The Claycord Online Museum – CHP Contra Costa’s Old Patrol Car

January 8, 2019 16:00 pm · 14 comments


This photo came from the archives of the CHP – Contra Costa facebook page.

Anybody remember being pulled over by one of these?

Thanks to the CHP for the photo of the 1970 Mercury Monterey.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

Shoulda Coulda January 8, 2019 at 5:07 PM

Love the picture. That was a BIG gas guzzler
but in 1970 gasoline averaged 36 cents per gallon.
I’d like to see a picture of the AMC Matadors
that the Pleasant Hill Police drove in the 1970’s.
I’m pretty sure that AMC had to be the low bid
supplier for a police car back then.

Evil Banker January 9, 2019 at 6:14 AM

An AMC Matador as a PHPD police cruiser? You’ve got to be kidding! (I’d love to see a picture, though,)

Dr. Jellyfinger January 9, 2019 at 9:37 AM

Matador was a stinker….. Now the Javelin, that was a cool cop car!

Shoulda Coulda January 9, 2019 at 10:39 AM

Looks like Los Angeles used a lot of
AMC Matadors as police cars too.

Monterey Jack January 8, 2019 at 5:11 PM

428 Police Interceptor I’m hopin’

WC Resident January 8, 2019 at 8:15 PM

Yes, that one has a 428-4V police interceptor engine. There are more pictures and summary of the car’s history at

Officer Barbrady January 8, 2019 at 8:02 PM

No power steering , small steering wheel and lousy brakes , high top end.

Bob January 8, 2019 at 8:03 PM

0-60 in 25.3 seconds

Dawg January 8, 2019 at 10:25 PM

Even though the white top reflected some of the heat, the car didn’t have the optional A/C. The cop’s patrolling the desert suffered.

The Fearless Spectator January 8, 2019 at 10:26 PM

In the late seventies we had a quarter mile marked off on both Jones Rd and the foot of Ygnacio………those tanks were faster than you think.

S January 9, 2019 at 1:17 AM

man… those and the era of the police version on the Plymouth fury with the 440… when those 4 barrels opened up.. what a sound….

Old-school guy January 9, 2019 at 10:31 AM

I’m too young for this era of CHP cruisers. I did see my share of Camaros and Mustangs in my rearview mirror.

Bob January 9, 2019 at 11:25 AM

Those SSPs were the truth.

Fred January 10, 2019 at 6:49 AM

We had those Mercury patrol cars at the same time as the CHP, only our cars had power steering and airconditioning. They were extremely fast, and were one of the last cars we had that could bury the 140 mph speedometer. I worked the desert, and the gold brocade bench seats were pretty comfortable, but they did lack braking power. The biggest drawback for those heavy cars was the nylon tires (before steel radial tires were standard), which resulted in a car that could do 140+ mph, on tires that were probably rated at 90 mph…….. When you blow a tire at over 100 mph, DON’T TOUCH THE BRAKES!!

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