RACINE — Drag racing and revving your engine usually fall under the category of things you shouldn’t see a police car doing.
When Derrick Martin is behind the wheel, however, exceptions are made. Martin’s 1987 Chevy Caprice is not your average squad car.
Its horsepower peaks near 700, and when he is on the track at Great Lakes Dragway near Union Grove, it goes up to 130 mph in his 10-second quarter-mile race, said Martin, who has been racing since he was 16.
A friend of his was at a swap meet and saw the squad car, said Martin, who had his car on display this weekend at the Juneteenth Celebration at the Bryant Center.
As soon as Martin, 34, of Caledonia, saw it, “I had to have it,” he said.
He doesn’t know for sure if it was actually used by police, but Caprices were common police cars in the late 1980s.
He bought it last month at an auction for $8,000, said Martin, who owns Midtown Tires, 1158 Washington Ave.
He grew up watching his dad, Mickey, race near Union Grove.
Then when he turned 16, his dad, who formerly owned Midtown, handed him the keys of a 1967 Chevy Camaro. His father died in 2005, but he still has that ’67 Camaro and still has the love of racing.
“I got a whole bunch of memories of him,” Martin said. Now, he hopes to provide racing memories for his own kids as well. None of his four kids — three girls and a boy — can drive yet, but they have already expressed interest, he said.
The police squad is designed for racing and doesn’t have turn signals so he cannot drive it around. But he has a car trailer and when he is racing or revving his engine while it’s on display, there is no need for car signals.
If all goes as planned, he said he is going to drive the Caprice in Racine’s Fourth Fest parade and race that weekend at Great Lakes.