Chevy Must Love "Hawaii 50 - Just look at the "Star Car"
|   Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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Don't get us wrong, we're not coming down on Chevy, at all, for this. In fact, we're in awe of their ability to get a vehicle like the 2010/11 Camaro such a big role in the weekly CBS crime series (it's one of our favorites, by the way). They did it and if you look at it, you just have to wonder why police departments across the US aren't lining up for their copies of the '50 Camaro.'

We haven't heard of any major fleet purchases of Camaros by local police departments, although we've seen Dodge Charger R/Ts on the road in police black and white (they really do look cool in those colors, by the way), but we suppose if you run it long enough some police department somewhere will finally get the idea that there really is a good car underneath that bodacious good-looking body.

To put this in context, Danno, McGarrett's sidekick (same in the 70s series, too, but they drove aircraft carrier-sized Lincolns back then) uses a tricked out police special Camaro as his squad car. Done in silver with alloy wheels, the long-hooded Camaro actually looks good in the part. It doesn't have any fancy lettering on it and there's nothing to call out the fact that it's a police cruiser package, unless you look inside.

Once you take a look inside you see some oddly placed body members and the front bucket seats are more like Recaro-styled racing seats. All they lack is the special four- or six-way seat belts and you have a vehicle that can probably run on any major NASCAR track with few, if any modifications.

It's funny, too, that the Camaro they are using is pretty standard issue under the hood. Though they call the engine a 5-liter, it's actually slightly smaller at 4.6-liters. Yet, the powerplant still can crank out a good, solid 300-horsepower when it's called on to do it and there's plenty of low- and mid-range power thanks to the five-speed overdrive automatic.

In the "50' trim, though, we think the real star of "Hawaii 50" would make a great unmarked car for any jurisdiction. For two officers riding up front, the accommodations are pretty good as the seats, though thin, are pretty supportive and the driver's environment is excellent (all the gauges are easily visible and it's easy to set the driver's seat up so any driver can find a great position; the controls are easily accessible, too). Altogether, we'd have to call this front-engine/rear-drive vehicle a driver's car. The only real thing that might violate the Constitution's prohibition against "cruel and unusual" punishment is making any perpetrator have to sit in the rather limited back seat of the police special Camaro. But, if they are real perps, who actually cares????
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