Evidence of the vehicles past life could also be seen on the roof where a number of antennas had been strategically placed

Once San Jose took possession of the Dodge, it was assigned vehicle #99353 and designated as a supervisor vehicle (no prisoner cage).  Under the civilian paint we located the original vehicle number and on the front fenders the letters "MCT" which stand for "Mobile Command Terminal".  In 1977 San Jose was leading the forefront in technology and began the process of outfitting supervisors vehicles with the "Kustom Electronics" Data Transceiver.

Over the years, the City of San Jose would research which was the most cost effective and suitable patrol vehicle for law enforcement use.  Much to the city's credit, many of the vehicles chosen were the best of their day and were widely appreciated.  Unfortunately there was no standard at the time as to how they were built up as police vehicles, with wiring problems, lights or sirens not working, and in some cases electrical fires.  The Chief's adjutant Sgt. Bobby Bouroughs recognized that there was a problem and found a solution.  Bringing the city and police department together, they reached out to the largest police agency in the state, the California Highway Patrol.  The city would do a "fleet purchase" from an auto maker that the CHP had designated as the vehicle of choice, and build the vehicle in the same high standards that the CHP garages did.  The first vehicle built to this standard was the 1975 Dodge Coronet.  This was a test vehicle for the CHP as it had a shorter wheel base than they had previously demanded.   As a result, San Jose Police vehicles from this point on would be ordered and built along the same criteria and standards as the CHP.

Police Officers have always longed for the fastest and most agile patrol cars available.  In the 1960's and early 1970's, manufacturers satisfied law enforcements speed need with some of the most powerful cars ever manufactured.  Many of these patrol vehicles were "hot rods with four doors".  The 1968 Plymouth Belvedere with the 383 motor is considered by many to be one of the best police cars ever made during that era of horsepower.

In the early 1970s came the restrictions on the automotive industry, relegated to snuffing out the open performance that had been allowed to run rampant.  After 1972 big block motors were no longer an available option on American sedans.  The clean air act strictly regulated emissions controls that reduced smog and pollutants but also reduced horsepower.  The fuel embargo in 1973 spelled the death of the high performance gas guzzling engine.  The days where patrol vehicles were just as fast if not faster than speeders had come to a close

Dodge and Plymouth had been the dominant patrol vehicle of the late 1960's and 70s'.  Offering the 383, 400, and 440 big block engines provided more than enough get up and go necessary for police work.  These powerful engines were still available for the police car market only but by 1977 their once high performance had been choked off to a fraction of what it was once capable of.  Despite this, in 1977 the top of the line Dodge Monaco police package could still boast a 440HP big block motor that was the fastest car on the road.  By 1978 even stricter emissions controls finally killed off the last big block, relegating police departments to scramble for a new patrol vehicle.

1977 Dodge Monaco

Update!  Don Silva at Yellow Cab in San Jose has gratiously volunteered to assist with the restoration of our former supervisor MCT car!  All of the main components are off to their respective shops to be rebuilt and put back into service - stay tuned for more information and photo updates

This vehicle served in the city for a number of years before being retired and sold at auction in the mid 1980's.  Thousands of these former police cars were destroyed in TV shows such as "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Hunter".  Many more were converted into taxi cabs and driven into the ground before being unceremoniously sent off to the scrap yard. 

This particular vehicle survived all of that and remained in the local area being driven as a daily driver.  Eventually the vehicle was left at a tow yard where it was located by a member of the Police Historical Society, who recognized exactly what it was.  The Dodge had all of its police equipment removed but still retained its original 440HP engine. 

Currently the Dodge has had all of its trim, interior and engine removed to facilitate it being repainted and replacing all the police electronic components.  Several important pieces of obsolete police equipment has been located that belong on the Dodge, including the "Federal Twinsonic" lightbar and KDT police computer.  We are seeking out a body shop or engine rebuilder who would be interested in helping taking on this project to put this important piece of San Jose Police History back on the road

Production on the San Jose Police 1977 Dodge Monaco began on 4/15/76.  A build sheet located under the floor mat has the customer listed as "California Highway Patrol" despite the car being purchased by the City of San Jose and painted dark metallic blue.  This vehicle was one of 97 that was ordered under the "E86" police package for the 1977 model year  (California emissions specific, with a 440HP engine).