Cop Tires, Cop Suspension, Cop Shocks: 70k-Mile 1972 Ford Galaxie 500 429 Police Interceptor
- November 27, 2020
Ford’s first police package debuted in 1950, and ever since then the company and law enforcement have been virtually inseparable. According to some accounts, a Detroit police officer and an engineering student carried out experiments to install a bulky two-way radio into a Model T during the early 1920s, and then New York City picked up the idea to establish a fleet of radio-equipped patrol vehicles around 1926. On a less-formal basis, reinstated Texas Ranger Frank Hamer led the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde with the only car readily available to him and capable of catching them: his wife Gladys’ new 1934 V8 Ford. Through succeeding passenger car generations, Ford Motor Company began applying the “Interceptor” name to its higher-performance V8 engines in the latter 1950s. The designation stuck and was eventually expanded to “Police Interceptor” for its Crown Victoria-based police models of the 1980s to the present line of service vehicles.
By 1972, the Ford models most suitable for police pursuit duty were the full-size Custom and Galaxie 500 sedans, specially equipped with the “P-Code” 385-Series 429ci V8 engine including 4-barrel carburetion, free-flowing cylinder heads and tough internals from the Ford parts bin. Searching for 1972 PI engine specs yielded few results, but while output was down from prior years with reduced compression and new SAE Net published horsepower ratings, the PI 429 was still a formidable torque-heavy performer capable of moving big Ford police cruisers with plenty of authority.
Our subject cruiser comes with a Deluxe Marti Report with fascinating original data including the car’s road to production at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in Minneapolis-St. Paul during April 1972 via a Domestic Special Fleet Order through the Omaha Ordering District. Finished in low-profile Meduium Brown Metallic paint over sweet filigree-patterned Ginger Cloth/Vinyl upholstery including a businesslike front bench seat. The car is further equipped with a C-6 Special automatic transmission and 3.00:1 Traction-Lok Rear axle, ideal for pegging its “Certified Calibration” 130mph speedometer with ease while running down the bad guys. The body, paint, interior, and chrome on this burly enforcer look very good, and of course it rides on a set of purposeful steel wheels mounting small diameter hubcaps plus newer radial tires. An original AM radio is also present, and the annoying seat-belt reminder buzzer still works, while just under 70k miles are indicated on the odometer. Other features include a Ford-scripted spotlight, dash-mounted emergency light, and rear whip radio antenna.
These cars are not specifically listed in collector car price guides and few remain in existence today which is an expected outcome of the heavy use these Police Interceptors were subjected to on a constant basis, and the fact that this one survives today with such integrity is nothing short of a miracle. Rather than looking up comparable sales, let’s suffice it to say the seller’s asking price is quite modest for what the car represents, including its undeniable cool factor. It is a lot of car for the price, and unlike many classic “Police” cruisers out there, its law enforcement heritage is confirmed by the Marti Report included with the car. As such, we’re calling it very fairly priced and knocking on the well-bought threshold.