Goodbye, Crown Vic

The police, especially the State Patrol, will certainly miss their Crown Vics. I currently own 2 retired Colorado State Patrol cars, purchased when they had around 100K miles on them, and they have been fine, trouble-free cars…13 MPG was mentioned in the OP’s Vic epitaph but I never got worse than 17 around town and 26 on the highway…They have a top speed of 135 MPH and will cruise at 120 without any fuss. The Police Interceptors have a model designation of P71, they have super heavy duty everything and the fleet price was around $35,000 in base trim. Police lights, push bumpers, sirens, radios, gun racks, cages, that stuff was all installed after purchase and in most cases, removed before sale to private owners… The Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car are all built on the “Panther” chassis. Ford dealers stopped selling Crown Victorias in 2008 but Taxi and Police fleet sales continued until the end of 2011. The Saint Thomas, Ontario assembly plant turned out the last Panther on August 15, 2011 and the plant was shuttered shortly thereafter. The Vics were pretty much unchanged 1992 to 2003. In 2004 they got a new 5 link rear suspension which improved handling. In 2005 they got a beefed up frame and new front suspension with rack and pinion variable ratio steering…The P71 cars all have a special aluminum tube driveshaft designed to remain stable and safe at over 6000 RPM.

While the Dodge Charger is offered as a Police Pursuit Vehicle, it’s pretty cramped for most police duty so you are starting to see many states going to SUV’s for their patrol vehicles. Ford now offers the Taurus in Police Interceptor trim…

It’s very sad to see this car becoming extinct as they always got the job done. The local PD here still has Crown Vics in their fleet but as each hits their retirement they’re replaced with SUVs or late model Impalas.
It’s a crying shame to see the Vics go. :frowning:

I too have had a few of these cars, 92 Crown Vic, 96 Grand Marquis, and currently an 06 Town Car. These cars are among the most reliable, durable, easy to maintain and economical to operate. They are true workhorses and almost bulletproof. All of mine have been fully optioned out with air suspension, auto climate, leather, etc. I can also say that there is nothing fun or exciting about driving one. They are perfectly functional and reliable but leave a lot to be desired as far as the driving experience goes. But then that’s not the goal for a car like that.

I also think that the Panthers are 20th century cars and in this day and age are technologically dated. There’s only so much updating you can do to a body-on-frame car short of turning it into an SUV. They have surprisingly little back seat room compared to other luxury sedans due to the rear wheel drive.

I think it will be a long hard look to find a car that will serve as fleet vehicle, taxi, police, etc. as the Panthers did.

My mileage around town is around 16, on the highway in “road trip” mode never much better than 23. Caddyman must follow the speed limit more than I do. These are big heavy cars and I don’t see how you can push one along at 80-85mph and see 26mpg.

A few years ago a local Ford Dealer had an 04 Marauder in. This is the same car but came with the DOHC 4.6. I didn’t get down to buy it fast enough, someone got it before me. I’d like to have owned that one.

I saw my first San Francisco PD Taurus just this afternoon. If a Charger is cramped, what’s a Taurus? Really, compared to the police cars of my childhood, even a Charger is incredibly spacious. Those older Polaras and whatnot looked like coal barges, but they’re not terribly roomy. They just have fenders and bumpers that stick out feet in all directions.

I’m sure that the Vics will be around for at least another decade at least before attrition starts to hit the remaining police and taxi fleets. They are reliable cars with all the bugs worked out, due to their long-term use. I have little doubt that in a few years, that the Dodges will measure up to that standard, as all the bugs are found and the cars are improved. I too have had a couple of used Crown Vic police vehicles, and they were decent, competent cars, but nothing exciting, and stock, even some mini vans are quicker and handle better. They are dated. I also had a 92 Caprice police vehicle that I liked–another very durable car that I was sad when they phased it out.

Speakin of taxis, New York City will soon be replacing their Crown Vics with Nissan’s “Taxi of Tomorrow.” Will be interesting to see how the Nissan holds up to NYC street conditions, and how it’s received by the public and the taxi companies.

Here’s an interesting article about a fleet of NYC Crown Vic taxis:

Will be interesting to see how the Nissan holds up to NYC street conditions

Based on my experiences with Nissans…should hold up very well.

Our town is not looking at replacing 2 of our police cars. The problem we face is now we have to replace the police interior package as well. This includes harden back seat and bullet-proof glass between front and rear. For almost 20 years when ever we bought a new vehicle we just removed the police package from one Crown Vic and put it in the new one. Now we’ll have to buy new…at a cost of almost $10k per vehicle.

