Tag Archives: the automotive gallery

Car Spotting: One of one Mercury

Automotive icon steps in to make it happen

The Mercury Park Lane was a full-sized automobile that produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. It was the flagship of the Mercury model line upon its introduction. Typical of the big cars in the mid-60’s, long wheelbase, nicely appointed interior, and a big V-8. While it would easily keep up with traffic, it wasn’t really a speed demon. Except for this example.

John Kroll went to his local Lincoln-Mercury in Escanaba, MI, looking to take a Park Lane to the next level. Starting with the top-of-the-line Park Lane S55, he wanted it equipted with the Special Police Interceptor Package. Beyond the upgrades to the chassis and suspension, it included a Super High-Performance 428 V-8 with 400+ horsepower. An engine normally found in Cobras and Mustangs. The dealer sent the order along only to have it cancelled by Ford saying that the package is only available to police departments.

Not to be denied John picked up the phone and called Detroit to find out the reason for the order being cancelled. He made his case and it got sent up the line, way up the line. The next voice he heard was Lee Iacocca, yup Lido himself, asking if he could help John with something. Iacocca told John his order was cancelled because Ford Motor Company didn’t make Police Specials in 2-door hardtops with bucket seats and especially for civilians. But John persisted and on March 22nd of 1966 took delivery of the only car of its kind in the world with the Special Police Interceptor Package!

This car is located at The Automotive Gallery in Green Bay, WI. Oh, and just happens to be run by fellow car geek Darrel Burnett. My car spots run every Friday so check back next week to read about another interesting car I found.

Two car guys reunite after 36 years.

And we didn’t even know each other were car guys then

Author (left), Darrel (right) on set doing a special on the Milwaukee Brewers just before the ’82 World Series where they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a fun season!

It’s funny how life sometimes comes full circle and you are reunited with a coworker after a very long time and you find out something you didn’t know about him when you both worked together. That happened to me recently when I was reunited with Darrel Burnett. He was the Sports

Me and Darrel now. Slightly less hair and a few more pounds:)

Director at WLUK-TV in Green Bay, WI and I was his backup doing weekend sports and reporting during the week. From about 1981 to 1985, we rocked the Green Bay market until new owners came in and both of us ended up leaving.

RELATED: Hear the story about Bart Starr’s MVP Corvette.

Darrel drove this yellow 1978 Porsche 924 while I arrived in a 1979 AMC Spirit and later upgraded to this Spirit AMX with a 304 V8.

Fast forward 36 years

I retired a couple of years ago and started this car blog with buddy Mark Savage. Darrel found me on Facebook and I discover he is running The Automobile Gallery in Green Bay. So of course I had to go up there and catch up with Darrel along with checking out a place I call car heaven. As it turns out we are both huge petrol heads and The Automobile Gallery has some pretty cool cars as Darrel told me during this interview.