Odds and Ends: NYPD Blue Gets Some New Muscle
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Odds and Ends: NYPD Blue Gets Some New Muscle

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The New York Police Department is adding some muscle to its car fleet with 15 police versions of the 2006 Dodge Charger. In a flip of irony, this late-model Charger is kin to the 1969 model made famous as “The General Lee,” and was best remembered for outrunning a hapless sheriff in The Dukes of Hazzard.

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Leonard Lesko, the NYPD’s director of fleet services, explained that “with so many flashy foreign cars on the road, speed matters,” adding, “The car that does 110 mph doesn’t do it anymore.”

In a recent road study by the Michigan State Police, Chargers equipped with a V8 engine had the quickest acceleration (6.52 seconds to 60 mph) and fastest lap time (150 mph) of any police vehicle tested.

NYPD’s highway unit will test drive 10 Chargers featuring V8 engines, and the remaining vehicles will have V6s and hit city streets in the five boroughs. If they pass inspection, they could replace hundreds of squad cars in the city’s 3,000-vehicle patrol fleet, currently made up of Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Impalas.

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Source: Associated Press

Land Speed Record Could Fall this Year
To push the limits of engineering, daring Californian Ed Shadle plans to become the fastest man on the ground.

Shadle’s mission, along with partner and co-owner Keith Zanghi, is to shatter the world’s land speed record with North American Eagle (NAE) – a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter/land vehicle conversion that’s undergoing test runs to set a new land speed record in excess of 800 mph. The conversion of a Mach 2 fighter jet to the equivalent of every hot rodder’s dream is no easy feat and has presented a variety of challenges to Shadle, Zanghi, and their team of 36 engineers and technicians. However, October 2005 tests conducted at Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base have convinced the NAE team that their goal of 800 mph is achievable. In May, the team will begin its next round of test runs at Edwards AFB.

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Prior to the conversion, this F-104 had a significant history, having served as a chase plane for the X-15 project and flown by test pilots Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, Pete Knight and former shuttle pilot Joe Engle. It is now destined to make history once more.

The current land speed record of 763 mph was set Oct. 15, 1997 by Andy Green of Great Britain and the Thrust SSC vehicle.

To learn more about the North American Eagle project, visit www.landspeed.com.

The Sweet(?) Smell of Success….
Yes, you too can have the aroma of Tony Stewart around you – all day long. After every victory this season – including NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series races – Stewart will autograph and hand over his (un-washed) Old Spice towel in the winner’s circle for an auction to benefit The Victory Junction Gang Camp.

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Fresh (or should we say, not-so-fresh) off his win February 18 at the Hershey’s Kissables 300 in Daytona, FL, the actual Old Spice towel that Stewart used and autographed was turned over for a week-long bid on eBay (www.ebay.com). On the first day of bidding, the Tony Towel was up to $127.

According to the folks at Old Spice, temperatures inside Stewart’s car during an average race reach up to 150° F, and he can lose several pounds of sweat – that you can now own! Victory Junction Gang Camp enriches the lives of children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, and physically and medically safe. Camp is free to children and their families. For more information or to bid on a Tony Towel, log onto www.OldSpice.com or check out www.ebay.com following a Stewart victory.

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