Marietta police unveil restored 1966 cruiser
by Hilary Butschek
July 02, 2014 04:00 AM | 3680 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn unveils a restored 1966 Ford Custom police cruiser at the City of Marietta Police Department on Tuesday.<br>Staff/Hilary Butschek
Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn unveils a restored 1966 Ford Custom police cruiser at the City of Marietta Police Department on Tuesday.
Staff/Hilary Butschek
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MARIETTA — The Marietta Police Department has a new toy.

The force unveiled a restored 1966 Ford Custom police cruiser Tuesday afternoon. The department’s project to recreate the past took almost a year to complete. The car cost a total of $30,000 to restore, said police spokesman David Baldwin.

The police only paid $2,100 of the cost to restore the cruiser, and contributors gave about $26,000 in materials and labor to complete the car, Baldwin said. The Police Department Explorer Program, which teaches teens who aspire to become police officers, bought the car for $2,500 from a man in Alabama, Baldwin said.

Police Chief Dan Flynn said he is excited to share the car with the community. The car will be featured in the city’s Fourth of July parade Friday, he said.

“It’s important, as a community, when you see your police department as a friendly place, and we do that through projects,” Flynn said.

The car is completely authentic, Flynn said, even down to the shade of the cream-colored paint on the top of the car’s exterior.

“Marietta is a city that is very history-conscious, and we thought it would be nice to have something that shows we value our history,” Flynn said.

The old police cruiser, complete with a rotating red light on the top, was sitting alongside a new police Ford Interceptor on Tuesday.

Rupert Raines, a retired Marietta assistant police chief, said he remembers driving the old Ford Custom every day. Raines said the cruiser has a sentimental value to him because it functioned as his office for eight hours a day.

“That was our home away from home,” Raines said.

He said times have changed, and so have police cars.

“They’re so much safer now, and there’s so much more technology,” Raines said.

Raines said in the old police cars, the windows had to be cranked up and down by hand and air conditioning was not included. The cars also didn’t have anything separating the arrestee in the back seat from the officers in the front seat, such as the metal cage cars have now.

A total of 18 contributors donated money or services to complete the restoration of the car.

Tom Giarrano, owner of Tom’s Hot Rods and Restorations Marietta, said he worked on the paint and body work of the car. Giarrano said he put 300 hours and $15,000 into the car, and it was worth it.

“I was immediately drawn to (the car), and I immediately knew I wouldn’t charge them anything,” Giarrano said. “These guys give up so much every day, and they put their lives on the line every day. That makes it worth it.”

Comments
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obey the law!
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July 02, 2014
One might think the police's increasingly explosive tactics over the last few decades are the big reason they need a barrier between arrestees and officers in today's police cars.

They need to get one of these old cars for all Marietta PD officers and take a big step back from the electronic license tag scanning laptop internet "computer, who is driving that car" equipped surveillance plushmobiles we currently pay for them to keep tabs on us with.
GeorgiaStorm
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July 02, 2014
It's interesting you complain when officers do something nice in the community and spew venom when they do something bad. I hope your kids weren't raised this way or they resent the way you treat them as that every word out of your mouth is criticism, yet you want them to be productive citizens. The same is true here. If you want change, how can you affect change by veiled criticism? How about doing it face to face with MPD or your city council instead of hiding? How about going out and learning why things are done a certain way instead of an illogical ill timed rant? Heck, even protest... at least you are not hiding behind a computer screen. The fact of the matter is you don't want change, only an outlet to hear yourself in hopes someone will agree. Give these kids a break. They worked hard, others gave their time for a good cause and you choose to make it your own time to voice an opinion based in fallacies. I'm proud of what they did and I wish them well. Good job Marietta PD!
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