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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/4/21 7:50 a.m.

What does it take to create a racing program these days? How about a dream and a nearly endless supply of

inexpensive, long-wearing donor cars?

Brett Madsen, an SCCA autocross national champ with a pair of high-output Mustangs in the stable, came up with Spec P71, a Southern California time attac…

Read the rest of the story

preach (fs)
preach (fs) Dork
10/4/21 7:59 a.m.

2.4 hours of LeMullets.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
10/4/21 8:24 a.m.

I've had three panthers, the last a 95 P71. I'd love to see this here in Florida. I'd have to give serious consideration to participating. 
 

The article says that it is a southern California series, but they are running them in the Midwest.

noddaz
noddaz UberDork
10/4/21 8:46 a.m.

Cool.

Someone needs to set to set one of those up as Ex-Police from SNL.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/4/21 8:47 a.m.

Such a great way to enjoy an inexpensive car!  

In the midwest, there is Spec Panther

Video

GRM connection:  You might recognize the current class leader, Rick Hoback as the guy behind the wheel of the Joe Burchett, Challenge Subaru MicoVan.

https://www.facebook.com/specpanther

 

Yes, that's a pink doughnut with sprinkles on car #66

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
10/4/21 8:51 a.m.

That's awesome! But I feel like the supply of these is going to start drying up soon, police haven't used them for years and they're aging out of any remaining fleets fast.

jharry3
jharry3 Dork
10/4/21 9:09 a.m.

Jake and Elwood approve this message.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
10/4/21 9:39 a.m.
dculberson said:

That's awesome! But I feel like the supply of these is going to start drying up soon, police haven't used them for years and they're aging out of any remaining fleets fast.

The demo derby guys are all about them too. Won't be many shells left in good shape before long. They look fantastic with those Mustang wheels in the trailer shot.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/4/21 10:24 a.m.

What about Police Spec Dodge Chargers?  Most cities in my area are using them. Newer and more availability. 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
10/4/21 12:56 p.m.

I've got a good argument against them: the transmission is awful. You need to put a giant cooler on the car to ensure you can do more than a single lap. Also, flooring it 2 seconds before you get to the apex in anticipation of the kickdown is unnatural.

 

I'm a big fan of running what you brung, and they're fun to haul around a track, but if you thought stock Miatas were slow...

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit UltraDork
10/4/21 1:26 p.m.
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

What about Police Spec Dodge Chargers?  Most cities in my area are using them. Newer and more availability. 

Around here they are in the $8K -$10K bit pricey for a toy.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/4/21 1:59 p.m.

It's no spec 2nd gen Prius, but I understand how it would appeal to some people. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UltraDork
10/4/21 2:14 p.m.

So is a Panther or a Fit faster around the track? 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/4/21 2:17 p.m.
Donebrokeit said:
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) said:

What about Police Spec Dodge Chargers?  Most cities in my area are using them. Newer and more availability. 

Around here they are in the $8K -$10K bit pricey for a toy.

Around here anything that runs is too pricey to be a toy. Damn this used car inflation. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
10/4/21 2:41 p.m.

I love it.  The roundy-round tracks here in Florida have adopted a similar class and its growing FAST.  20-25 car fields are common.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
10/4/21 2:45 p.m.

But who's going to volunteer to ride in the back seat in handcuffs? 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/4/21 2:50 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Would they have to be harnessed and cuffed? If so I may know some people. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/4/21 2:57 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to frenchyd :

Would they have to be harnessed and cuffed? If so I may know some people. 

You might then want the Mercury Marquis de Sade version.

RJStanford
RJStanford New Reader
10/4/21 4:24 p.m.

Most places would require a cage for W2W, which would add another ~$3k to the cost.  Still could be a ton of fun as a spec series mind you.

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
10/4/21 4:35 p.m.

In reply to RJStanford :

I'd be happier to do that. Push bar bump drafting anyone?

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
10/4/21 4:52 p.m.

are there any driving schools that use old cop cars ?

I would love to take a class where you had a couple hours track time at Laguna Seca  to learn how to handle these big beasts at speed around corners 

rustomatic
rustomatic Reader
10/4/21 6:01 p.m.

As someone who has actually done a full track day in a 2008 Crown Vic, I would have to say that the LeMullets thing is the only way to do it, unless you've never driven on a track.  These things are not fast, but if you can pit people and just try to avoid getting it yourself, joy may be had.  Otherwise, slow go karts are more fun.

btmautosport
btmautosport New Reader
10/4/21 6:37 p.m.
Cactus said:

I've got a good argument against them: the transmission is awful. You need to put a giant cooler on the car to ensure you can do more than a single lap. Also, flooring it 2 seconds before you get to the apex in anticipation of the kickdown is unnatural.

 

I'm a big fan of running what you brung, and they're fun to haul around a track, but if you thought stock Miatas were slow...

For what it's worth the P71's come with an enlarged cooler. Never had an issue with cooling the trans in stock form but we also column shift them in Spec P71. Letting the trans think for itself is not ideal. Add the allowed tune and valve body as well as the deep pan and the cars are even more flawless.

 

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/4/21 8:45 p.m.

Haven't driven one of the Ford police spec cars, but I had an Impala SS which was similar to the Chev police car.  Wasn't fast by today's standards, but it handled and stopped better than a big barge had any right to, and it made a righteous roar (straight though mufflers) when you stomped it.  Would have been great fun on a track.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
10/4/21 9:24 p.m.

I'd like to see a 96 9c1 vs a 2011 P71 contest....

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