December 8

The Chevrolet Caprice-A Rearview Perspective

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Last Updated on January 28, 2023

Auto manufacturers often produce police packages for one or two of their vehicles, which they then sell to law enforcement agencies. These vehicles sometimes have a retail variant (sold to the public) and they sometimes don’t. The Chevrolet Caprice is no exception.

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Chevrolet has been designing vehicles for police fleets since the 1960’s under various nameplates. The Chevrolet Caprice, which succeeded the Impala as Chevrolet’s model of choice for police fleets beginning in model year 1986, had a general market variant.

The company first produced the Caprice for model year 1965. That year, Chevrolet sold more than one million Caprice model cars. They remained popular for years, but popularity declined in the second half of the ‘70s. Both the retail version and the police package version were discontinued in 1996. Although, the Caprice was again made available for sale to law enforcement agencies from 2011-2017. 

The first Caprice police cars

Chevrolet Police Cars: Early Generations infographic

In 1986, the Caprice with a police package was designated “Caprice 9C1”. This vehicle came available with either a V6 or V8 engine. Both this and its civilian counterpart received a facelift the following year.

In 1991, Chevrolet introduced the fourth generation of Caprice, which included a new engine option available only to law enforcement agencies. The 5.7-liter V8 engine (205 hp, 300 lb-ft) was an upgrade to the 5.0-liter V8 engine carried over from the previous generation.

The company ended production of the fourth generation model Caprice in 1996. They didn’t produce any cars with a police package until model year 2000, when they offered it on the eighth generation Impala. In the meantime, the second generation Ford Crown Victoria police interceptor gained in popularity through its discontinuation in 2011.

The Caprice returns

Chevrolet Police Cars: Later Generations infographic

In 2011, Chevrolet reintroduced the Caprice with a police package. This time, the police package was referred to as PPV (police patrol vehicle) instead of 9C1.

This new vehicle was a rear-drive, V-8 sedan built on the W platform instead of the V platform of previous generation Caprices. Through a cooperative agreement, Holden manufactured the vehicles in Australia, and this model is just a left-hand-drive version of the Holden WM/MN Caprice. 

Again, both V6 and V8 engine options were available—a 24-valve, 3.6-liter V-6 (301 hp, 265 lb-ft) and a 16-valve 6.0-liter V-8 (355 hp, 384 lb-ft). Both engines were paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which had a sport mode that downshifted under braking and held gears longer.

The Caprice PPV had a top speed of 149 mph and depending on options, could achieve zero to 60 mph in 5.2-6.2 seconds, complete a standing quarter-mile in 13.8-14.9 seconds, and had a fuel economy of 15-17 mpg/24-25 mpg (city/highway). 

The Caprice police package 

Chevrolet Police Cars: Police Patrol Vehicle infographic

The chassis was basically a stretched Pontiac G8 equipped with more durable components. It was 204.2 inches in length and had a 118.5-inch wheelbase. 

The longer wheelbase contributed to a larger interior volume—112 cubic feet and the trunk was 18 cubic feet. To enable more room for equipment inside the cab, the standard radio could be relocated to the trunk, allowing for an in-dash, touch-screen computer to be used.

It was also more durable than the retail version. The front struts, rear suspension, cooling system, brake calipers, rotors, and pads were more durable versions of their retail counterparts.

Other PPV features included:

  • A high-output alternator
  • Police-calibrated stability control system
  • 18-inch steel wheels with bolt-on center caps
  • A driver information center in the instrument cluster
  • Two batteries in the trunk

For this new generation, engineers removed the center console to make room for in-cab computers. They swapped out the handbrake for a footbrake, and changed to vinyl flooring. Beginning in model year 2014, all Caprice PPVs changed to a column-mounted transmission shifter. 

For officer comfort, the barrier between the front and rear seats was positioned rearward to allow for greater front seat recline. The foam density of the seatback and cushion insert surfaces were designed to conform to the shape of an equipment belt’s various items too, allowing the officer’s back to rest properly on the seatback surface.

Chevrolet discontinued the Caprice PPV after model year 2017, which coincided with the closure of the GM-Holden Elizabeth plant that produced the vehicle.

Now, you know a bit more about police cars, and specifically the Chevrolet Caprice. If this article has piqued your interest in securing a police vehicle of your own, then you’re not gonna want to miss out on what we at Municibid have available for police and fire vehicles and equipment. Different makes, different models, and each available for you to place that winning bid! Search what we have to offer today.


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