Yes, the Panther was getting a little outdated but the chassis had been perfected and fleet sales alone (Taxi & Police) made the cars a profitable line. They could have given it a new body style and built them for another 20 years…I think the V8, rear drive, body and frame layout was just doomed in today’s fuel efficiency picture. Government fuel mileage standards is what killed the Crown Vic…You can still get one almost…It’s called an F-150 Crew Cab. Gets even worse mileage but since it’s called a truck, it has no mileage standards to meet…You have to pay extra for an enclosed trunk…

In conversation with my son’s brother in law and Mass state policeman, he said that others in the force seemed to feel similar to him. They are not in a position to really talk about the economics but it is pretty universal with he and others. They will miss the Crown Vic and surprisingly, one of the best features was it’s outward visibility. Nothing they have tried out compares and as a patrol car, that’s pretty darn important. Evvery other car looks cramped with a high beltline and poor visability.

Here in our state as the CVs get replaced, they seem to be replaced by specialized vehicles as no one car can fill the gap left by this great all round car. We see more SUVS for size, a few Sporty cars for pursuit and some of the new Awd replacements. Time will tell but IMHO, they won’t save money. The car industry is drooling at the additional profits they will reap with additional maintenance costs and higher sales for more replacements. Sure, many will perform better as specialized vehicles get used but your tax dollars for police cruisers purchase and maintenance WILL go up.

In MA on rt 128 and I-93…I frequently see a Black Mustang and a Black Explorer state police.

@Caddyman In addition to police and taxi duty, a large number of CVs were sold as company vehicles. A friend worked for Halliburton and all their manager vehicles were CVs. Main reason was reliability and ability to get the vehicles serviced anywhere. In my neighborhood there are a number of veterans. Quite a few have CVs and proudly portray their veteran stickers.

It was also the last sedan suitable for serious trailer towing.

It’s not as prevalent as it used to be, but the oil field drilling companies used to run a lot of Crown Vics and those poor cars were thrashed to oblivion out in the oil patch.

A number of them even had small racks on the passenger side to ferry around those stray pieces of pipe.

The minute the PD Crown Vics go to auction around here they get snatched up by the cab company where they meet their final humiliation; having a quicky paint job shot over the original white and usually in some hideous pastel colors like Lilac purple or Lime green.

Even with inside light bars and bland colors, the distinctive silhouette of the CV made more then a few slow down when even a Floridan retiree appeared in a rear view mirror of a speeder. Now, just about anything from a Mustang to a GMC grill to a Taurus could be a cop car. So, I guess there are some advantages to retiring this car. .

@ dagosa:

You mean “disadvantages,” right?

@meanjoe75fan no , I meant advantages , as it’s harder for the speeders to “see” cop cars. This is insignificant though and in the long run, we will see our costs for replcement , repair and daily operation go up significantly. What advantage does a turbo charged v6 have in efficiency for example while it’s idling in cold weather to keep occupants warm while eating donuts ? So, you catch a speeder in your Mustang which can easily turn into an arrest able offense. Do you try to transport arrestees in a Mustang or call up for larger SUV to transport criminals. Not much savings there. There is no advantage to Mustang performance except when chasing a guy on a motorcycle or on winding roads. If you need a Mustang or car to go that fast, it’s now a criminal offense and you need to call in another cruiser SUV to deal with extenuating circumstances. That’s great ! What a Mustang does, it does better then a CV. With the poor outward visibility, Mustangs make a terrible patrol car in general, as btw, many other cars do as well. It just can’t do everything a CV can do. The same for an SUV. The ONLY advantages are in the north where Awd/ 4 wd “may” be beneficial…

I think meanjoe meant the retirement of the Crown Vic may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on whether you’re the cop or you’re the speeder. :wink:

Until they retired them a few years ago, the OK State Highway Patrol and even the local PD used some 4th generation Camaro Z-28s. I always wondered how an arrest was handled with those cars. The only thing I could figure was that they would call someone else in.

Many drivers did not suspect those cars as being police units no matter if they saw them head on or in the rear view mirror and by the time an extra antenna or two was noticed it was too late.

I had a neighbor of mine when I lived in NY who was a State Cop. He drove a unmarked Camaro. 99.99% of the time it was just to catch speeders. So all he did was write tickets. When he had to make an arrest he had to call for backup.

@jesmed: yeah, that’s it. Suppose I could’ve used a :wink: there…