I have had 3 sightings of retired police cars and their drivers in the last week. One had been restored to near street patrol finish, including the various antennas, the "cage" seating in the rear, driver side spotlight, and ramming front grill. Another police car was completely stripped of the normal police accessories, had a couple of dents, but still completely roadworthy. The last one looked like it literally had come off of the set of the Blue Brothers movie: dirty, missing 2 hubcaps, the paint was peeling. But bygod, it had the drivers door spotlight still installed.
Have you ever noticed the type of people driving either of these? I checked with the Factorcrap Truthometer Deluxe and ran some scenarios through it. The mechanical wonder I purchased on Ebay confirmed my observations: These vehicles seem to driven by primarily three types of persons: 1) young (20-28 years old), slightly overweight white males; paramilitary types with pressed white shirts, 2) middle aged white guys, unshaven, smoking a cigarette, wearing out of style sunglasses and 3) what used to be called "stoners" ( meth-heads?) with their stringy haired girlfriends.
The first group in the cop cars want to be noticed. They are hoping you will be speeding down the highway and suddenly come upon them and back off thinking, "Oh shit! There's a cop in an unmarked car. I hope I don't get a ticket!" Then as you realize its not a cop, you pass and they look at you with this smug superior like "ha, I fooled you idiot" look. Yeah, real impressive. You sure got me on that one, Joe Friday. The Group 2 guys are strictly interested in the car because it's got a "cop motor". Take a Ford Crown Vic and race down the highway at 130 mph just because you have a car that can do so. These guys were always the misfits in their social setting in high school. 25 year later, nothing has changed. The stoners in the junker, though, are just trying to get somewhere and all they can afford is the old cruiser they bought off one of their friends for $600. No worries. Don't worry dude. You will blend right in.
Upon deeper reflection, I have been thinking. The institute's CRAP (Central Research, Analysis, and Policy) Vehicle has been performing flawlessly lately, but, I do have to plan for it's eventual replacement. I'm thinking of contacting my local law enforcement department and see if they want to part with one of their 3 wheeled parking patrol units. It's smaller, more fuel efficient, but just as official. Depending on which one of our member's are operating it at the time, it could be classified under any of the 3 categories described above.
UPDATE: if you are reading this from the Reddit link, its an old post! Click here to see the fallout from this post.