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CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500
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56D500boy
Posted 2016-10-21 9:10 PM (#524017)
Subject: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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INTRODUCTION

I am a noobie to this forum but I am not a noobie to car forums. I have 33386 posts (Mar. 2009-Oct. 2016) on one forum, 11273 (Feb. 2006 to Oct. 2016) on another, and 18,742 (Mostly Feb. 2001 to Mar. 2009) on another. Did I say I was retired? Did I say I am obsessed? Pedantic? Many of those posts were technical info about a particular Audi, the UrS4 (turbo 5 cylinder quattro). I also do build tag breakdowns for Audis of that era (I've done over 100 of them for different people from around the world). One of the best things I did was this live info map (with the very valued assistance of Steve Mills) where you click on the label to get more information:

http://members.shaw.ca/ajmills/UrS%20Engine%20Bay%20Device%20Map.ht...

I am obsessed by trivia about the vehicles I own so when I purchased my 56 Custom Royal with the D-500 engine and brake package (while searching for a 56 Plymouth V8 2dr hardtop) in mid-Septemeber, I started looking for info about the D-500. What I am about to share is probably well known to you but nevertheless, I felt compelled to document it, i.e. The selection of the 56 Dodge and particularly the D-500 package as the California Highway Patrol (CHP) pursuit vehicle in 1956.

BACKGROUND

When I had my 56 Dodge in a local shop days after I got it (for a full inspection), they had a copy of a 1956 Chevy advert on display. I read it and was astounded to find that the maximum hp was only 205! (I knew the D500 was 260 so 205 was obviously not going to cut it for the CHP). Subsequently, I found another advert for a 56 Chevy 210 that proclaimed 225 hp was available. Wow! (Lame)

The base 265 cubic inch 56 Chevy V-8 produced 162 HP at 4200 rpm with a 2 barrel carburetor and a three speed transmission. Adding a 4 barrel carburetor boosted the horsepower to 205 at 4600 rpm. This is the engine that was referred to as the new “Super Turbo Fire”. The “Super Turbo Fire” 56 was the fastest Chevy yet and one of the years quickest production cars at any price. The "frisky"" 205 HP version recorded 8.9 seconds going from 0-60 mph and had a top speed of 108.7 mph. REF: http://56classicchevy.com/1956-chevrolet-engines



Pushed by Ford in a horsepower race in 1956, Chevrolet upped the ante by making the "Corvette" engine an option for the sedans. With a compression ratio of 9.25:1, new lifters, lighter valves, larger intake and exhaust passages, Duntov Corvette cam plus a twin four barrel carburetor this new mid year "explosive" (sic) engine’s was rated at 225 HP at 5200 rpm. REF: http://56classicchevy.com/1956-chevrolet-engines . The 1956 Corvette itself had three versions of the 265 engine – 210 hp (160 kW) with a single 4-barrel carburetor, 225 hp (168 kW) with twin 4-barrels, and 240 hp (180 kW) with two four-barrel carburetors and a high-lift camshaft. Still nothing like the offerings from Dodge in the 56 Dodge sedans.



Obviously the CHP needed a fast vehicle. In terms of horsepower, even the 4 bbl 315 cu in Polyspherical Dodge had 230 hp so it had to be on the list of candidates for their pursuit vehicle.

THE CHP TESTS

The 1956 California Highway Patrol tests took the car through maximum acceleration up to 70 miles an hour, then panic punched the brakes, attempting a maximum braking situation. Without allowing for any cooling, the car would again be max accelerated back to 70. This was repeated four times in a row; after the fourth stop, the car was maximum accelerated to 90 miles an hour. Again, the brakes were punched in a panic manner. This was repeated. Then the car was taken up to wide open throttle, as fast as it could go, and the brakes were slammed on. This exercise was repeated four times. REF: http://www.allpar.com/history/inside/plymouth-4.html

In 1956, Dodge faced Pontiac, Buick, and Mercury. Mercury was disqualified because it failed the brake test miserably. Buick too had lousy brakes. Pontiac was a little better, going through the four stops from 70, but was not able to hold on at the first try from 90. The only car to pass was the Dodge. The brakes were extremely hot, and had all sorts of funny smells, along with whiffs of smoke coming from them. But they absolutely refused to fade! The secret of the sintered metallic linings is that the hotter they got, the better they stopped! After Dodge had whipped its competitors with its four high speed panic stops, an instructor took the Dodge on the high speed chase course. In the entire length, there are at least 10 places where maximum effort braking is required, bringing the car down from a high speed, over 80 mph to a much lower speed of around 20 to 30 mph. The instructor ran the Dodge through the course, without stopping 10 times in a row. The brakes never offered to fade, pulling the big Dodge down at a measured 25 feet per second, squared! Powerful, but confidence inspiring, brakes! REF: http://www.allpar.com/history/inside/plymouth-4.html

