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   RESTORATIONS

The Pennsylvania State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center located for restoration in the year 2000 an authentic, Pennsylvania State Police patrol vehicle circa 1972.

The goal and mission was to restore and prominently display the car in the Historical Educational and Memorial Center, which will be constructed in Hershey, Pa. adjacent to the State Police Academy.  
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PSP-HEMC

187 Police Academy Drive Hershey, PA 17033 

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  The Restoration of a Patrol Vehicle
 
Vintage 1972 Plymouth Fury

The car was found after a lengthy search and the odometer read a little over 84,000 miles. The car was verified as an authentic PSP vehicle by the two manufacturers broadcast sheets found behind the rear seat, on which were typed the dead-giveaway clue, the words Pennsylvania State Police. The fender tag and broadcast sheets were later decoded and revealed that the Fury II had rolled off the line in June of 1972 in Newark, Delaware. Also noted were that the car was not a Police Package car but rather a special order vehicle with a reinforced roof, heavy duty suspension, electrical and cooling systems, and a certified speedometer. There was an electrical trunk release, and no AM radio. (music could distract a Trooper from his duties). The automatic interior light switch was disabled on the car as well.  This is a safety feature that is still employed today - the Troopers are not silhouetted targets in the cruisers at night.

Other clues were found on the Fury II, such as the siren bracket still mounted under the hood, the foot operated siren button, the fast-idle lockout, and the red activation switch unique to this vehicle. There was also the air-conditioning shut-off switch used when pursuits reached over 100mph.  In addition, the underside of the hood bore the white crayon inscription -50 11/2/78 which referred to the last antifreeze check.  Molding and trim pieces were removed which revealed blue and gold PSP paint scheme beneath the green disguise.

Before: Green and Mean

          
When the vehicle was found, it was but a rusted, forlorn shadow of its former glory. It arrived back at the Pennsylvania State Police Transportation department, after a 30 year "missing in action" hiatus, painted green and looking nothing like it had when in service. 

Lovingly, and with great patience, care and attention to detail, the crew completely disassembled the car and began to search for parts, sponsors, volunteers, and venues for the car to appear in when it was complete.
 

The Green Meany in captivity 

According to an article in MOPAR magazine, excerpted almost in its entirety: 
Disassembly began in December of 2000.  The car was initially stripped to the bare unibody, then it was taken to be sandblasted for paint and rust removal.  When it was returned, the unibody was placed on a rotisserie for detailing and painting.  While on the rotisserie, the body was acid-etched and sprayed with two coats of epoxy primer, followed by two coats of high-build primer.  Then came the difficult process of filling and sanding the numerous pits and dings in the bottom of the floor and trunk. 
    
It's possible the pride and attention to detail began to go awry during this step in the restoration process.  The [restoration] group spent three weekends sanding and filling before one member said, "Wait a minute.  Why are we sanding and filling pits in the bottom of the floor and trunk?  Nobody will see the bottom of the floor, and the trunk gets speckle-painted and has a mat laying over the floor.  Who's going to see this stuff?  It was at this point the group decided to take a few weekends off.  
    
After a short hiatus, the group started back working on the car.  Another coat of primer was applied and sanded.  At this point, the group shot basecoat/clearcoat on the bottom and inside the trunk before turning the car over to a real painter (also a [Pa State Police] Trooper, who happens to own a body shop with a downdraft system paintbooth!)  After two coats of B-5 Blue basecoat and two coats of clear, the bottom and trunk look[ed] superb.  Group members spent 97 hours one long weekend getting everything done!  Remember, the group has trained their entire careers [as Troopers] to pay attention to detail.  However, it was at this point, when one member suggested the bottom of the trunk should be sanded and buffed, that the group decided to take another small vacation away from the project!
    
During this time, the group [had] also been busy refurbishing and restoring parts.  A large supply of NOS items had been obtained.  The group was happy to learn that, unlike NOS parts for other MOPARS, many NOS parts are around for the '72 C-Body, and often at a reasonable price.  NOS items purchased include grilles, parking light assemblies, front and rear side marker lights, emblems, window felts, taillights, various switches, and many other parts necessary for righteous restoration.  One group member worked at a Chrylser/Plymouth parts department in his prior life.  This greatly expedited the parts locating process.  Various parts [arrived] from all over North America. (23 different states) 

Captain David Points and his crew report that the Plymouth has finally been completely restored. This was accomplished by a dynamic Restoration team who spent many hours together. The team, almost entirely comprised of active and retired Troopers, has done an outstanding restoration on the vehicle that will eventually be housed in the Historic Wing of the new Pennsylvania State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center.  The Historical, Educational and Memorial Center has shown the car at the Chryslers in Carlisle show recently and in Campbletown for Camp Cadet. It has also been offered the unique opportunity to showcase the HEMC car at the Antique Auto Museum and at several area shows including the recent Carlisle show (see below).

The PSP Plymouth restoration project has already been featured by several prominent automotive publications, such as MOPAR Magazine and the Pennsylvania Dealer News. Newspapers throughout the state, and TV stations, such as TV 27 have also featured articles on the historic restoration project.

After: Blue, Bold and Beautiful

The fully Restored Vehicle - probably better than when it first rolled off the line.

View from the rear.  Note the original replacement bumpers  Interiors were no frills back then...
The car contains an original police radio. Not even an AM radio, although the cars did have AC and an automatic transmission.
  
Closer Look...
Shot of original 440 cubic inch high
performance Police Interceptor engine 
Now that the restoration project is complete, the Fury and her team are enjoying the limelight. She has an official Pennsylvania title and vintage license plate now (akin to a Birth Certificate) and she debuted with her many proud Papas in the special showing area at the Chryslers at Carlisle show July 11th through July 13th 2003. The car was an immediate hit and the showing was considered to be a successful introduction to the public of one of the finest police vehicle restoration projects every done. The car did a followup appearance recently in Campbeltown for Camp Cadet. These are the first of many visits the car will make to increase public awareness about the PSP-HEMC project.

Capt. Points reports that just recently, it had appeared the Fury might have a transmission problem - a worst nightmare for any vehicle, restored, or right off the line.  Turns out, the problem was just a simple and inexpensive $15.00 part. This is a fine example of the intimacy that the Restoration crew has developed with their Fury.

Watch this page for fascinating stories of the highs and lows of the restoration, and for a list of sponsors and contributors to the project, and in particular, a list and photos of the restoration team.  We are proud of the Restoration team and the outstanding result they accomplished.  Congratulations, guys!

 
  Read more about other restored Pennsylvania State Police vehicles
  
VEHICLES WANTED:
Vintage vehicles, any condition, that were used in service by the Pennsylvania State Police from 1905 onward will be considered for restoration..
Some may even be useful to use for parts. While many of the vehicles were repainted at the time of their sale, the original colors of the vehicles were:
1968 to 1971 - White, with a green hood and green trunk  lid
1972 - Blue, with gold hood and gold trunk lid, as above, for spare parts
1940's era - probably none left around! They were White with a Black hood
 
The Restoration Committee is also interested in locating motorcycles which were used by Pa State Police.

If you have any information that would assist in locating one of our former patrol vehicles please contact a Member of the Vehicle Restoration Committee through the Pa State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center 187 Police Academy Drive, Hershey, PA 17033 Telephone 717-534-0565 Fax 717-534-0771