Alabama Department of Public Safety AMC Javelin

Before the Camaro and Mustang pony cars were ever used for Police duty, another pony car had already left its mark patrolling the highways.

In 1971, the Alabama Department of Public Safety received (2) AMC Javelins on loan from Reinhardt AMC of Montgomery, Alabama. The cars were a a 1971 Javelin SST with a 304-2v V8 and a 1971 Javelin-AMX 401-4v. The cars were marked with the ADPS markings and a Dietz model 7-11 blue light on the roof.

1971 ADPS Javelins:

After the trial run, ADPS ordered 71 of the base model Javelins in late 1971. 61 were silver and 10 were unmarked. The marked cars had a blue and spartan interior. Each ’71 Javelin was a base-model wearing ‘Machine’ 5-slot mag wheels with Good Year Polyglass raised-white-lettered tires. They were powered by a special ‘fleet service’ version of AMC’s new 401cid 4-barrel V8 engine, backed by a Borg-Warner automatic transmission. Other ‘fleet service’ items were underneath, like brake and suspension components. Each also received a full ‘Rally’ gauge package, including tachometer and a 140mph speedometer.

All ADPS Javelins got a rear spoiler, normally available only on a Javelin AMX model. The spoiler was added simply to provide a location to display the ‘STATE TROOPER, markings on the rear of the car. The decklid on the car had to much of an angle for the markings to be read there. A third ‘401’ emblem was placed over the holes in the spoiler where the AMX emblem would normally go.

1972 ADPS Javelins:

The ADPS bought 62 more Javelins in 1972. 12 were all silver and 42 were blue over silver. 8 more were unmarked cars in various colors. All the ’72s were the more up-scale ‘Javelin SST’ models. The cars came with the 401-V8, an A727 ‘Torque-Command’ automatic transmission, and 8-slot ‘Rally’ wheels. The ’72 SSTs were a Bluish Silver and the ADPS painted the hoods, decklids and spoilers of the final 42 cars dark blue before putting them to use. The roof light was upgraded to a blue Dietz model 2-11.


The ADPS didn’t purchase any more Javelins after 1972. They did however keep one of them and it can be seen at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama.

Proper Logos & Equipment

Of the known surviving cars privately owned or ADPS owned, NONE have been restored with historically-accurate markings. Most aren’t restored at all, but those that are all deviate somewhat from the appearance of the cars when in service from 1971-1974.

The fender decals are correct, but now this ’72 wears a 1971 door shield. My best guess is the ADPS decided not to use the “current” door shield to make it more obvious this isn’t an “in-service” police car anymore.

When Alabama DPS added ‘State Trooper’ to the rear of the car, they took a ‘State Trooper’ fender decal and cut it to go on each side of the trunks key hole. The decal shown above on this restoration is not correct. The photo below shows how the rear decal actually looked.

Fast-forward to 1971, and the fender decal is no longer present, but the same type of decal has been split and placed on the spoiler of the Javelin. The ADPS did not order two separate decals for this usage- they simply took the existing fender decals and sliced them apart between the words. In doing so, the left portion has no gold border along its right edge, and the right half has no gold border on its left edge.

Also note the precise placement of each piece. “STATE” is centered precisely between the left edge of the spoiler and the keyhole. “TROOPER” is centered exactly between the keyhole and the ‘401’ emblem. The next few pictures of other ’71 ADPS Javelins support this placement. Remember, this is correct for 1971 models.

Again, note the door shield hasn’t changed yet. 1971 is the final year for this design.

For 1972 ADPS Javelins, things have changed quite a bit. Now the cars are two-tone Silver with Blue hood, decklid and spoiler. They first dozen arrived from AMC in all-silver, but the blue was added by the ADPS right away. The remaining 1972s were painted two-tone by AMC (and the door tag paint code is “SPEC” for special order).

As for markings, they received a new door shield design- “STATE TROOPER” went to the top, “ALABAMA” went to the bottom, and a new logo with a coat of arms with two eagles at the sides replaced the state seal. Also, the fender decals returned, while the spoiler still got the same decal, split in two… but now the STATE portion moved closer to the keyhole… to be the same distance from the hole as TROOPER was. Again, this is consistent in all known period photos that follow.

More Photos

Click the photos to enlarge


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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!