Two of the meanest cop cars in history

When you think of your experience with police cruisers, you probably don't get connotations of joy but instead of dread, as the last thing you want to see in your rear-view mirror are flashing blue and red lights. However, while we may hate to admit it, there have been several badass police cruisers over the years that have actually made hot rod lovers want to climb in and go for a spin down to headquarters.

Police cars have to be fast and handle great to catch the bad guys, so you aren't likely to see a cheap slouch of a ride dressed up as a police cruiser. As a result, many squads have outfitted some impressive rides with sirens and police badges that are designed to outrun some of the fastest classic American cars on the road. Below is a look at a few of the cars that we begrudgingly have to give props to.

Dodge Coronet 440 Squad Car

The Dodge Coronet was a pretty vanilla car in its stock form, but this was the era of the "Super Bees" and the high point of the muscle car generation, so the performance variant Dodge Coronet 440 was a particularly cool economy car. It was a step above the similar Plymouth Belvedere, so it had a slightly nicer trim, but it also shared many parts – including the Mopar engines – with its platform mates, the Barracuda and Charger.

In California, the luckiest state troopers were able to get behind the wheel of the Coronet 440 for highway patrol, as these cars packed a Magnum V8 under the hood and featured a relatively compact frame, giving them up to 400 horsepower on a straightaway. Mopar cars of this time were also impressive street performers when it came to handling curves, which is part of what made them such demons on the racetrack. While the Coronet name may not be associated with the best muscle cars of the era, these cars certainly could flex with the best of them.

Chevy Camaro Z28 B4C

The California highway patrol really get all the best goodies when it comes to their squad cars – which makes sense, given the fact that high-speed chases are considered a local pastime. The Chevy Camaro Z28 B4C was created not only to slay the competition – er, bad guys – during a particularly nasty race, but also to deter drivers from even trying to break the law, because it was clear just looking at this ride who would be the victor.

Chevy basically took a stock Camaro, added all the best aspects of a Z28 to the mix, and added an impressive big block V8 to the package, making this one of the fastest cop cars to ever hit the streets.

While you may have mixed emotions regarding the authorities, you undoubtedly have seen a cop car or two in your day that had you looking twice. Do you know of any cool rides used by the authorities? Leave your thoughts below: