1968 Ford Police Cruiser

 

Unit #01
Original Watsonville Police Vehicle

This 1968 Ford Custom Sedan was originally purchased from Marty Franich Ford for then, Chief of Police Jim Cunningham. Originally a police cruiser package, the chief chose to keep it as his personal unmarked vehicle. It was assigned to the detective division in 1975 and stayed in the city fleet for several years. Last used in the water department as a daily service unit, the vehicle was retired in 1993.
In July of 1994, the police department surveyed its officers to select the type of police vehicle it would restore. A majority of the officers recognized the uniqueness of the vintage automobile and voted to refurbish the 1968 Ford Custom. The car was rescued from the auction block and a committee was formed to plan how the squad car would be rebuilt. The 7-year restoration project involved over 20 volunteers, 25 businesses, 1000 hours, and a volume of generous donations from a supportive community.On October 20, of 2001, the police cruiser was completed and proudly cruised Main St. once again in the “Patriotic Day Parade” honoring the men and women of Law Enforcement, Fire, Military and Emergency Medical Services. The car has been used in many special events, car enthusiast shows and in 2002, was judged “best-restored emergency vehicle” at the Ripon Police & Menlo Park Police Emergency Vehicle Show.
 
 
 
This vehicle symbolizes the tradition of professionalism, courage, integrity, generosity and a strong community spirit that exists in Watsonville. My deepest appreciation goes to those who worked so diligently to make this project become a reality.
Sincerely, Terry Medina
CHIEF OF POLICE
PROJECT MANAGER
Captain Manny Solano
ASSISTANT MANAGER
Rick Bays
 
CHIEF MECHANIC
Steve Beck
 
PROJECT TEAM:
Darren Thompson
Darryl Lindsey
Delton and Pam Taylor
Dennis Espindola
George Rivera
George Bland
Hank Snow
Jay Turley
Jeffrey Fors
Joe Pusateri
Lee Katich
Michael Lawhorn
Mike Lightfoot
Mike Brummit
“Pinky” Cecil
Richard Garcia
Robert Leonardich
Wally Klock
Zane Ota
 
SPONSORS
Marty Franich Ford Lincoln Mercury (Rocky Franich, Jim Domenighini and Bill Strange)
Century Chevrolet – Mike Kolko
Phil’s Auto Body – Phil Chadd
Wright’s Brake Service – Bill Wright
Davis Auto Parts – Ken Blanton
Toriumi’s Automotive – Dave & Kathy Toriumi
Speed of Light Towing and Recovery – Rick & Linda Bays
Lincoln Street Radiator Muffler
Guaranteed Parts Distributors
Body By Hank
Coca Cola Bottling of Salinas – Bill Neighbors
Eddie’s Auto Upholstery
Printed Image
Emergency Vehicle Systems – Guy Reimche
Santa Cruz County Radio Shop – Bob Erbe
Golden State Auto Air & Radiator
Quality Restorations
Communications Workers of America
California Tow Truck Owners of America
Coast Commercial Bank
Watsonville Square Merchants Association
Watsonville Rock-n-Rod Nites
East Lake Shopping Center Road Angels Car Show Assoc.
Police Car Owners of America
Faith Bumper Service
Mike Brummit Auto Glass
B&T Glass – Brian Flannery