If you’re a Mopar nut, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the movie The Blues Brothers and can probably recite most of the lines, including Elwood’s description of the Bluesmobile. Fortunately, we can relive 1974 as Dodge Charger police pursuit vehicles are now coming out of service and becoming available at auctions. Of course, most of these Chargers are equipped with the standard “cop tires and cop transmission” just like the original Bluesmobile, and also feature items like ABS, Electronic Stability Program, and a powerful 5.7 Hemi that weren’t available in 1974. One thing most of these Chargers don’t have, however, is a center console between the special “cop” bucket seats up front.
Modern police cars, like the ’06 Dodge Charger we picked up, serve not only as transportation for our uniformed officers to serve and protect citizens, they also serve as a rolling office equipped with laptop computers and modern communications and electronic equipment to help patrol officers do their job more efficiently. When these cars are retired from active service, much of this equipment is removed, leaving a bare spot between the front seats that is not only unattractive, but a waste of useful space as well. And while we did consider installing mounting hardware for a laptop between the seats of our Charger, we figured this would just encourage the boss to force us to write articles on the way to and from work and events, so we ultimately decided against this option. What is really needed between the seats of our Charger is a console like the R/T models are equipped with. But since the police Chargers have a column-mounted (actually dash-mounted) shifter, a stock console won’t work. Fortunately, we found a company called Nenno Products LLC, that makes exactly the console we needed for our Dodge.
Recognizing the need for storage and a place to hold drinks in these out-of-service patrol vehicles, Nenno Products offers a variety of consoles, trim, and equipment mounting plates that bolt directly into Dodge Charger police cars. We found their full line of consoles and accessories online at their eBay store, and ordered one of their complete kits for our car. Because each retired police car is different, Nenno Products offers the trim, equipment mounting plates, and consoles individually, but in our case we needed all three pieces to replace the missing components in our car. There are more than a dozen different options available from Nenno, but we ultimately decided on the kit for our ’06 model featuring trim, EQ2 replacement equipment plate, and the deluxe center console with side-by-side cup holders.
The console, plate, and trim kit comes with all of the mounting hardware and is a “no-drill” kit, meaning it utilizes the factory mounting locations so no drilling is required. Our console kit came with complete instructions allowing quick and easy installation, and even included the power outlet in the front portion of the plastic trim. Compared to the empty space, bare floor, and exposed wiring between the seats of our Charger, the console kit gives our car’s interior a far better finished appearance and is very useful as well. The console is finished in charcoal and gray vinyl to match the car’s interior and offers a good amount of storage and padded armrest lid which makes the car more comfortable to drive. The console also offers dual cup holders, one small and one large, to accommodate even the largest coffee cup from Dunkin’ Donuts. So if you’re lucky enough to score a deal on one of these Charger police cars, the first upgrade you’ll want to make is to install one of the. The extra storage is great for donuts!
|Nenno Products Three-Piece console kit
|Console with Equipment mounting plate