1968 Ford Police Cruiser

This 1968 Ford Custom Sedan was originally purchased from Marty Franich Ford for then, Chief of Police Jim Cunningham. Originally a police cruiser package, the chief chose to keep it as his personal unmarked vehicle. It was assigned to the detective division in 1975 and stayed in the city fleet for several years. Last used in the water department as a daily service unit, the vehicle was retired in 1993.

Rescued in 1994

In July of 1994, the police department surveyed its officers to select the type of police vehicle it would restore. A majority of the officers recognized the uniqueness of the vintage automobile and voted to refurbish the 1968 Ford Custom. The car was rescued from the auction block and a committee was formed to plan how the squad car would be rebuilt.

Restoration Project

The 7-year restoration project involved over 20 volunteers, 25 businesses, 1000 hours, and a volume of generous donations from a supportive community. On October 20, 2001, the police cruiser was completed and proudly cruised Main Street once again in the "Patriotic Day Parade" honoring the men and women of Law Enforcement, Fire, Military and Emergency Medical Services. The car has been used in many special events, car enthusiast shows and in 2002, was judged "best-restored emergency vehicle" at the Ripon Police and Menlo Park Police Emergency Vehicle Show.

Chief of Police Comments

This vehicle symbolizes the tradition of professionalism, courage, integrity, generosity and a strong community spirit that exists in Watsonville. My deepest appreciation goes to those who worked so diligently to make this project become a reality.
Terry Medina

Project Manager

  • Captain Manny Solano

Assistant Manager

  • Rick Bays

Chief Mechanic

  • Steve Beck

Project Team

  • Darren Thompson
  • Darryl Lindsey
  • Delton and Pam Taylor
  • Dennis Espindola
  • George Rivera
  • George Bland
  • Hank Snow
  • Jay Turley
  • Jeffrey Fors
  • Joe Pusateri

  • Lee Katich
  • Michael Lawhorn
  • Mike Lightfoot
  • Mike Brummit
  • "Pinky" Cecil
  • Richard Garcia
  • Robert Leonardich
  • Wally Klock
  • Zane Ota


  • B and T Glass - Brian Flannery
  • Body By Hank
  • California Tow Truck Owners of America
  • Century Chevrolet - Mike Kolko
  • Coast Commercial Bank
  • Coca Cola Bottling of Salinas - Bill Neighbors
  • Communications Workers of America
  • Davis Auto Parts - Ken Blanton
  • East Lake Shopping Center Road Angels Car Show Assoc.
  • Eddie's Auto Upholstery
  • Emergency Vehicle Systems - Guy Reimche
  • Faith Bumper Service
  • Golden State Auto Air and Radiator
  • Guaranteed Parts Distributors

  • Lincoln Street Radiator Muffler
  • Marty Franich Ford Lincoln Mercury (Rocky Franich, Jim Domenighini and Bill Strange)
  • Mike Brummit Auto Glass
  • Phil's Auto Body - Phil Chadd
  • Police Car Owners of America
  • Printed Image
  • Quality Restorations
  • Santa Cruz County Radio Shop - Bob Erbe
  • Speed of Light Towing and Recovery - Rick and Linda Bays
  • Toriumi's Automotive - Dave and Kathy Toriumi
  • Watsonville Rock-n-Rod Nites
  • Watsonville Square Merchants Association
  • Wright's Brake Service - Bill Wright