Junkyard Gem: 2010 Chevrolet Impala 9C1 Police Car


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From its introduction for the 1992 model year until its discontinuation in 2011, the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor so dominated the North American police-car universe that it seemed like you hardly ever saw The Law driving anything else. Still, General Motors made a determined effort to pry away some sales to law-enforcement fleet buyers during that period, mostly in the form of the 9C1/9C3 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice. I've documented just a single rear-wheel-drive 9C1 Caprice in this series so far, so the time seemed right to seek out a later front-wheel-drive Chevy police cruiser. Here's a W-Platform 9C1 Impala, found in a Denver self-service yard recently.

The Impala was a rear-wheel-drive car from the time of its introduction for the 1958 model year through the final "whale" cars in 1996, with some interruptions in between when only the Caprice name was used on big Chevy sedans sold here. When the Impala name was revived— again— for the 2000 model year, it was applied to a front-wheel-drive car based on the same platform as the Pontiac Grand Prix and Chevrolet Monte Carlo. That's where it stayed until The General axed the Impala yet another time, in 2020.

It's easy enough to get ex-cop vehicles at auction, as I learned when I bought the seven-year-old P71 Police Interceptor that became my daily driver for the latter half of the 2000s. That car was an unmarked unit used by a parole officer, while today's Junkyard Gem obviously started life as a regular patrol car.

I think my next ex-police vehicle will need to come from Japan. As the owner of a Subaru kei van, I've had my eye on Japanese auctions for a solid Subaru Chiffon Police Interceptor (this despite the fact that the Chiffon is really a Daihatsu and won't be legal for import to the United States for another 19 years).

Power came from this 3.9-liter High Value V6 engine, rated at 230 horsepower with the 9C1's dual-exhaust system.

The only transmission available was a heavy-duty version of the 4T65E four-speed automatic. There appears to be a spare in this car's trunk.

The 9C1 got all manner of special equipment, including oversized fluid coolers and heavy-duty suspension and brakes. This one still has some of its police electronics inside.

I wonder how many perps rode in this back seat (which may have been a urine-resistant fiberglass unit during police service).

The original wheels must have looked too cop-like with their dogdish hubcaps, so a set of Pontiac alloy rims got swapped in at some point.

The digital odometer means we'll never know how many miles were on this car, but we can assume that they were many and challenging.

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