The very best vintage and restored police vehicles.
Ripon Vintage Police Car Show
By: John Bellah
The annual Menlo Park, Calif. Police – Ripon, Calif. Police Emergency Vehicle Show is one of the largest such police car events in the nation. Held in Ripon on the first Saturday in October, on display are the highest quality original and restored police vehicles anywhere. In addition to the car show, there is a police patch collector’s show and a swap meet where emergency vehicle collectors have the opportunity to obtain vintage lights, sirens, and radio equipment to finish off restoration projects—or start new ones. Various agencies have also set up recruiting booths.
In addition to 500 spectators, the most recent show had 125 emergency vehicles on display—a record number. The vehicles from all over the West Coast represented a cross-section of in-service NextGen police sedans and vintage vehicles, either agency-sponsored, or privately owned dating from the 1920s onward. This included military, security, firefighting vehicles, security, motorcycles, as well as ambulances on display.
The evening before the car show, the Ripon Police escorts the show vehicles from the Community Center—lights and siren—to the local Sonic Drive-in for an informal “Cruise Night” for old friends to get together over a burger and a shake. At noon on the day of the show, the Ripon Police again escorted the emergency vehicles on a several-mile-long parade route through the City of Ripon. Many of the local residents stand out on the sidewalks to wave at the vehicles passing by.
Eventually the vehicles return to the Ripon Community Center to await the results of the judging, where various prizes and awards are given. There are numerous categories in which vehicles can be entered: Restored, Novelty, Best California Highway Patrol Vehicle, Special Service, Specialty, Police Motorcycle, Fire, Security/Tow-truck, and Daily Driver.
Additionally, awards are given by the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, various local police and fire chiefs, the Chicago Police Department, and by the show staff. For additional information on the upcoming show, contact show coordinator Darryl Lindsay at: email@example.com.
John Bellah is a Technical Editor for Police Fleet Manager and member of the Police Car Owners and Operators of America (PCOOA) and the Emergency Vehicle Owners and Operators of America (EVOOA). He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.