Your webmaster here at Rock
'N Rod, was one of the original members of the what we referred to as
the D.A.R.E. Car Project early on. Rock 'N Rod was a major contributor
to the project through the funds we generated at the 30 Rock 'N Rod
Nites Car shows that we held 6 time a year, May through October, 1995
through 2000. We gave 100% of all funds generated to the WPD D.A.R.E.
Unit. As the project moved forward, WPD had a very active D.A.R.E.
program, but for some reason when the project came to completion, WPD
had given up on the D.A.R.E. program unfortunately, to try something
else they felt was a better way I suppose. But at least the car has been
completed and can now be used as a bit of Watsonville PD history on
Brief History of the 1968 Ford
The 1968 Ford Custom 500 4-Door
was ordered by the City of Watsonville for the then Police Chief. Upon arrival in
Watsonville, it was outfitted as other W.P.D. units, but the chief did not
really use it. Instead,
it was used by the detectives division. It ended up in the Public Works
Department for a while and when it's useful life ended, it was retired and sat in
the city maintenance yard till early 1995. The committee set out to find a car for
the W.P.D. D.A.R.E. unit, the 68 was discovered and was about to be
auctioned off when the committee decided to take it on as the project. It was removed from the auction block and now the rest is history
as can be seen in the following photos. The project took until October
2001 to be completed, with most everything donated, from parts to labor.
It was unveiled in the Patriotic Day Parade in Watsonville, after the
The CAR has been restored from the ground up and has been outfitted to
what it most likely would have looked like back in 1968 when it would
have been patrolling what was then, the small agricultural City of
I personally would like
to thank Captain Solano for all the hours he put in to make sure the
project came to completion. The final completion date kept getting put
off to a point where it seemed as if it was never going to get here.
Unfortunately when the Car was unveiled, I was not notified as I would
have really liked to have been there, but unfortunately for some reason
was never told until after the fact. The main thing though, is it is
completed and the City of Watsonville now has a rolling museum piece for
the younger generation to enjoy as time passes.
If you would like information
regarding the WPD 1968 Ford Patrol Car Project,
you can contact Captain Solano at WPD
Captain Manny Solano or contact him voice at
Watsonville P.D.: (831) 728-6165