The MuscleCar Place Podcast – Episode #99 – Tom Henriksen’s 4-Speed ’65 Newport “Mystery” Cop Car

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This week’s podcast show guest is Mr. Tom Henriksen, a Fire Inspector in my town of Ames, IA. Of all of the guests I’ve ever had on this podcast show, Tom was someone I literally met at a gas pump, and was actually someone I had wanted to meet. I had seen his ’65 Newport at a car show in early spring, and the car itself was too weird to not like. To begin, it’s a ’65 Chrysler Newport with a 383 and a 4bbl carburetor with air conditioning. Not impressed yet? Well, try this on for size; it may be the only 4-speed and 4-door ’65 Newport in existence, and to top that off it appears to have the factory police package which is a package that the Chrysler Museum is not known to have ever existed!

Tom bought the car from the original owner a few years back after declining to purchase it on eBay. He had always regretted losing the eBay purchase and chose to seek out the car by calling the newspaper in the town in Texas where the car was listed for sale. It turned out that it was a tiny town where everyone knew everyone, and within a few phone calls Tom was in contact with the lady who owned the car. She explained that her husband had bought the car new from the local Chrysler dealer after the police department it was ordered for had to decline the car due to lack of funding. Her husband didn’t mind the heavy duty brakes, suspension, and electrical system because he was a HAM radio operator and the Newport was the perfect package for his needs.

The Newport went into storage in the early 1970’s and Tom bought it in the unrestored condition that you see it as here. The only real work he’s had to do to the car was to recharge the air conditioner and replace the speedometer cable, and he chose to add a few vintage Motorola radio’s to complete the package along with a huge cherry light on top. He also decided to turn it into a Fire Marhsall car as well as a nod to his profession.

Thanks for the interview, Tom, and thanks for keeping this rare “Mystery” car on the road!

-Robert Kibbe

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2 Responses

  1. Chrysler Corp. back in the 60’s would except special orders (DSO) for just about anything on their accessory list. You could even order interior colors which clashed with the exterior color. Most dealers required a sizeable deposit for an odd-ball DSO, just to make sure you completed the purchase as these vehicles would be difficult to sell. I have seen a few other sedans that are Chrysler products equipped with 4 speed manual transmissions and H/O engines. When I was at the Chrysler Training Center in the early 60’s located in Skokie, IL, I believe, they had a Dodge station wagon equipped with ram induction and a three speed manual transmission. We were told that this vehicle was going to be used as a state police vehicle for pursuit purposes, especially to catch speeder crossing the Calumet Bridge between Illinois and Indiana. It was geared to reach 100mph in second gear very quickly.

  2. I have a FACTORY 1978 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Estate Wagon “woodgrain and all”, Full Instrumentation “Including tach”, V8, Posi< AND A 4 SPEED!!! Documentation since day one "window sticker, build sheet, order sheet, It has been to Germany and back "have that documentation also" It still had the "U S A" sticker in the back window when I bought it. It is still numbers matching.

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