This 1968 Ford Custom Sedan was originally purchased from Marty Franich Ford for then, Chief of Police Jim Cunningham. Originally a police cruiser package, the chief chose to keep it as his personal unmarked vehicle. It was assigned to the detective division in 1975 and stayed in the city fleet for several years. Last used in the water department as a daily service unit, the vehicle was retired in 1993.
Rescued in 1994
In July of 1994, the police department surveyed its officers to select the type of police vehicle it would restore. A majority of the officers recognized the uniqueness of the vintage automobile and voted to refurbish the 1968 Ford Custom. The car was rescued from the auction block and a committee was formed to plan how the squad car would be rebuilt.
The 7-year restoration project involved over 20 volunteers, 25 businesses, 1000 hours, and a volume of generous donations from a supportive community. On October 20, 2001, the police cruiser was completed and proudly cruised Main Street once again in the "Patriotic Day Parade" honoring the men and women of Law Enforcement, Fire, Military and Emergency Medical Services. The car has been used in many special events, car enthusiast shows and in 2002, was judged "best-restored emergency vehicle" at the Ripon Police and Menlo Park Police Emergency Vehicle Show.
Chief of Police Comments
This vehicle symbolizes the tradition of professionalism, courage, integrity, generosity and a strong community spirit that exists in Watsonville. My deepest appreciation goes to those who worked so diligently to make this project become a reality.
Captain Manny Solano
Delton and Pam Taylor
B and T Glass - Brian Flannery
Body By Hank
California Tow Truck Owners of America
Century Chevrolet - Mike Kolko
Coast Commercial Bank
Coca Cola Bottling of Salinas - Bill Neighbors
Communications Workers of America
Davis Auto Parts - Ken Blanton
East Lake Shopping Center Road Angels Car Show Assoc.
Eddie's Auto Upholstery
Emergency Vehicle Systems - Guy Reimche
Faith Bumper Service
Golden State Auto Air and Radiator
Guaranteed Parts Distributors
Lincoln Street Radiator Muffler
Marty Franich Ford Lincoln Mercury (Rocky Franich, Jim Domenighini and Bill Strange)
Mike Brummit Auto Glass
Phil's Auto Body - Phil Chadd
Police Car Owners of America
Santa Cruz County Radio Shop - Bob Erbe
Speed of Light Towing and Recovery - Rick and Linda Bays