CHP Police Car Site
Up to 1958, the California Highway Patrol would purchase vehicles 2 times a year, and many times it would be a different make. Starting in 1958 the CHP would buy one make of car each year for enforcement class.
1979 brought the CHP multiple vehicle test. That year the CHP put a limited number of Ford Fairmonts, Chevy Malibus, Plymouth Volare Wagons, and Chevy Camaro Z28's on the road for an 18 month test. The test led to the purchase of Ford Mustangs in 1982, for use as traffic enforcement cars. The first few 1982 CHP Mustangs (approx 5) were fastback models (hatchbacks). The rest of the models that year as well as for the next 10 years were all notchback models. The Mustang was used every year from 1982 to 1993. The CHP tried some marked Camaros in 1992, and used a few 1993 and 1994 (and 2001 and 2002) Camaros for truck enforcement. By 1994 however the performance of the full sized enforcement class vehicle (Chevy Caprice and Ford Crown Victoria) was near to that of the pony cars, so the CHP now longer needed to buy Camaros and Mustangs.The 1994 Caprice with its LT1 engine was faster than a 93 Mustang, with faster quater mile times and higher top speed.
Listed below are cars used for enforcement class vehicles.
The CHP uses other types of vehicles for special units, such as truck enforcement, or for use in areas where cars can go, like off road or mountain areas. Pickup trucks are used for truck enforcment. For mountain and bad weather areas of the state, the CHP has used vehicles such as Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Jeep Cherokee, Ford Bronco, Dodge Ramcharger, Chevrolet Blazer, and even an AMC Eagle during the 1980's.