Gunners Garage

Boxcar in the Rosemont

Old Cars Weekly editor Angelo Van Bogart got pretty excited when I told him that I had been invited to bring my “boxcar” to the Chevy Vettefest http://chevyvettefestnewsletter.googlepages.com/home at the convention center in Rosemont, Ill., next weekend. “Boxcar” is the term that police car collectors use to describe Chevys like my ’89 Caprice 9C1. The car is a former Wisconsin State Patrol “supervisor’s” car, or at least so I’ve been told. It is burgundy, instead of dark blue, and has a camel colored “police” bucket seat interior. It has the full 9C1 package with 350 V-8, guages, certified speedo, ticket light, tranny cooler, Posi and other goodies, but it never had cop-car stuff like a cage, a push bumper or a light bar. So no extra holes were drilled anywhere but the dash, where a radio must have been. The car has 100,000 miles, but it’s been repainted and looks very clean. I only drive it a few times a year, although I sometimes go halfway across the contry, like I did last month. It’s pure luxury to cruise along in a vehicle that lets you stretch your 60-year-old legs out absolutely straight. It runs great and moves out if you need to. Sure it sucks gas, but the pluses outweigh the minuses. Automotive expert Matt Joseph calls it a “supercar” and says that Japanese cars never would have gained market share in America if GM and Ford had just built nothing but police cars. Others have described it as a 3/4-ton truck with a Caprice body. As we all know, Angelo loves full-size Chevys of this era and though a 9C1 isn’t the fanciest model, it sure has “attitude.” It will be fun showing it in Chicago, but it will be even more fun driving it down.

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