We train ourselves to spot the headlights of Crown Vic cop cars from a half mile away, but how do we ID unmarked vehicles? Jalopnik readers are here to help, and they think they've found the stealthiest cop cars of all.
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Of course, the most invisible police car isn't a police car at all. It's a plane, catching speeders from where you'll never be looking: up. It's not like there are squadrons of F-16s patrolling every mile of interstate, and here's where you can ignore ‘speed limit enforced by aircraft' signs.
Eventually, the sky will be ruled by unmanned vehicles in the dystopian drone future and none of these police-car-spotting skills will matter, but hopefully we'll all just be napping in cruise-controlled driverless cars by then anyway.
We limited this list to vehicles that are relatively new, so let us know in Kinja below about old secret unmarked cop cars used back in the day, like these Buick T-Types used in Connecticut. Sneaky.
Photo Credit: The B's
10.) Highway Patrol Impalas
With hubcaps, regular paint, and hidden lights, these Impalas look like your grandma is behind the wheel. Sometimes they have antennae, like in this shot from Virginia, but sometimes not.
9.) Smart Cars
We wouldn't say that Birmingham PD's two Smart cars are inconspicuous, but you're more inclined to think they're a joke than a real cop car. Over in Europe, these have been more common for years now, but they're still hilarious.
8.) Dodge Durangos
You just don't expect a Durango to be driven by anything other than a suburban mom ferrying her kids around. We're just not trained to spot them in speed traps. If they have push bars up front, that's something, but many don't even have those.
7.) Indianapolis Ram Pickups
Even more stealthy than a Durango is a Ram pickup. At best, you might think this is a parks department truck, or some other official fleet vehicle, but never a cop car.
6.) Chevy Tahoes
The sheer ubiquity of Chevy Tahoes make them perfect unmarked cop cars. These things can be more common than minivans, and picking out the steelies and tints of a police-spec version is a challenge at highway speeds.
5.) Calgary Ford F-150s
For a lot of North America, there's no vehicle more common than a Ford F-150 with a tool box in the back. Again, you might expect these things to be running around as some department vehicle, but you'd never expect one to flash hidden lights and pull you over.
4.) Police Interceptor Ford Explorers
Unless you're close enough to spot the hidden lights in the grill, there's pretty much nothing you can do to ID a police-spec Explorer. Most of them that we've seen are in police livery, but in regular paint they look like nothing more than mommymobiles.
Suggested By: Patrick Frawley, Photo Credit: Ford
3.) A Semi Truck
As we can see in this video, British police have used a Scania semi to look into the cabs of other truckers. These things are everywhere in Europe.
You in your car don't really have to be afraid of getting pulled over by one, but man is it stealthy.
2.) Ford Mustangs
It seems to us like unmarked Mustangs are more common than you'd think. AOL Autos used one in their guide to unmarked cop cars, but we still never, ever expect to see a cop behind the wheel of a ‘Stang, at least on duty.
1.) Anything In Hawaii
In Hawaii, police officers can be allowed to use personal vehicles as their patrol cars. All they have is a detachable blue light on the roof to set them apart. Reader Mailbox Cancer has seen Saturn Ions, Toyota 4Runners, and even Chevy Cavaliers doing police duty. There's even this Infiniti G35 sedan, which is a first for us.
We're going to steer clear of breaking any law whatsoever in Hawaii, thank you very much.