Down Time

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Down Time
Episode # 213
Air Date December 16, 1978
Briefing Put out an APB for blonde, beautiful burglars. Ponch's prized car is boosted by a cadre of female thieves.
Title screen

Brief Plot

Ponch is proud of his newly rebuilt Firebird, but sadly his car gets stolen. Ponch's vacation plans are ruined when a gang of female car thieves steals his newly rebuilt Firebird. Little does Ponch know that his new neighbor is part of the gang that stole his and other vehicles from the Marina area. Jon's wallet is stolen as a relentless streak of bad luck afflicts the duo. Ponch breaks his pinky finger during a police chase. Getarer loses the duty roster. Sindy wants to go on a diet and get married.


Everyone follows Ponch outside to the parking lot for a big surprise.

It’s just another morning at the CHP where a motor officer is finally pulling out while Ponch and Jon pull into Central on their bikes, and a patrol car pulls out. While inside the building Ponch now wants Sindy, Baricza, and Grossie outside for a very special surprise in the parking lot. Ponch now sees Jon walking in the other direction, and manages just to stop him in time by getting him to turn around in the other direction. Ponch now finally takes his friends outside to show them a very special surprise in the parking lot which actually turns out to be his beautifully restored Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and it just been freshly repainted in the original color with a brand new bird decal on the hood. While Ponch’s friends are now finally starting to admire his beautifully restore car, and has to listen to their compliments which includes an insult about his beautiful restoration work. Sindy now makes a chauvinism remark towards Ponch about his beautifully restore car, and both get into a heated discussion about cars. Getraer now finally comes outside only to admire Ponch’s beautifully restore car for just about a minute, and wants all of his colleagues to hit the streets right now in order to do their jobs. While Sindy, Baricza, and Grossie now finally decide to hit the streets by leaving the parking lot. Jon now finally puts on his aviator sunglasses, and walks away actually leaving Ponch still standing there actually daydreaming about his beautifully restore car. Ponch will eventually quit his daydreaming, and decide to finally walk away from his beautifully restored car in order to go along with the rest of the program.

Great Quote

"That Baloney" - Ponch

Guest Stars

Also Starring



Fun Facts

  • The first time that Ponch had finished his newly rebuilt Firebird it had a Trans Am bird on the hood.
  • Kim Balford is played by Randi Oakes who would later play Bonnie Clark in seasons 3 through 5 of the show, and actually choose to have a bowl haircut prior to filming this episode.
  • Susan Kiger, who plays Brandy was Playboy's Playmate of the Month for January 1977.
  • Ponch's original interior inside the car was black leather.
  • Ponch's mags are actually Cragar Series 610B G/T RWD - Black 1-Piece Cast Black Spokes with Machined Lip. View in Cragar Wheels
  • Ponch's car was the left over movie car from the film Corvette Summer.
  • Ponch's car is a 1971 Pontiac Firebird Esprit.
  • Ponch's car has a second lower side vent exclusive to 1971 Firebirds, Esprits, and Formulas except Trans Ams.
  • Ponch's interior includes high back bucket seats.
  • Ponch's car exterior also includes Trans Am Fender extenders, Trans Am air extractors, and a rear top spoiler.
  • Ponch's license plate is 033 PCE.
  • Ponch's car was also driven Joey Aresco's character Niles in the first season episode Crack-Up, although Joey doesn't appear in this episode.
  • When Jon drives Ponch home, we see Jon's truck at the intersection of Adams Blvd. and Arlington Ave. View in Google Maps
  • Kim lives in Apartment 217.
  • Al Dubowe's Auto Sales was at the intersection of La Cienega Ave. and Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
  • The truck loaded with cars passes Davis Bros. Tires located at 5931 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
  • The ambulance is actually the 1968 Ford Econoline left over from the episode High Explosive.
  • The Corvette chase leaves the Marina Freeway at the Centinela Avenue turnoff. View in Google Maps The chase then skips to West Pico Boulevard where they enter the original car park for the Convention Center. Virtually all of the surrounding buildings were demolished around 1991 to make way for the extension to the Convention Center and additional parking. View in Google Maps
  • This episode contains current events based on Ponch's life of dealing with his girlfriend Kim Balford.
  • This episode is mostly filmed during Season 1, and some office scenes were filmed during season 2.


  • Jon actually mentions that the 1978 Chevrolet Corvette C3 is a 1977 model.
  • When Ponch introduces himself to Kim his pinky finger is broken, but this does not happen until later when he wrecks while they are chasing the Corvette.
  • When the Corvette approaches the group in wheelchairs, the first guy in a wheelchair is nearly across the parking lot exit when we see the Corvette approach. When the shot cuts to the interior of the Corvette, he has just begun to cross the exit.
  • When Kim runs into Ponch and Jon having lunch, she refers to him as 'Ponch' although he has only introduced himself as Frank Poncherello. Why wouldn't she call him Frank or Officer Poncherello?
  • The scene where Ponch shows the department his newly rebuilt 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and middle scene where Melodie and Brandy steal his car are at the beginning.
  • While sitting in the Lincoln, Kim refers to "the talkative one to the left, happens to be a cop looking for a stolen car, his stolen car" ; however, Jon was to their left, not Ponch.
  • Before Grossman pursues Kim and Melodie in the Lincoln, we see traffic moving behind him in close-up shots; however, when he begins pursuit, there is no traffic--everyone is stopped at the light.
The Lincoln is empty.
  • When Kim and Melodie ditch the Lincoln, it seems as though they went into the water in with the car; however, the car is empty as it leaves the pier.
Melodie shows through her bikini top.
  • A network censor apparently missed Melodie's bikini top.
  • The car that Kim and Melodie are being chased by Grossman in changes license plates. They start out dark in colour with yellow lettering. As it plunges into the water, the plates change to yellow with dark lettering.
  • Melodie's clothes change from a brown tight sweater and slack to blouse and jeans in between stealing Ponch's car and delivering it.
  • Whomever painted Ponch's Firebird did a fantastic job on it. They painted the grills, headlight buckets, and all of the chrome window trim as well.
  • When Jon is giving Ponch a ride home in his pick-up, he makes a right on red without making a full and complete stop. The cross traffic light has just gone to yellow.
  • When the Firebird rolls over during the final pursuit, the fuel tank has been removed. Also, the left rear tire appears to be completely bald (or a racing slick).

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Preceded by:
"High Explosive"
Down Time
Followed by:
"Repo Man"