An Automotive History of the MSP

MSP Cars 1991-2000

1991 Ford B

1991 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor - Class B


Only about 80 new cars were purchased by the State Patrol in 1991; all of them maroon Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. The 5.8 liter V-8 with variable venturi fuel delivery was virtually identical to the power plant used in the ’82, ’84, and ’85 Fords.  These were the last MSP cars to have the white doors.


Changes in body styles and advances in vinyl graphics caused many agencies to rethink their vehicle designs in the early 1990s. The Minnesota State Patrol was no exception. Work was underway to develop a graphics package that would not only continue a strong link between tradition and the future, but also provide for trooper safety through rapid identification and the introduction of side reflectivity. The design had to be an aesthetically strong complement to the shape and design anticipated for vehicles over the course of the next decade. The design had to be cost effective and in compliance with Minnesota Statutes regarding color and marking of police vehicles.


In the end, it came down to a choice between the two designs shown in these artists’ renderings. It becomes obvious through the photos on this page which design was selected. After a few revisions, the new design from the Grafix Shoppe of Eagan, Minnesota, was applied to the 1992 Ford Crown Victoria Interceptors and other vehicles beginning with the 1992 model year.


1992 Ford Rendering

Artist's rendering of proposed graphics on 1992 Crown Victoria 


 1992 Chev Rendering 

Artist's rendering of selected graphics on 1992 Chevrolet Caprice


1992 Ford B

1992 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor


For 1992, the Ford Crown Victoria took on a whole new look. New from the ground up, the Interceptor package included an all new 4.6 liter 210 hp modular port fuel injected V-8. The new design won first place in Law and Order Magazine's 1992 Vehicle Design Contest.
Materials provided courtesy of Capt. Don Kunelius, MSP retired 


 1992 Ford

1992 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor Class A



1994 Ford Kittridge web

1994 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor  


Changes for 1994 were subtle. The units were equipped with anti-lock brakes and for this year only, a traction control system. The 1994 models shared the 4.6 Liter V8 of the 1992 and 1993 model years. Also for 1994, a custom paint color was chosen; paint code EE. This paint code is still being used on the newest cars from Ford. Kevin Kittridge stands with this Class B unit.


1994 Ford 44086

1994 Ford CVPI - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit


This unit served as a Trooper's cruiser in the Wadena area until February of 1997, when it was reissued to me as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit. It was the first of the CVI units to wear graphics that matched the rest of the State Patrol fleet.


1996 Chevrolet Astro

1994 Chevrolet Astro EXT - Commercial vehicle Enforcement Unit


1994 Gran Prix 

1994 Pontiac Gran Prix GT Sedan


Every now and then the Minnesota State Patrol is asked to test vehicles. Such was the case with the 1994 Pontiac Gran Prix GT pictured above with Trooper P. Schmidt. The State Patrol used 22 of these specially marked units, all of them white, provided by General Motors. The evaluations conducted and data collected from the cars were used by GM to develop new transmissions and other components. These units were unique in that there were no production Gran Prix GT sedans for the 1994 model year. At the conclusion of the test period, the cars were returned to GM and, presumably, dismantled.


1995 Chevrolet A

1995 Chevrolet Caprice - Class A


The 1995 Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 Police Package included the LT1 5.7 liter V-8 with sequential port fuel injection rated at 260 hp @ 5000 rpm and 330 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm; nearly the same engine as the Corvette. They used the 4L60E electronic 4-spd AOD transmission and 3.08:1 rear axle. They were crazy fast high revving vehicles with phenomenal handling characteristics. And their digital speedometer was pretty cool, too.  
It seems these Caprices had a propensity for losing wheel covers. The cars would suddenly appear with the more sporty looking center caps and beauty rings adorning the wheels. The Caprice grille was replaced by an Impala SS grille on a number of them, as well.


 1995 Chev B

1995 Chevrolet Caprice w/Impala SS grille and rally wheels


1995 Chevrolet C

1995 Chevrolet Caprice - Class C


1997 Ford B Logan(1)

1997 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor - Class B


After the 1996 model year, Ford’s Crown Victoria Police Interceptor became America’s only rear wheel drive police sedan.


1998 Ford A_1

1998 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor - Class A


The Ford Crown Victoria was redesigned for 1998, now sharing all of its sheet metal with the upscale Mercury Grand Marquis. Ford continued to make improvements to the Interceptor. Retaining the same 4.6 liter engine, improvements to the fuel delivery and ignition systems increased horsepower ratings to 230.


1998 GMC PU

1998 GMC Sierra 2500 - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

During 1997, there was extreme flooding in the Red River and Minnesota River Valleys in Minnesota. The State Patrol was scrutinized for not having vehicles capable of accessing areas experiencing just minor flooding. A way to gain some units that could potentially be used to navigate some disaster areas, the State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Section opted to outfit Commercial Vehicle Inspectors with 4x4 pickup trucks. The units could be used for daily duties of hauling portable truck scales and inspection ramps, but could be deployed into disaster areas when needed, as well. 


 1999 Ford A

1999 Ford CVPI - Class A


For 1999, Ford began to cheapen the CVPI a little bit. The new grille was black, as are the door handles, although these items were available in a chrome finish with the Street Appearance Package. Unmarked units were treated to this package. The units were equipped with full wheel covers, which had the tendency to fall off with some regularity. This unit was retrofitted with hub caps and beauty rings. For 2000, the wheels on all maroon units would be adorned in this manner.


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