THE RESULTS

As a result, the CHP purchased an initial batch of 400 230 hp Polyspherical-engined 56 Dodge Pursuits, along with 400 Pontiac Chieftains (why why why?) . Like most states, they tried to please everybody. (Sure but why - it had failed the tests) The California experience with the Chieftains was mostly positive, but the Dodge blew the competition away. (Yup ;)) REF: http://www.allpar.com/history/inside/plymouth-4.html



In their book about 1956-76 Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler Police cars, Sanow and Bellah state on page 21 that:


Photo courtesy of Rebels_59

Subsequently, other jurisdictions got into the action and selected D-500s for their highway work:



Well maybe NOT "everywhere"

NOTE: If this ends up to be a double post, I apologize. The posting sequence of adding links and uploading photos is quite different than the other forums that I have been active on.

REFERENCES:










Edited by 56D500boy 2016-10-22 11:32 AM




(CHP56Dodge230PartrolCarAdvert_small.jpg)



(56To76DodgePlymouthChryslerPoliceCarsBookCover_small.jpg)



(56DodgeCHPPurchases_Parag_2.jpg)



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Attachments CHP56Dodge230PartrolCarAdvert_small.jpg (106KB - 752 downloads)
Attachments 56To76DodgePlymouthChryslerPoliceCarsBookCover_small.jpg (77KB - 79 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCHPPurchases_Parag_2.jpg (129KB - 676 downloads)
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SavoyPlaza
Posted 2016-10-22 6:46 AM (#524038 - in reply to #524017)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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Wow! Good info here, Dave! Thanks and welcome to the forum here!
Pete
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56D500boy
Posted 2016-10-22 1:00 PM (#524073 - in reply to #524038)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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SavoyPlaza - 2016-10-22 6:46 AM Wow! Good info here, Dave! Thanks and welcome to the forum here!
Pete


I should have mentioned that after I watched Leno's Garage's youtube segment on a 61 Dodge Polara CHP car, I contacted Morgan Yates of the Automobile Club of Southern California (the guy in the red shirt):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX8dbrzedd0

I emailed Morgan with this:

"I just finished watching Leno's Garage review of the 1961 Polara CHP car in which you were featured as the archivist.

That got me to thinking. I have a new to me 1956 Dodge Custom Royal with the D-500 260 hp 315 hemi and Windsor brake package. In reading about the D-500 I came across an article that talked about the CHP testing a number of cars in 1956 and concluding that the Dodge Coronet with the full D-500 engine, brake and heavy duty suspension package was the way forward for them. Based on that, I was surprised to find an advert that touted the CHP buying the Coronet with the 230 hp Polyspherical (quasi-hemi) engine. (!!??). Can you clear up the confusion for me? What was the Dodge that CHP used in 1956? This: "

Morgan replied the next day with:

"Hi Dave: In preparation for the taping of that Leno’s Garage segment on the Auto Club’s ’61 Polara CHP cruiser I consulted a number of references, including “Dodge, Plymouth & Chrysler Police Cars, 1956-1978.” It’s an excellent reference book and I’ve attached some info from it that discusses the 1956 police package, which spells out the CHP acquisitions. The book is available on Amazon if you don’t already have a copy. I hope this info will be of use to you. Morgan"

So the conclusion was that the CHP had both the 230 hp Poly and 260 hp hemi versions of the Pursuit. Subsequently, I have purchased a copy of the book for my archives.



Edited by 56D500boy 2016-10-22 4:07 PM
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2016-10-23 2:46 AM (#524114 - in reply to #524073)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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What makes one think the CHP didn't buy some of both ?
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56D500boy
Posted 2016-10-23 10:56 AM (#524136 - in reply to #524114)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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Doctor DeSoto - 2016-10-23 2:46 AM What makes one think the CHP didn't buy some of both ?


