Custom Cruise Friday
While Edmonton and the surrounding communities continue to mourn the death Edmonton Police Service officer, Constable Daniel Woodall; Don Wheaton is hoping to keep his memory alive along with memories of all those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty by profiling a very special vehicle for Custom Cruise Friday. From everyone at Don Wheaton, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to Const. Woodall’s wife Claire and the couple’s two young children. To the rest of the Edmonton Police Service, thank you for everything you do. We support you all the way.
Even without the backdrop of a community grieving for the loss of a local hero, this week’s Custom Cruise Friday blog would be one of the most important we could ever produce. This 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu has been restored to service-standard appearance for the period and has all of the period correct equipment installed. In 2001, the Edmonton Police Service wanted to restore a vintage service vehicle for use in parades and other community events. After an exhaustive search that covered most of Canada and the United States, sworn EPS member Jim Harder sold his 1964 Chevelle Malibu to the EPS.
While not an exact match to the vehicles used by Edmonton police officers, it was very, very close. The first challenge came from getting the period paint scheme correct. It took a lot of skill to change the existing turquoise to the standard black and white. Once the paint issue was solved by Cougar Paint and Collision, Hi Signs Manufacturing donated a pair of door crests that they had in their shop from the era. The next challenge came for the EPS Transportation Unit by trying to find a two-way radio and other controls that were actually used in an EPS vehicle during the time. Again, an exhaustive search was launched to find the components.
Everything was eventually located, they ended up not being used by former EPS officers, but were correct to the period nonetheless. Restoration of the 1964 Chevelle Malibu was completed in time for car to participate in the 2002 Grey Cup Parade in Downtown Edmonton with Chief Bob Wasylyshen behind the wheel and Inspector Doug Storey riding along.
Most of the time when the car is being driven for official events, a member for the ESP Historical Division is behind the wheel. These are sworn officers that wear period correct uniforms. Other times when “The ’64”, as its known among the EPS, is more of the focus, it is driven Jason Halayko, EPS Fleet Manager.
The car is powered by a 283 cubic-inch engine and uses a two-speed Powerglide Automatic transmission. In addition to a full array of standard police equipment, “The ’64” features manual brakes and steering, AM radio, padded dashboard, tinted windshield as well as front and rear seat belts. As far as the vehicle’s reliability, Halayko has nothing but the best things to say about 51-year-old vehicle.
“That thing runs better than most of our other police cars,” Halayko said.
We would like to thank the Edmonton Police Service for allowing us to take a closer look at its 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu. If you have a special vehicle that you would like to share with the Edmonton area, please email some photos and pertinent information to Don Wheaton Internet Marketing Manager, Melina Kawecki, firstname.lastname@example.org.