Sunday, August 23, 2015

Welly 1:24 2013 Ford Police Interceptor

If you visit a Rite-aid store you will come upon a tray displaying loose 1:24 and 1:43 pull back vehicles.  Look closely and you'll see badly mutilated vehicles with missing windows, mirrors, interior trim, etc.  This is the downside of selling loose vehicles, and Rite-aid refuses to replace them so they sit for years and years until something happens.  If you're lucky you can find one in pristine condition (see the Packard Caribbean), or you can find one that needs some work to be done.  That was the case with this Ford Police Interceptor that I found:  It was missing a few parts but the possibilities to make this car more interesting was the fun part.


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I already looked into the Police Interceptor sedan when I reviewed the Matchbox and Greenlight Taurus and Police Intereceptor's.  The current Police Interceptor was introduced in 2012, though sold to the departments as 2013 models with the refreshed front end.  The new Interceptor replaces the long-serving Crown Victoria and is based on the Taurus platform even though Ford does not call it the Taurus (same goes for the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility).  It has more upgrades to handle severe police duty and a revised interior to accommidate more police gear.  Powertrains range from the 3.5L V6, twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6, and the turbocharged 2.0L I-4 EcoBoost for light-duty operations.  I was surprised to learn of a fourth engine option:  The Mustang's 3.7L DOHC V6 that produces 305 hp. and 289 Ib-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic.  The column-shifter and the 3.7 V6 are exclusive to the Police Interceptor and is not shared with the Taurus.  Those diecast manufacturers that got an early start on the new Interceptor has the 2012 look shown on the preproduction prototypes, while those who started later have the correct 2013 look.


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It was badly mutilated: right-front headlight missing completely, driver's side mirror missing as well, a few minor nicks, and a light bar that had a broken mount.  The plan was to remove the left-side headlight housing but keep the clear cover, paint the inner housings silver, and install a new headlight cover for the right-side.  The light bar was removed and made into a slick top, though covering those holes were tough as they still look visible, so I added black electrical tape and placed a number on it.  The mirror was installed by using a spare one from a Chevy Monte Carlo SS.  Then it was to adding additional features:  Spotlight on the driver's side A-pillar, chassis details underneath, and interior features.  Those police gear fill up the blank canvas of the interior which, aside from lacking a center console, basic radio and HVAC controls, column shifter, and buttons to control the light bar and strobe lights are the only indicator's of a police car.  I fixed this by adding a wire and CB microphone to the buttons, a box on top of the center of the dash that is used as a radar gun, a kickpanel and window from the back cab of a 1994 GMC Sonoma Ertl kit, and a laptop and two shotguns between the front seats.  The latter was originally going to be fitted with small parts that you would see normally in a doll house, so I checked hobby stores for something similar.  No luck, so I had to be creative: The laptop is made from a cardboard piece, colored silver (to contrast the black interior), and taped over to protect the details.  The shotguns used tubular frames used to secure parts for a model kit, cut with an L-shape for the handle, painted black and taped together using electrical tape in the center.  Now this is a police car ready for duty!

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The front has the sharp headlights with larger grille, Ford logo, side slants in the front bumper, and a lower grille that inside has the details for the oil and transmission coolers.  The spotlight is a nice touch that uses a metal paper clip for the base and handle and a round vacuum tube that is usually mounted to the underside of the hood in the GMC Sonoma.  The sides have chrome trim on the windows and Ford POLICE on the sides, while the rear has detailed taillights with the correct reflectors,  silver strip with FORD logo, Ford plate, and dual exhaust.  Also note the external key lock to unlock the trunk as well as there is no keyless entry as in the Taurus.  The 5-spoke wheels are blacked-out with a silver center cap and narrow, but effective wheels.  The brakes have the spinning rotor with floating brake caliper even though the caliper is barely visible from outside the wheels.  The base underneath shows off the nice drivetrain details that include the silver dual exhaust tips at the back and the independent suspension with all-wheel drive system (standard on the 3.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost).  I added details to finish off the exhaust system, suspension control arms, driveshaft and rear differential, and the engine components to really add visual pop.

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Open the hood to show off the V6 motor's details: it's a tight fit but the details are there, though mostly in black as I can only add details to the brake fluid resovoir and the battery terminals.  Then again, this is how modern cars mostly look underneath the hood with one exception: Police Interceptor's do not have plastic engine cover's (it's more noticeable in the EcoBoost motors).  Open the doors (try not to pull on the mirrors!) to view the basic Interceptor interior.  The driver has a 3-spoke steering wheel with the silver accents, a basic but comprehensive gauges with a digital information center, light controls to the left does not have an automatic setting, the column shifter, the basic radio and HVAC controls, and the lack of a passenger-side airbag to accomidate plug-ins for power outlets.  Seats are the same, though one thing that is different is the amount of room that is available minus the center console; something the Taurus was not good at.  The door panels have nice details as well, and I should point out that I originally was going to put the laptop facing the driver near the passenger-side of the dash, but I was afraid that would compromise front-passenger footroom so I decided to fill in the gap between the seats, with the laptop still facing the driver.  Rear perps get nice accomidations including a kickpanel and a rear window that is not very clear (the window had glue on it in the past and Goo-Off only made the whole window blurred out instead of clear), plus the rear doors have child locks to prevent them from opening the doors.  Trunk space is typical large and ready for additional police gear (though the trunk does not open here).

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See what a few small improvements can do to not only revive this police car but also make it more appealing and ready for the streets!

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