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Monday, 22 September 2014 00:00

Cruising Through Attleboro, MA in Restored Police Car

Before and after pictures of the police cruiser

 

When the City of Attleboro recently celebrated their 100th anniversary with a parade, one of the highlights of the day was the 1975 police cruiser restored this past summer by two local auto body businesses in MA.
 The Attleboro Police Department initiated the restoration project in 2011, shortly after Sgt. Ronald Goyette joined the force. Attleboro’s Police Chief Kyle Heagney asked if he could help restore a police cruiser to be used for city parades and community events. Goyette, the former automotive shop teacher at Attleboro High School, began to search for a vehicle but said it was challenging to find just the right one.

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“We ended up running into all kinds of obstacles,” he said.

Finally, as luck would have it, in 2013 his mother-in-law mentioned that she found an interesting old car he might want to take a look at. She had no idea her son-in-law had been searching for a car and when he went to see it, he found it was exactly what he had been looking for all along, a 1975 Dodge Coronet. Goyette said it was in immaculate shape for its age. “Unlike most Chryslers of that era, it didn’t have any underbody rot.”

Using funds from forfeited drug seizures, the police department purchased the car during the first part of 2014. The police chief asked Goyette if it could be ready by September 6.

“Time became our biggest obstacle because once we located it the chief wanted it done in time for the 100th anniversary parade celebration.”

The first step was to strip it down. In addition to having chrome accessories not used on police cars in 1975, the prior owner had additional add-ons such as fender skirts. Greg McGovern of Better Automotive, a friend of Goyette’s who was experienced in Chrysler restoration, located parts for the vehicle and worked on it for a couple of weeks. Then the car was taken to Charlie Soufy at Chaz’s Autobody, who is contracted by the Attleboro Police to work on their vehicles. The owner of the small shop in Attleboro said he has a good relationship with the police department and he wanted to show his support for the community where he grew up.

Soufy has gained some new customers after helping out with this project and said his motto is, “Without my customers, I wouldn’t have a job.”

Soufy said their biggest challenge was the time frame.

"When we started to take some of the paint off there was a little more work than we anticipated so my guys kicked into high gear," he said. "Andy Higginbotham 'Panda' and Ken Langill 'Dust Monkey' stayed late to get the job done."

Goyette said Soufy spent a lot of time getting the paint color just right.

“Since DuPont didn’t list an exact number for the paint the city used on their cruisers, Charlie mixed it by eye,” he said. “He kept adding until he got it exactly the way it should be.”

David Viera, the police department’s in-house mechanic, also helped out with the car. It is currently being stored at the police department during the winter so they can do some additional touch ups and interior work.

“I think it’s unbelievable in this day and age you would find people who are ready, willing and able to donate their time, services and skill for the police department, for the community,” said Goyette.

 

Photo Cred: Officer Robert Hale and the Attleboro Police Department

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