Riding in a cop car means you're most likely in for a bad day. Driving a cop car, however, is a blast. That's because it's usually an otherwise mundane vehicle that's been given some heavy duty parts to help it hold up over the duration of its service life. It also has those cool lights and sirens. Now make it a classic cop car and you'll have even more fun, which is what Jay Leno experienced when a 1978 Chevy Nova rolled into his garage.

More specifically, this is a 1978 Chevrolet Nova fitted with the 9C1 Police Package. That means it gets a four-barrel carburetor for its 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine. Power steering, a turbo-hydramatic automatic transmission, police-spec tires, and a heavy duty front seat are just the tip of the options list for this copper cruiser.

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Front and rear anti-roll bars are also bolted into place, and the rear axle has 3.08 gears. The brakes, battery, alternator, and radiator are all of the heavy duty variety.

This particular car has been restored and is owned by retired LA County Sheriff Bill Sanders. While he may no longer serve on active duty, his mustache is prepped for action. 

The episode actually starts out with a different police vehicle, the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, the one that we would identify as the Ford Explorer. After a few minutes of explanation about the latest in cop tech, we get to the star of the show, the old Nova.

Check out the video to learn about the old and the new of the cop car world.


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