Crown Vic Police

Hi. I’m considering a used police model Crown Vic for my next car. It’s big, rugged, easy to fix, and you can find them really cheap. Usually worked hard, but professionally maintained. The heavy duty shocks and brakes are a real plus for the way I drive on the kind of roads I drive. (Too fast and rural.)

At any rate, I know that the typical package is a RWD automatic, but I was wondering if a few options exist.

1. Is there a manual version? I’ll hate to give up my 5 speed Focus.

2. Is there an AWD version? I know that the new Taurus police version has one.

3. I’ve seen a few that advertised “Case Lock”. Is this a proper case lock like on my dad’s 79 Power Wagon where you pull a lever and the wheels spin together come hell or high water, or is some sort of limited slip differential or traction assist?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,


To my knowledge, all Crown Victorias are automatic (heavy duty) and they are all rear drive only with HD drive train.

The above features make them such rugged vehicles and many are bought as tow vehicles for campers. Living in a rural, dust laden evironement you will appreciate the barf-proof upholstery and lack of rugs on the floor. The interiors are easy to clean. Most will come without insde rear door handles; those are easy to find and install.

I would personally stay away fron any police 4 wheel drive vehicle. They get incredible abuse and are expensive to fix. The Taurus is considerably less rugged then the big Crown Vic.

Yeah, the CVPI is/was one of Ford’s better ideas. About the only thing you can install on one, if it’s not already equipped, is an LSD. They already come with the fail safe cooling system. The modular engine has proven quite durable …as has the automatic behind it. In traffic use they appear to go through ball joints faster than normal, but that’s allegedly typical for that type of usage.

A guy around here, whom I do not personally know, has a sweet sounding, very clean Crown Vic with a manual.
The drone of the exhaust while accelerating from a stoplight is what drew my attention and I turned off the radio and rolled down the window to listen to it.

This car had a manual in it because I could hear him going through the gears. Whether it was a DIY swap or an ordered from the factory option I have no idea but it did sound good; very very good.

No AWD that I’ve ever heard of and can’t speak with any authority about the Case Lock option.
A company that specializes in building performance modular engines stated they’ve had some of those engines through the shop with around 500k miles on them and the engine block is still within specs. That should speak volumes about the durability.

Unless you are absolutely convinced that you need a police version, I’d go with a used regular model as it rides better. Yes, they are heavy duty, handle great and can take more abuse, but the are not bullet proof and unless you are absolutely sure of use, they are worked hard. They have failures just like any other car and will not necessarily outlast the standard model unless you continue to use it hard as was intended. That’s where they shine. “Professionally maintained ?” Don’t know what you mean. State had their own garage but many munis. contract out to a good independent and get the same service any car would. They aren’t magic…go regular. It’s a great car with a great ride and a better and more civilian servicable interior.
No manuals…no AWD that I’ve ever heard of, police work would kill a manual and just get in the way of routine work. I had chance to buy several when I worked but was always afraid they were just a major repair around the corner…and I knew how I drove it…and like hot dogs, if you knew what when on in some, you’d reconsider.

Wait a couple years. They are discontinuing the current model and coming out with a new FWD/AWD version. Police don’t drive manuals though. Why would they?

Because they’re cool? I figured they didn’t, but it can’t hurt to ask.

I bet they’re for limited non high speed use in town and “cheapo” Taurus like for the town fathers to skimp on. Ford and Chevy will still make real version with tried and true toughness and handling of rwd.

No stick shifts, no AWD…If you want to obsess over them,there is a that is as bad as bobistheoilguy…

If you manage to buy one right, they are, hands down, the most car for the money you can buy. They will deliver the lowest cost per mile to operate. That’s why taxis use them…They have an invoice price of around $35K…You can buy one for 10% of that…

Compared to a standard Vic, they are noticeably noisier in the cabin and the ride is a little firmer but not as much as you would expect. When acceleration is asked for, acceleration is provided…But the brakes are even more impressive. It’s amazing how fast they will stop even from high speed, and with no dramatics. Most of them have traction control and Traction-Lock, which means spinning the rear wheels is almost impossible on any surface…

They could be ordered with either 3.27, 3.55 or 3.73 rear gears. The standard Vics usually come with 3.00 or even 2.90 gears. For normal driving, the 3.27 ratio is the best bet as you can still get 24-25 mpg on the highway. You can put a Baby Grand Piano in the trunk.

