Here is a great thread with a wealth of discussion about production sequence numbers and the final B-bodies produced at Arlington Assembly on December 13, 1996. Seth (chevylt1er) has done some great research and I think this thread is worthy of a link on my front page to propagate the facts and figures about the last real American cars ever produced.
Also in the annals of B-body legend and lore, we have the tale of The "Mine Shaft" Cars. Through some digging and detective work, we were able to collectively establish that these were indeed from a private collection of privately-purchased-when-new police package cars owned by Joseph Ansin of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. These cars all received some level of modification and were then placed in a damp Uncle Bob's Self Storage unit for years to decay. Within the last several years, a number of them were liquidated and one in particular, a dark cherry metallic 1996 9C1, sparked numerous discussions on several forums. This thread documents the work done by The Caprice Forum membership to find out the facts about these cars.
The B-body Chevrolet Impala 9C1 and later Caprice 9C1 were simply the best police cars ever built. In their final years in production, Chevrolet perfected the combination of performance, heavy-duty construction, and durability into a full-size, body-on-frame production police car that made up over sixty percent of the nationwide police fleet in the United States. I'm not talking about today's Wimpala trash or the rebadged Holden Caprice Impersonator, so if that's what you're looking for, please leave. You won't find any information about Chevrolet's present-day wannabe police cars here.
The real Caprice 9C1 won the Michigan State Police Patrol Vehicle Tests in 1987, in it's second year as a police car, and continued to win the tests every year until GM killed it at the end of 1996, lusting after SUV profits. There is no other police vehicle that can claim such an unparalelled record of excellence, except for maybe the Crown Vic, and that's only by default from 1997 on, or the present-day Charger. The main purpose of this site is to feature my cars, and to pay homage to the hundreds of thousands of real B-body Impala and Caprice 9C1s that have served law enforcement officers.
9C1 is General Motors' option code for Police Car. 9C1 is also often referred to as "police package", referring to the "package" of extra or heavy duty equipment and options installed into a police car at the time of assembly. The differences between 9C1 equipped cars and retail production cars are mainly in areas of heavy-duty equipment. Although people will tell you that police cars have some magical performance chip that makes their performance similar to that of an SR-71 Blackbird, this really isn't the case. Most of what makes up a police package is special equipment (spot lights, extra fluid coolers, etc.), relocation or elimination of retail equipment and options, and heavy duty equipment and components (rubber floors, heavy duty seats, heavy duty wheels, thicker frame members, and so on). There is really very little appreciable difference between the powertrain configuration of police package cars in comparison to retail cars. Most of what you'll read and hear about elsewhere on the internet and in casual conversation on the topic of police cars (often by people without a clue) is urban legend and BS.
In the last decade, the big three "American" (quote placement intentional) manufacturers have even gone so far as to offer more powerful powertrain options in retail cars than are even available in their police package counterparts. Some examples are the Mercury Marauder, which featured a dual overhead cam 4.6-liter V8 that ran circles around the single overhead cam 4.6-liter that is standard in the Crown Vic P71, the 2004-2005 Chevrolet Wimpala "SS" which featured a supercharged 3.8-liter V6 when a normally-aspirated version of the engine was all that was available in the police package, and the 2006-present Wimpala "SS", featuring a wrong-way mounted 327 V8 driving the wrong wheels, when all that's available in the police package is a V6. So, now, what's that stupid urban legend about police cars being higher-performance than their civilian counterparts? Total BS. Even Dodge is doing it, with a 6.1-liter HEMI available in the SRT8 retail LX platform RWD cars putting out in excess of 400 horsepower, when the biggest engine you can get in the police package Charger is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Presently, Government Motors (GM) is the only manufacturer to offer a "police package" car to law enforcement with no retail equivalent, that being the Holden "Caprice" "9C1", or as I like to call it, the Caprice Impersonator.
|The Impala Farm World Link
The Auto Farm Portal ........ World Link