When 9C1 Chevy Caprices Rescued Crashed Hyundai Excels

And CHP officers had big mustaches.

california highway patrol chevrolet caprice with crashed volkswagen jetta in 1991
Murilee Martin

From the middle 1980s and through the 1990s, I shot hundreds of rolls of bulk-loaded Kodak Tri-X 35mm film on a Canon AE-1 camera. I didn't set out to document the automotive world per se, but cars were important to me and so plenty of the junkyards, highways, city streets, and parking lots around me ended up being captured by my Canon.

While scanning some negatives from the early 1990s, I came across this photograph taken on Interstate 5 in Southern California. I'd been sitting in a traffic jam in my 1965 Chevrolet Impala sedan for quite a while, and when I reached the cause of the miles of stop-and-go I took a quick shot: a Hyundai Excel sedan second-generation Volkswagen Jetta being flatbedded while a CHP officer fills out paperwork next to his 9C1 Chevrolet Caprice (even as the all-new "Whale" Caprice was just beginning to appear on American roads).

chp officer with box caprice
Murilee Martin

Now this cop has a proper CHP mustache!

cadillac calais sedan
Murilee Martin

On the same roll of film was this shot of a mid-1970s Cadillac Calais or Sedan de Ville, then 15 years old and still rolling with what appeared to be its original owners.

murilee martins 1965 chevrolet impala in southern california
Murilee Martin

There must be a police department somewhere in America that still has a box Caprice or two in semi-active service, I hope.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Chevrolet