That was the point of the exercise: to confirm that the CHP purchased both the 230 hp Poly and 260 hp hemi versions of the 56 Dodge Coronet 2 dr Pursuit. The 400 of the 230 first and then 200 of the 260 later.

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sconut1
Posted 2016-10-25 11:46 PM (#524411 - in reply to #524017)
Subject: Re: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500


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Thanks for posting this. This was a neat post to read.
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moparsteve
Posted 2016-10-26 11:18 AM (#524451 - in reply to #524017)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500


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in 1955 and 56 and some 57 episodes of "highway patrol" you see 55 56 dodge patrol cars...

ill look for the flags..
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2016-10-26 12:22 PM (#524456 - in reply to #524451)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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Location: Parts Unknown
I once owned a 57 Coronet CHP Pursuit vehicle. 325 Hemi, big brakes, and
heavy torsion bars/rear springs. This car had a water-cooled Torqueflite.

Also owned a 60 Seneca WSP Pursuit. This one was equipped with a 4bbl
383 and a 3-onda-tree.

Wish I had both cars tucked away now !
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56D500boy
Posted 2016-10-26 5:01 PM (#524486 - in reply to #524451)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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moparsteve - 2016-10-26 11:18 AM in 1955 and 56 and some 57 episodes of "highway patrol" you see 55 56 dodge patrol cars...ill look for the flags..


Found 1: Highway Patrol 1 in Amnesia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGfvUHcRlR0&index=2&list=PLxX_AJ8DFf... Starting at about 8:04

No flags so "230" Pursuit (or movie clone)

Only 146 more episodes to check.
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56D500boy
Posted 2016-10-26 11:02 PM (#524527 - in reply to #524486)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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Episode 45: False Confession 57? 58? Pursuit at (I'm confused, sorry) at 4:40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6UT0cE17sk

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1960fury
Posted 2016-10-27 9:33 AM (#524548 - in reply to #524486)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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56D500boy - 2016-10-26 5:01 PM

moparsteve - 2016-10-26 11:18 AM in 1955 and 56 and some 57 episodes of "highway patrol" you see 55 56 dodge patrol cars...ill look for the flags..


Found 1: Highway Patrol 1 in Amnesia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGfvUHcRlR0&index=2&list=PLxX_AJ8DFf... Starting at about 8:04

No flags so "230" Pursuit (or movie clone)

Only 146 more episodes to check. :bleh:


That girl is hot
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moparsteve
Posted 2016-10-28 12:28 AM (#524621 - in reply to #524017)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500


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the stay at home housewife - those were the days! no microwave - in wall oven state of the

art! i saw a 57/58 coronet no d500 badge bad guys 58 plymouth plaza/ savoy v on grill 58 buick

any of you guys old enough to see these shows new or reruns? all dig. restored magnificent.

most all actors gone now. 55-59. why stop in 59? brod said "we ran out of crimes" he died 1986

if you read up an alcoholic always drunk on the set even lost his licence. a job to sober him up.

ate large meals and smoked like me. fine that so many finned fwd looks in it even those

coronets left a patch of rubber!
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57chizler
Posted 2016-10-28 2:16 PM (#524643 - in reply to #524621)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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moparsteve - 2016-10-27 9:28 PM
any of you guys old enough to see these shows new or reruns?


Watched every episode when it was first run.

In later years I owned four ex-CHP cars, a '55 Buick Century, a '54 Olds 88, a '57 Dodge Coronet and a '60 Dodge Matador. '60 was the year the CHP changed over to 4-doors.

Edited by 57chizler 2016-10-28 2:17 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-12-08 1:23 AM (#553900 - in reply to #524643)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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Here is a photo of somewhere in Tennessee where they used a 56 Dodge 4dr V8 as a cop car.



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-12-08 8:33 AM
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56D500boy
Posted 2019-03-15 2:01 PM (#579382 - in reply to #553900)
Subject: RE: CHP and Selection of the 56 Dodge D-500



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I was just going through my emails and a I see that I don't think that I posted this article that I received from Michael Wong at the CHP headquarters in Sacremento in the fall.

As usual, there are errors in the article, e.g. the 260 hp D-500 4 bbl 315 hemi engine was just that ("D500"), not "Super-Powered Super Red Ram" (that was the 230 hp 315 4 bbl dual exhaust poly).



Edited by 56D500boy 2019-03-15 2:07 PM




(ArticleFromMichaelWongAtCHPInSacremento_Small.jpg)



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