Bug cop car is best cop car

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Maybe “most adorable police car” isn’t a designation that inspires fear among the lawless, but the totally-made-up award just might go to this 1979 Volkswagen Beetle.

This unique Bug is owned Spike Feresten, who  shows it off on the latest Jay Leno’s Garage episode. Green and white with a blue light on top, it is one car that certainly can’t hide in traffic.

Fersten tells Jay about some of the car’s finer points, from the roof-mounted P.A. system to the dash-mounted Telefunken radio. Only minimal changes were made to the iconic Beetle’s shape in the effort to make it a service car. The sirens tucked under the front bumper produce a wail that makes you think a Jason Bourne chase scene is starting and you’re in it.

The engine and drivetrain remained in the original German-delivered specifications, putting out a claimed 44 horsepower from the air-cooled four-cylinder. Certainly not a great pursuit vehicle, but the reliability and easy service of the simple engines was likely a selling point for police departments when bringing the car into service.

On the road, you can’t miss the characteristic burble of the VW powertrain. Both Leno and Feresten comment about the fun-to-drive aspect of the nearly 40-year-old economy car. With wide smiles, they motor around Los Angeles, with Jay occasionally using the P.A. system to yell a string of fake German.

So strap on some lederhosen, grab some Grolsch, and enjoy this quick episode and all its green and white Polizei livery.

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