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Fallen Houston Police Officer Jason Knox was a car buff who restored this vintage beauty

Officer Jason Knox loved classic cars and he loved HPD history. He combined the two hobbies to create a legacy on wheels.

HOUSTON — Officer Jason Knox, who was killed in an HPD helicopter crash, is being remembered as a great police officer, a devoted husband.and a loving father of two.

Officer Knox was also a 'car guy' with a passion for old-school HPD cars.

Inspired by the LAPD Museum, which has a squad car for every decade, Knox decided HPD needed something similar, according to the Houston Police Officers Union.

On a mission to make it happen, Knox bid $700 to land a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic at a Pasadena, California auction. 

Once he got “Shamu the Whale” back to Houston, he spent countless hours researching before beginning the restoration project.

RELATED: HPD officer killed, pilot injured in helicopter crash in north Houston

RELATED: 'Where there is great love, there is great loss' | Council Member Michael Knox mourns son who died in helicopter crash

The first piece in the puzzle was getting the right paint color.

“There are five million shades of blue and I wanted the one most historically accurate for this project,” Knox told HPOU’s Tom Kennedy.

After searching Craig’s List and several junkyards, Knox found a destroyed HPD car.  Inside, a card with the paint code for paint code for HPD’s custom blue.

Bingo. 

The internet proved to be a valuable resource to make sure other details were on the money.

Knox found a beat-up light bar and a guy in Katy restored it.

The vintage decals were a bigger challenge.

Knox tracked down the Florida company that made HPD decals in the 90s. They agreed to make a set for a pricey $350. Knox didn’t blink.

After finishing his labor of love, Knox enjoyed showing off the car at local events, including the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Even though Knox never got to realize his dream of a full museum of his restored cars, his legacy will live on through through “Shamu the Whale.”