1976 Pontiac LeMans NYPD Police Car

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In 1976 Pontiac began offering an “Enforcer” police package on LeMans sedans with either the 400 or 455 V8s that included Turbo Hydra-matic transmission, variable ratio power steering, heavy duty power front disc brakes and suspension tuning.

That same year General Motors managed to pull the NYPD (New York City Police Department) fleet contract away from Mopar. General Motors was trying to expand Pontiac’s presence in the police car market. Precincts got mostly Pontiac LeMans with a few Pontiac Ventura’s sprinkled in. The NYPD Highway Patrol got the big Catalina.

This 1976 Pontiac LeMans features Signal Stat Dual 375 4-bulb red and clear (white) rotating lights with red and amber can lights. The rear deck lights are brake/turn signal lights as per NYPD spec at the time.

Here is a video of these lights on a Pontiac Ventura:


The siren is a Scientific Products Mark VII siren. The two-way radio is a Motorola Micor.



According to Motortrend Magazine (Hot Rod), the NYPD ordered Pontiacs in 1976, but then initially refused to accept them. Therein lies a dark tale. Someone in Sales decided that since these were for city use, they didn’t need the police option. Perhaps this helped the bid price. Most were six-cylinders, although some for supervisors supposedly had V-8s. Well, New York City has an acceptance test, and it was soon discovered why heavy-duty wheels were specified for police use. Since the cars didn’t pass the testing, NYC refused to accept them. Many had already been built, so these four-door blue-and-white beauties were parked all over the company property in Pontiac, Michigan, including the Product Engineering Development car parking lot. Pontiac personnel were dispatched to New York to observe the testing and resolve the issue. Resolution was obtained by partially retrofitting the police car option package onto the cars.

In 1977 the NYPD went back to Plymouth for their cars.

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I started my career as a police officer in 1989 with the Geneva on The Lake Police Department. I worked part time as a police officer and full time as a Security Sergeant doing armed mobile security patrols for a local security company. In 1990 I became a State Trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. During my career as a State Trooper I was certified as a Technical Crash Investigator, OPOTA Police Instructor, OPOTA Police Driving Instructor, LASER Instructor, and received awards for ACE (Auto Larceny) and Post Trooper of The Year. Code 3 Garage is a mix of my inner automotive gearhead, and public safety background. I hope you enjoy it!