedans have been faster than the Vic. Being a GM fan, I always giggled watching Impala's pass Vics. Although I was dismayed to see Intrepids pull from Vics. Never liked the Intrepid PPV.
 

AshSkip

Member
Oct 16, 2011
494
logan co. ky
HILO said:
All the 6 cylinder PPV sedans have been faster than the Vic. Being a GM fan, I always giggled watching Impala's pass Vics. Although I was dismayed to see Intrepids pull from Vics. Never liked the Intrepid PPV.

The impala, running the mighty buick designed 3.8 liter is a very fast car. I have owned 2 police models.


Alot of people think that the Chevy Lumina was the first 3.8 v6 used in police service but I beg to differ with them. I remember back in the 80's some departments were using the Oldsmobile Cutlas 4 door that sported a powerful 3.8 buick engine. I am a big buick fan, and having ridden in my brothers 87 Grand National may make my opinion of the 3.8 a litle bias although the gn has turbo 3.8
 

RyanZ71

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2011
963
Denver, Colorado
Many of the mid to late 90s lumina's ended up with the 3.1L (while the 3.8 was certainly an option in the Lumina) and the 3.8 really didn't become popular until the smaller Impala's were released in the late 90s/early 00. As of 2012, the Impala only has the new 3.6L direct injection V-6 in it and it does get up and move with 300HP and the 6-speed auto. If only they had offered the Supercharged 3.8L for the Lumina and earlier model Impala's....
 

jph2

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2012
2,122
USA Michigan
Nice job converting the MSP NGPI to MPD but you left the MSP hood fin. The RV-26 looks sweet in blue, I gotta say. Chelsea PD used to run them and DPD (Detroit) ran them with high skirts.
 

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