It was just a 51 Chevy, but now it's an official police car

It was just a 51 Chevy, but now it's an official police car
Source: KLTV Staff

KILGORE, TX (KTRE) - It's not the same old police car, or is it? It depends on how you look at it, and people were looking at it with amazement.

Students at Kilgore College spent months making a 66 year old Chevy into a police cruiser, and it's all for community relations.

The Gladewater Police Department found the 1951 Chevy Deluxe in Missouri, and Police Chief Rob Vine thought making it into a police car just made sense so they had it hauled in.

"It's the antique capital of East Texas and we thought why do we not have an antique police car?" Vine offered.

Gladewater residents thought it was pretty black and white.

"A lot of financial donations from area businesses and private citizens," Vine said.

Then the Kilgore College Auto Body Repair Technology class went to work. Student Brittany Casanova and her class worked on it for:

"About six months," Casanova clarified.

"It's a very professional job," Chief Vine observed.

Students say it was tough. There was rust to deal with, but Casanova's favorite part was:

"Putting it back together at the end, all painted. That was awesome," she smiled.

"Joel Laws did an outstanding job with the class and the students put an awful lot of work into the 6 month project," Vine said.

And patrolling? Well they're going to use it:

"In the city of Gladewater, downtown in our antique district, our plan is to actually patrol the area," Vine clarified.

And he thinks it will cause public interaction to go:

"In a positive way," Vine said.

"What about high-speed chases? Is there a surprise under the hood?" I asked the chief.

He shook his head and said, "No surprises. It will go about 60 or 70 but most likely we'll be going about 15-20."

And that's what you may get if you scratch it.

Okay, probably not, but look, don't touch. During the car's presentation, instructor Joel Laws said he loves to see students figure it out.

"It's just to see the light come on," he said to a group of forty-odd attendees.

"Speaking of that can we see the light come on?" I asked Laws.

And with that the chief was given a quick lesson on starting the car, and he was headed to Gladewater to ready the car for patrol, where he would hopefully get: Just the facts, man.

The car will make its official public unveiling at Gusher Days which starts April 13 in Gladewater.

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