1978-1982 Ford Fairmont – Police Car

The Ford Fairmont. Not really a special service vehicle, but definitely non-traditional. It was a short lived police car that was not very popular with the police officers that drove it.

Ford offered the Fairmont from 1978-1983. In addition to regular civilian use, it was also offered as a fleet vehicle for taxi service, and as a police vehicle from 1978-1982. The Fairmont was also sold by Mercury dealers as the Zephyr, and was offered as a police option in that as well.

Engine Choices:

1978 – The police version of the Fairmont came with a 85-horsepower 200 CID (3.3L) 6-cylinder, or an optional 138-horsepower 302 CID (5.0L) V-8.

1979-1980 – The Fairmont returned in 1979 with the same 200 CID 6-cylinder, but the 302 V-8 was replaced with a 255 V-8. The 255 was a de-bored 302 and was made solely to meet EPA requirements. Ford dropped the 255 after 1982.

1981-1982 – The Fairmonts base engine became the 140 CID 4-cylinder (seriously!) with the 255 CID V-8 as an option.


The Ford Fairmont police car came with a 120 MPH (last number is 115, but has the marks for 120) certified calibration speedometer.

Rear sway bar

Other features included:

Police heavy duty handling package (higher rate front and rear springs, front and rear stabilizer bars, hardened spindles, unique front and rear shocks).

Maximum cooling package (extra fin density radiator, and shrouded heavy duty fan).

External mounted transmission oil cooler

Power steering with oil cooler

90-AMP alternator

Heavy duty front seat

Map light

Heavy duty 14 x 5.5 inch wheels

195/70 HRx14 police radial tires


The Police Fairmont should have a ‘buck tag’ on the radiator support. You can see that this buck tag has the word ‘COP’, and under that is the words L. H. AND R. H. SPOTLAMPS’. Under that is the word ‘HOLE IN ROOF’.

There should also be a build sheet somewhere in the car (under the carpet, seat, or behind a door panel) that will likely have remarks at the bottom of it with special build instructions.

1982 Ford Fairmont police cars have (4) headlights instead of (2).

Brochure (click each page to enlarge):

In Service Photos:

Ohio State Highway Patrol 1981 Ford Fairmont

Los Angeles Police Ford Fairmont

More Photos (click to enlarge – click the arrows to load more):