Real-life NYPD squad cars of the period had white roofs and trunk lids and green bodies, with all or parts of the fenders painted black. The cars on the black and white TV series seem to follow this striping design except for the black fenders.
The theme song to the show: "There's a hold-up in the Bronx, Brooklyn's broken out in fights / There's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights / There's a scout troop short a child, Khrushchev's due at Idlewild! / Car 54 where are you?"
NBC wanted to buy part ownership of the show in exchange for it being renewed for a third season. Creator Nat Hiken refused and the show's sponsor, Proctor and Gamble, tried to take the show to CBS, but the network had no room on its schedule. Hiken had become burnt out on the show due to its single camera set-up, which required more time. He also had constant problems with Joe E. Ross, who had trouble remembering his lines. Hiken gladly ended the show and never worked on another series again.
Al Lewis joined the cast as Officer Leo Schnauser beginning with the 13th episode of season 1. Prior to that he appeared in episode 7, Car 54, Where Are You?: The Paint Job (1961), playing Al, the owner of Al's Garage where he would repair and repaint stolen cars for a car theft ring.
The show was filmed at the Biograph Studios in the Bronx, New York. The studio was originally built in 1912 by American Mutoscope & Biograph, which is still in existence today. The Biograph studio facilities were sold several times through the years, until it burned down in 1980.
The real-life husband of Beatrice Pons had the same last name as the actor who played her on-screen, two-comedy-series TV husband. Pons was married to David Ross from 1937 until his death in 1991. She and Joe E. Ross played husband and wife on The Phil Silvers Show (1955) (MSgt. Rupert Ritzik and Emma Ritzik) and Car 54, Where Are You? (1961) (Officer Gunther Toody and Lucille Toody).
The round object on the dashboard of Car 54 was a certified speedometer, used in all NYC police cars in those days, which were certified by the Police Department at least annually. These were used in lieu of the speedometer that came with cars, and whose reading were used in speeding cases in Traffic Court.