Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.
By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired
About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.VII. Eden Police Cars Over the YearsWhen the towns consolidated in 1967, we were on a system where the new city of Eden bought the low bid patrol cars. I think in 1968 the city bought us new Chevrolets. The boys looked at them and cried. They had 318 engines which did not have the torque to pull a greasy string out of an oil can. These Chevrolets were comfortable because they were shocked down like a Serta "perfect sleeper" mattress and if you put the nose into a hard curve at any speed at all, the first thing you saw passing you was the rear end of your own car. At pursuit speeds, its scary to feel your car break traction in the middle of a curve and its worse when you come out of the curve at eighty miles an hour....backwards. Eighty was about the top speed for these old "cows" Moonshiners would drive past us and laugh and we knew they were loaded, but there was no real good reason to cause wear and tear on the blue lights.
Lil Jerry was running a 300 Chrysler, shocked down like a railroad train, The "Brer Rabbit" was running a big Pontiac, (Me and Buddy Moretz caught him with 60 Gallons) Colonel "Bud Nestor was running a 54 ford with a Cadillac engine, Reid Barker was driving a '50 ford with a Thunderbird engine, Little Henry William's fellas were running the next thing to drag racers and Eden PD might as well have been driving electric wheelchairs.
In 1969...Things changed a bit. The state offered us a deal where we could buy North Carolina Highway Patrol cars at the same price the state paid. We bought a fleet of the fastest automobiles that ever rolled out of Detroit. I remember that a lot of guys that ran off and left the Chevrolets...got the surprise of their lives when that little "Crown Victoria" was chewing up their back bumper. After a few chases, I got real confident, My little "Crown Vic" never, never broke traction in a curve and Fat Vestal taught me the way to end a chase by running up and bumping in the middle of a curve, this broke the bad guy's rear wheel traction, then you steered to the inside, because he was going to spin to the outside big time. The chase was usually over because you not only broke his traction, you broke his nerve, usually when you ran to the driver's side door, he had already messed his britches.
My last car was a Burgundy '87 Plymouth plain car running a 383 HP. After driving highway patrol Fords, We had to learn how to drive Plymouths all over again. My girl would scream on a straightaway but I learned quickly, she was not much in a curve and I got careful with her. Those Plymouths were pretty fair cars, when it came time to get new cars, we got Crown Vics again. Detective Division got one. It was mine but I gave it to Skip Johnson and Barry Carter, I liked my old Plymouth
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