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THE BEST...THE BEAUTIFUL...AND THE BIZARRE | Hot Wheels
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Wave Watcher

July 26, 1998|Joe Sehee

Time was any hipster wanting to be taken seriously wouldn't tool around in anything newer than a '66 Dodge Dart, but thanks in part to the escalating cost of vintage vehicles, classic cars are no longer the wheels of choice for kids concerned with street credibility. The coolest rides today were in the FBI, DEA or Sheriff's Department fleets only yesterday. Usually acquired at auctions, a nondescript, 9-year-old Chevy Caprice--"the Cadillac of cop cars"--might go for as little as $3,000. Mr. C, one of the partners of the West L.A. nightspot Liquid Kitty, paid three times that amount to get what a former dealer in the auto trade described as "a real cream puff"--a 1989 gray, federal law enforcement Caprice with two batteries, two alternators and steel-braided hoses instead of those wimpy rubber ones. With only the requisite D.A.R.E. bumper sticker missing, he affixed one of his own. But, according to Mr. C, there are practical reasons to riding around in a used cop car: so far, no traffic or parking tickets and plenty of "friendly nods."

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