Salt Lake City police told KSL TV they may have averted tragedy when they apprehended a wanted man driving a stolen muscle car packed with firearms. But the car — a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS — was trashed in the chase. Sounds like a tragedy to me.
Police haven't yet identified the suspect they have in custody, but said that he had outstanding felony warrants. An officer noticed the red Chevelle yesterday afternoon, when the unidentified driver almost hit another car. After following him into a parking lot, the officer tried to use his patrol cruiser to corner the classic muscle car.
It was then that things turned all Grand Theft Auto. Throwing the stolen car into reverse, the man slammed into the police cruiser and another car before busting a J-turn and taking off. Having escaped the parking lot with only minor damage, the fugitive's flight was cut short when he entered oncoming traffic to escape three police cars in hot pursuit. Another car T-boned the SS, totaling it and leaving the man to flee on foot. Apparently, he didn't make it very far.
See photos of the wrecked car here.
No word yet on weather the SS was a 396- or 454-powered model, but the fleeing thief undoubtedly got the thrill of his life from driving it in a bona fide police chase. The car was reportedly stolen from Naples, Utah, nearly four hours away from Salt Lake City (depending upon how fast you drive). Police also don't know yet where he got his stockpile of weapons (there was even a shotgun jammed next to the driver's seat). The man was either cautious or very lucky and didn't get pulled over on the freeway on the way into the city. Personally, I would have had a hard time not opening it up on Utah's long, desolate stretches of highway.
Our hearts go out to whoever owns this Chevelle. The year 1970 was the apogee of the muscle car age and the Chevelle SS was arguably one of Detroit's finest offerings of that or any year. It's a shame to see one get destroyed.
Then again, the spiraling value of these cars, once champion hoon-mobiles for so many working class folks, makes it almost gratifying to see some scumbag take this SS back to its roots and drive it like he stole it. (Hat tip to Scott!)
Photo credit: KSL TV Salt Lake City