From 1972-1978, the National Highway Safety Department conducted an experiment with a lime green paint, known as “Safety Green.” The goal was to increase the visibility of safety vehicles (police cars, fire trucks and ambulances). In Cleveland, the experiment lasted until 1982, when police cars and fire trucks went back to their traditional colors. Our ambulances remain the safety green color.
The 1978 Ford LTD was the last of the series of vehicles Cleveland Police used during the “high visibility” study days and the last of this series of vehicles coming out of service in 1985.
This specific vehicle was initially a Dewitt City, Michigan Police Chief’s car. Museum volunteer Greg Savernik purchased this vehicle in 2003 and started acquiring parts to complete the car. In 2008, the vehicle was completed with the assistance of students and instructors from the Ohio Technical College. This car has a 460 cubic inch big block engine and if it had been in service with Cleveland it would have strictly been used as a traffic car due the engine size and its performance capability.
This vehicle is part of the Cleveland Police Museum’s Vintage Fleet. The “call number” 611 represents a car assigned to the Sixth Cleveland Police District. This District was eliminated when the City created a revised police deployment plan in 2008 that was developed to make the Division more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the community.
Check out the “slime green” car along with many others at the Cleveland Police Museum’s annual Vintage Car Show on Saturday, June 22 2019 at the Justice Center Plaza, 1300 Ontario.