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wagonman76 06-01-2010 01:49 PM

Pulled over for my tail 2nd time
First time I was pulled over was at night for no license plate light, hadn't gotten to put it on yet. Totally legit even though about 1 out of 3 vehicles I see has no functional plate light.

This time was yesterday, clear day on the freeway, packed with tourists. Was going within the legal range of speeds (55-70). State police pull me over.

They said the reason was because I didn't have a back bumper. Then they looked closer and saw that I still had my factory back bumper. They said it was a shady area and they could write me a ticket and let the judge decide, but they weren't going to because they were pretty interested in what I had done.

They said "so this used to be a Celebrity?" and I said it still is, nothing factory has been removed and everything is bolted on and can be removed. It is clearly obvious as you can see the whole car through the tail window but they checked the vin anyway. I told them the tail is solid and you can push the car around with it, which he did. They wondered what the purpose of the mods were and I told them the gas mileage increase I had been getting, which apples to apples, used to be 32 for a downstate trip on a nice day and now can get 40 for the same trip. Took a bit of explaining for them to understand, they didn't see how I could even have gotten 32 before doing any mods and said they didn't realize GM V6s could get that good of mileage. He asked about the grille block and wondered how the car didn't overheat with it (a lot of people ask that). I said maybe if I was in Arizona desert I might need the full grille but here it makes no noticeable difference in my engine temps. (Actually GM made a Celebrity VR which had some urethane moldings and a solid upper grille.) Both cops seemed sort of impressed and seemed to have no knowledge that your mpg could be increased at all.

Then they asked to look in the other side of the car (from passers by it probably looked like I had guns or drugs in the car). They wanted to know what the mpguino was and I explained how it worked, it read pulses from the speedo and injectors and gave a mpg readout, didn't actually change anything in how the car functions. I said it was similar to a $160 Scangauge but they had never heard of that either. They saw a piece of wire on my floor and said I must have disconnected something, I explained that it was just a test cable for a sensor for working on one of my other cars (it was a crank sensor test cable because that sensor is so buried behind the engine you can't get a tester back there).

I told them about the website and about Basjoos' Aerocivic (and the wild mpg increase from going all out on aeromods) because I can't take credit for coming up with the aeromods or mpguino myself.

I told them the shell is tied to the factory bumper with angle iron. And that if I had to, I could put it back to a stock Chevy Celebrity in an hour once I got home. They basically said have a good night. Maybe because I offered to change it back, they didn't say I had to do it.

I guess it was a matter of time. I've had probably 50 cops pass me in the last year and nobody has said there was anything wrong with it. At least they were friendly.

So I wonder what to do, maybe make a bumper out of light tubing (take a travel trailer bumper) and bolt it to the tail. If you think about it, there are several ways to not have a bumper as the immediate impact point. Take one of the many tourists with a rear mount cargo carrier, or rear mount bike carrier. No rear bumper there. How about one of the many pickups with snowplows? No front bumper there. And most of the vehicles these days have some pretty sorry excuse for a bumper as it is, gone are the days of solid steel bumpers like I have where you can bump something and get no damage.

TheEnemy 06-01-2010 02:40 PM

I doubt they pulled you over specifically because of the lack of visible bumper, that was just the excuse they used. If they want to pull you over they will find a reason. The problem is that the mods stand out and draw attention to you, and cops like normal people are curious.

If you do add a bumper, you might need to check on your states bumper height laws.

gasstingy 06-01-2010 02:51 PM

Do you have any pictures for us to see? You've gotten my curiosity up to see a Celebrity with a boattail and a grille block.

brucepick 06-01-2010 11:18 PM

Definitely, this thread needs some pics!

cfg83 06-02-2010 12:10 AM

Hello -

Maybe this is not up to date, but it is from wagonman76's thread :

Originally Posted by wagonman76 (Post 122109)
Took the wheel skirts off awhile back because for some reason they reduced mpg. Oh well, all trial and error, some stuff only works for some cars.

Thanks heavens summer has returned, so tonight I got started on an extension for the tail. It is just bolted on, so if for whatever reason I need to remove it, I can do that easily. Just gotta weld in 2 strips of diagonal bracing to stiffen it, then skin it, paint it, and relocate the plate and lights. Hope to have done by sometime next week. I may recess the lights into coffee can type housings to level them and for a cool look. Kinda wanted to do that before but at the same time I really wanted to get it done too. I also have 2 red sidemarkers which will go into the extension eventually. They came from a fullsize Dodge van so they are pretty flat with the surface.


wagonman76 06-02-2010 01:22 PM

Thanks for getting the pics, yes it is pretty much the same now. I finished the tail extension I started in these pics but took it back off because I lost mpg with it. Perhaps I was at the point where extra length only added to skin friction. Only difference now is the shower liner is gone and I used stick-on outdoor window film which is even clearer and no screws to add to drag. So far it is holding up fine.

I'll have to check Michigan vehicle code for bumper height. But it looks like the bumper would be about the same height as my stock one. I was rearended in the 6000 wagon a couple years back and the Dodge Ram's bumper totally missed mine anyway.

sjr 06-04-2010 12:42 AM

I used tom get pulled over when I drove my old 30 Model A ford, it just looked illegal, never did get a ticket

daring4 06-04-2010 06:52 PM

Man you are killing me on mileage! I thought I was doin good with the 2.8, its way old might be time to find a 3.4l to swap in :)

Thymeclock 06-04-2010 11:40 PM


Originally Posted by sjr (Post 177506)
I used tom get pulled over when I drove my old 30 Model A ford, it just looked illegal, never did get a ticket

The cops have nothing better to do with their time. It gets boring driving a cop car all day.

Besides, it's more fun than sucking on a doughnut.:p

AeroModder 06-05-2010 10:55 AM

When I got pulled over the 2nd time (first I'm sure was because of out-of-state plates and a temporary permit that just expired, just a verbal get it taken care of.), the first thing the cop asked was, "What's that thing on the back?" I told him it's to reduce drag and improve fuel economy, and it doesn't block the use of my rearview mirror. Apparently, it was good enough. I got pulled over for not signaling 100 feet before a turn (I wasn't sure where a building was that I needed to get to, but it turns out I turned right into it's parking lot). He let me off with a warning.

Hopefully I can keep my record spotless. :)

Also, my sister got pulled over in her 86 Mustang for the license plate light not being visible from 500 feet.

Awesome job on the boattail, though. Is there any way to get to the trunk, or was it forsaken? My current partial kammback is as long as it can be, because I still need to use the trunk. Well, until I get some extra time and money, and I can design and build a hinged kamm.

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