1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Paid Homage To CPD

Ok, every time I see a Chevy of this stature from the Fifties, I imagine a massive engine under the bonnet with some insane supercharger, an exhaust sticking out of the fenders or under the side skirts, and a lot of fiery decals. Yup, I am thinking about gassers which are basically a natural opposite to the car we have here - the 1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Squad car from the Chicago Police department. It was proudly exhibited at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and it is not its first time to sit under the Chicago Auto Show lights. I found out that it was there in 2017 too. Probably before as well, but I cannot claim perfect knowledge. What I can tell you instead, is the fact that this particular 1957 Chevy Squad car is privately owned by Patrick Tode. He tried to maintain it to the best of his ability for 25 years. Considering it’s a part of an auto show nowadays, it is obviously in great condition.

The 1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Squad Car Is Actually A Memorial Icon

1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Squad Car Stole The Show In Chicago
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Prior to the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, this particular 1957 Chevrolet Model 150 attended numerous Chicago Police Department memorial events and Cars and Cops shows held within the CPD Memorial organization. While it is really hard to track the police history of this particular squad car, I can tell you that it entered service in 1957. Back then, the Model 150 was rather popular among the police departments all over the U.S. thanks to some clear advantages compared to basically any other car of the time.

With a price of $1,734 in 1956, the two-door Chevrolet Model 150 was the cheapest, lightest, and most utilitarian car Chevy produced.

A four-door model like this one was a tad more expensive. Ok, I guess that Chevy had to tinker a bit with the suspension, interior equipment, and exterior lighting for the cars destined to reach police departments, but the fact of the matter is that this was the cheapest Chevy of the time. In 1957, Chevrolet managed to sell exactly 56,266 units, mostly to government bodies and police departments. While this number seems competent, the Model 150 was, in fact, the least selling vehicle by Chevy.

Thanks to its exceptionally low weight (3,117 pounds for the low-end model), many hot rod enthusiasts developed a particular love for it as well. Low weight coupled with some kind of an insane V-8 with a supercharger that develops more than 320 horsepower definitely made the Model 150 a serious contender in any race.

It’s Not Exactly Super Powerful or Fast

1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Squad Car Stole The Show In Chicago
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The 1957 Chevrolet Model 150 squad car was nothing like the hot rod machines powered by a V-8 engine.

This one had a Blue Flame, 235 cubic-inch, inline-six engine that develops 140 horsepower.

Not exactly the one to use for chasing street racers, but it did get the job done against basically any conventional car of the time. The 1957 Chevy Model 150 had some obvious novelties compared to any from the previous years. A new oval bumper with protruding bumper guards and round parking lights differentiate it from the models from before. However, this was not exactly a luxurious car. Usually, the 150 had only one sun visor and rubber floor mats. Some report that it did not even have a radio or a heater. Squad cars, obviously, had to have it.

Conclusion

1957 Chevrolet Model 150 Squad Car Stole The Show In Chicago
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Obviously, the Chicago Police Department memorial car is justifiably one of the most intriguing show cars in Chicago this year. It is even equipped with the original ticket book, a nightstick, and a flashlight. Can’t go more legit than that, can it now? Although it is basically the least expensive of all Chevy cars from 1953 to 1957 (the time frame when the Model 150 was produced), I find it quite interesting. As many hot rod enthusiasts do as well. They’d turn this into a 10-second car overnight.

Further Reading

2019 Chicago Auto Show - Everything You Need To Know
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2019 Chicago Auto Show - Everything You Need To Know

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