Seven Vintage Houston Police Cars, Including the Rare HPD Gremlin

Arcadia Publishing, the outfit that specializes in photo-filled historical books and gave us last year's look at Foley's department store, is out with a look at the Houston Police Department.

It's filled with shots of cops through the years, the celebrities they protected, the cases they worked.

It also features the rides they used once they got out of the horseback age, including a shot of the HPD Gremlin, which was in use for a very, very brief time before the department realized it's a frigging Gremlin.

(All photos reprinted with permission from Houston Police Department, by Tom Kennedy. Available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665.)

7. A circa-1964 paddy wagon
Built for comfort!! Doesn't look like there's any sharp, rusty edges for proto-hippies to get tetanus from.

6. Plenty of room
The 1971 fleet, ready to be outfitted. Each car seats approximately eight in the back alone.

5. The winged warrior
The 1960-61 fleet, with the stylish wings in the back, inspired no doubt by the Bulgemobile line. If you were knocked back onto one of them in a brawl, it'd pierce your ribcage. We like the heroically inspiring incredibly bored look of the two cops posing.

4. Curved and rounded
This early `50s patrol car features an elaborate front bumper and a plump design that makes it look more friendly than intimidating.

3. Squat and boxy -- ice-boxy
This ugly-looking patrol car is on the scene of one of Houston's most gruesome murders -- the 1965 killings of Fred and Edwina Rogers in Montrose. Their son chopped them up and stuck their parts in an icebox. The son was never found. Some JFK conspiracists place him on the grassy knoll.

2. "Hurry up, I got deliveries to make...."
This late `40s paddy wagon doubled as a milk truck when its shift was over.

1. And finally....
Could there be any prouder moment in an HPD officer's career than the day he got assigned to the sporty 1975 Gremlin? He wouldn't have felt like an idiot at all.

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