I bought a full-size front-loading washing machine on Craigslist and managed to get it in the trunk and closed the lid!! It took 4 strong men to get it out…

Lets just say it was a tight fit…After a 250 mile ride (from Tucson down into Mexico) it had become wedged into the trunk, part of the car…But it’s happily washing clothes today…

  1. No Crown Vic has come from the factory with a manual in decades, if ever.
  2. No Crown Vic has ever been AWD from the factory
  3. Limited slip diffs were availible for some years. P71’s may or may not have them, you’ll have to check the axle code on the door jamb or the axle tag on the diff cover to see if it does.

The AWD Taurus police car isn’t out yet, it’ll be another year before it’s availible.

If Ford DOES stop production of the RWD CV, and go exclusivly to the Taurus fwd. I think Chevy Caprice will show a bigger increase in sales. AWD and FWD will be more expensive to maintain and will have to be limited use. As Caddyman implies…rwd CV is made to “beat on”… Our State Police has AWD/4wd vehicles…they DON’T use them for routine patrol much.

"QuoteOthers said a front-wheel-drive car will work once officers receive training on it. With this type of vehicle, a driver can lose steering during quick accelleration from stop.

O great…300 plus HP on the front wheels…just what a cop needs…special training just to keep from loosing steerage while accelerating…It may be just the time to get the rwd s before these “crap cars” hit the market.

The standard FWD Taurus police car won’t have 300+ HP. It’ll have around 265 HP or so. The 365 HP twin turbo V6 is only availible with the AWD model.

Read about it here:

The 365 HP twin turbo V6 is only availible with the AWD model. where does it say that in your reference ? I read that AWD is “another” option in addition to the SHO version motor, which is just Fwd and a notorious torque steer demon and CV joints will take a real beating in police work.
A cheap junker, tried before with the Citation by “another” company. When gas is high, police officer safety becomes more a expendable commodity.
I’m sure they hope it sticks with the help of traction/stability control…RWD Police CVs can be a good used buy now if you’re careful…these things won’t be IMO !

Police cars don’t come with manual transmissions because cops need to be on the radio pretty much constantly. In the early-80’s the CHP had some Mustang interceptors (because their newer smogged patrol sedans couldn’t keep up with older non-smogged cars), but a lot of these came with manual transmissions and so the cops were basically incommunicado during any kind of pursuit.

When you take into account that all vehicles equipped with the TT 3.5L V6 are AWD, it goes without saying. Unless they are planning to scale up the diff and axles used in the Euro-Spec Focus RS, the 365 HP TT 3.5L won’t work with the base Taurus’s FWD only drivetrain. The AWD option isn’t dependent on the EcoBoost engine, but the Ecoboot is depedent on AWD.

From about 1986 onward the Crown Vics had 2.73 gears standard in most years, 3.08’s were avaible as well in some years. The 3.27 rear end was standard on the P71’s and civy cars with the Handling/Performance Package as well as the trailer towing package. 3.55’s were only available on P71’s as an option, but they are rare. 3.73’s were not offered from the factory. Limited slip diffs were available in some years, P71’s usually have them, but not all do. If the car has 3.55’s it definitely does though.

I used to sell these things to fleet users.

“When you take into account that all vehicles equipped with the TT 3.5L V6 are AWD” In the article you referred, it does not but this one does.

"The top end pursuit version of the new Police Interceptor gets the full SHO powertrain including its 365-hp twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 and all-wheel-drive as standard."

I figured it was common knowledge. The article you linked just comfirms what I said anyway.