Tan Sedan Caravan?
July 18, 2016 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Not long ago, I was traveling on Interstate 35, driving north from Laredo, Texas to San Antonio. On the way, I saw a line of about six late model cars traveling together. Each was a basic four-door sedan in a neutral color, each had a four-digit number in large white lettering on the rear window, and each had a very large grill guard attached to the front--the kind you usually see on heavy duty pick up trucks. What was going on?
posted by Pater Aletheias to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I believe you just found some police cars on their way to be vinyl-wrapped with a local police departments' branding. I assume they are not deliberately unmarked police cars (otherwise they would not have the four-digit numbers on the back).
posted by saeculorum at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'm not even sure there's a single answer to this. A lot of semi-rural law enforcement uses those big grill guards because of deer (and other livestock, on dark roads) vs auto risks, and it's also possible that military would do the same for fleet cars in south/west Texas. But then so might also an oil/gas company or other private company, or public utility.

If they were that classic Sheriff's Department Dun Color, that's more likely to be LE or Military. Private companies and utilities usually go for white, except maybe in that part of the state I'd just go for "dust color" too, since dirty white cars look so shabby.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd agree that odds were they were new police cars on their way somewhere for livery markings/lightbars/etc. to be applied. I live in the south and I never see those kind of bars on cars (as opposed to pickups/SUVs) unless they're police.

I think mainly they're in place on police cars in case they have to do a PIT maneuver (it'll still damage the car, but it'll keep running, as opposed to having the front end smashed and damaging the cooling system), or nudge a disabled car out of a travel lane or intersection.

Plus they make a Chevy Malibu or Impala appear tougher, somehow... :-)
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2016

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