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by Tim Beissmann

A small number of Australian-made Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicles have found their way into public hands after a US dealer took advantage of a loophole in Chevrolet’s contract.

According to Jalopnik, Criswell Chevrolet in Maryland advertised 13 Chevrolet Caprice vehicles for sale to the public on its website last month.

From the outset, Chevrolet has made it clear that the Caprice was only to be sold to law enforcement agencies and not to members of the public. But a loophole in Chevrolet’s dealer sales contract failed to explicitly state this.

Harry Criswell, the owner of the Maryland dealership, told Automotive News he only sold one or two Chevrolet Caprice Detective models before he was contacted by General Motors and asked to stop.

GM has since plugged the legal loophole, and does not believe any other Caprice vehicles have been sold to the public.

The 13 Caprice Detective vehicles – the unmarked version of the police patrol car – were advertised on Criswell’s website for between $US31,870 and $US37,053 ($29,600 and $34,400). Criswell fitted the stripped-out sedans with a number of additional comfort features, including power windows and power seats.

The remaining vehicles in his yard will be sold to police forces as they were originally intended.

It’s easy to understand why the Americans are keen to get their hands on our Holden-designed and -manufactured Caprice. With a US-rated 265kW/521Nm 6.0-litre V8 on board, the Caprice is the first rear-wheel drive sedan from Chevrolet since the 1996 Chevrolet Impala.

The only other V8-powered rear-wheel drive sedan in GM’s US stable is the Cadillac CTS-V, which is priced from $US67,000 ($62,200).

One or two Americans now have their hands on the banned cop cars. The rest of the country’s enthusiasts will have to wait for the unmarked cars to head to the auction floor in a few years’ time.

Click here to read more about the Chevrolet Caprice PPV.




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