Florida Highway Patrol 2004 Mercury Marauders

You may know that the Florida Highway Patrol use to patrol with Ford Mustangs and Chevy Camaro’s, but did you know they use to patrol with unmarked 2004 Mercury Marauders?

Dennis Reinhart, Reinhart Automotive, Orange Park, Florida modified 27 new 2004 Mercury Marauders for the Florida Highway Patrol, transforming the family cars into high-performance, unmarked pursuit vehicles — muscle cars capable of sustaining speeds up to 150 mph. These new stealth vehicles were the agency’s highest profile enforcement tool to deter and apprehend aggressive drivers.

Reinharts 20-year reputation for custom, high-performance work among automotive dealers in the Ft. Lauderdale area caught the attention of the FHP in late 2004 when it was looking to empower its aggressive driving program with covert pursuit vehicles capable of maintaining the top speeds of aggressive highway drivers and their supercharged cars.

Reinharts modifications included: upper engine cooling, upgrades to front brake rotors and installation of KVR carbon fiber brake pads on all four wheels to increase brake stopping abilities and prevent pedal fade; SCT Super Chips Custom Tuning to remove the top speed limiter and allow additional horsepower; installation of Dynotech Composite Metal Matrix Drive Shafts with special lubrication, spun balanced to more than 6000 rpm, to allow sustained speeds of 150 mph without vibration; installation of ADDCO rear sway bars to enhance high speed stability and limit body roll; and replacement of stock oil pressure gauges with completely functional Auto-Meter Gauges, which read from 0 to 80 pounds, and alert drivers to premature oil failure.

The fleet took to the Florida highways in January 2005 also equipped with tinted windows, digital radars, covert lighting packages and state-of-the-art audio/video recording systems. Each FHP officer assigned to a Marauder, now sporting 270+ rear-wheel horsepower (a 20+ percent increase from stock horsepower), was hand-picked to drive the vehicle, and completed a 3-day training class at the FHP training facility in Tallahassee.

FHP’s Mercury Marauders patrolled Florida’s highways between 2005 and 2008 before some started hitting their 75,000-mile service limit and cycling out of duty. As that happened, the cars were returned to Reinhart Automotive, stripped of their police gear, and sold into private hands. Meanwhile some stayed in service well into the 2010s.



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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!