Sheriff J. D. Stewart of Catoosa County, Georgia and his Trans Am police cars are legendary.
The trans Am police cars were covered in several magazine articles at the time and there was even a die cast model made of them. In fact, a rendering of a Trans Am patrol car is the centerpiece of Sheriff Stewart's tombstone. But Sheriff Stewart was using Pontiacs a long time before the Trans Am came along. Legend was in the late 1950's he bought the highest performance model he could get from Chevy, Ford, Chrysler and Pontiac and pitted them against each other. The Pontiac won, and from then on he had Pontiacs. Sheriff Stewart developed ties with NASCAR and with the performance division of Pontiac and had access to parts the ordinary person didn't know existed. It was said (and who knows what the truth is) that each was modified by a NASCAR garage before delivery.
What I do know is that the 1960 Pontiacs were brutes. My buddy bought a 1960 model when it was replaced by a 1961. It was the Sheriff's personal car, a white Ventura hardtop, not the Catalina post sedan you would expect. It had around 116k miles during the year it served. I went along to drive my friend's other car back home -- he never let me drive the Poncho. Before we left, the Sheriff took us to an unopened section of I-75 and clocked it through the radar at 145 mph.
This Pontiac had a highly modified 389 tri-power engine with a lope that attracted a crowd every time we stopped at a service station or convenience store. It had a 3-speed on the column and a clutch that required a strong leg to operate. No power steering, brakes or AC. The suspension was brutal but the car felt solid at three digit speeds unlike the factory supercars of the day; it would out-corner any factory car. I'm sure someone will challenge me on that, but my buddy was a "poor rich kid" who owned 409 and 427 Chevies, 406 and 427 Fords, including a black 1963 Custom 300 427 2-door sedan with all the factory performance options. None could come close to J.D.Stewart's Pontiacs.
After the GTO came out he switched to GTO's and then the legendary Trans Ams. It was said that the later cars were ordered without engines and the sheriff, in conjunction with the NASCAR garage kept a stock of "built" 455' s that were installed in the patrol cars. I can't speak to the accuracy of that.
What a prize it would be to discover one of the Catoosa County patrol cars hiding in a barn somewhere.