Goodbye, Crown Vic

Ahhh, the (dis) advantage of the old ;=) Most cops are happy to see people slow down even if it’s in fear of being caught by what they believed was a real cop car. That’s why they often park a car in plane site while they go in one car en mass to get better deals on donuts. ;=)

@Ok4450: It’s a little off track, but I can well believe that the oil company drove the life out of their Vics. About 10 years ago I was looking at used trucks and came across a Dodge Ram that was only 4 years old at a used car lot. They only wanted about $7K for it as I recall, which was an insane deal for a loaded truck that new.

It had been owned by an oil company and bought at auction, the dealer told me. It was filthy and pretty well scraped up inside and out. It had been in a minor front end collision and the grille and bumper were bent. It had over 250,000 miles on it and was only 4 years old! The oil was as black and about as thick as new blacktop pavement, and may have had more in common with asphalt than oil at that point. The check engine light was on, and when I did the ignition trick to retrieve the codes, there were a half dozen of them. Despite that, it started right up and ran smooth. I didn’t bother test driving it. It may have been the oil that was gluing it together at that point…

I remember when the Caprice 9c1 went out of production that a cottage industry popped up, they took a retired cop car, refurbished it and sold them to police agencies that still wanted the caprices. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar popped up for crown vics.

Around here the police drive Chargers, which I think look really slick, but they are cramped, theres a few pickup police trucks, and a few explorers. They used to have early 2000 impala cop cars, I wondered how those held up.

I love the crown vics, they are great vehicles, the workhorses of America.

Well, it’s definitely the end of an era, the era of Crown Vics and Grand Marqs used as police cruisers and taxicabs. There are still a number of them around, and I suspect they will be for a few more years. Here in central Florida I have seen 4WD versions of both Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado Pickups, outfitted with lights, markings, trailer hitches, and all the other “cop-car goodies”, used by county sheriff’s departments in the area.

I once read a story about an elderly man who decided to buy a new Crown Vic several years ago, and his son tried to talk him out of it, saying “Dad, that’s a police car”. The man told his son that he wanted the car because of the way it was built and that it had a nice big trunk, and it was the type of car he was used to.

As for taxicabs, I miss those big old Checker Marathons. I always liked the way they looked, and I remember them as being roomy from my experience riding in a few of them.

As long as people buy larger framed SUVs the concept of the frame based, rwd large capacity vehicles is alive and well. That’s what many states and municipalities are doing.

The body on frame concept is alive and well for trucks, vans and suvs, NOT cars

Body on frame cars are now technically obsolete, as they’re not being built anymore

If you are into Panthers, they have their own web-site and forums that deal will all aspects of these automobiles…A treasure-trove of information. They even go back before the 1992 models…These are affectionately known as “The Square Ones”…

The body on frame or all practical purposes has been obsolete for cars for DECADES. crown Victoria is a large capacity vehicle capable of sustaining damage that would drive unibodies to the junk yard. It did not survive because it was a car, it survived for the same reason that our state is running framed SUVs out there. I firmly believe that replacement and repair costs will go up substantially using unibody cruisers.
Rwd framed cars have never been “alive and well” for many years. For private use fuel eonomy killed them. When tax payer dollars pay for gas, it is not as big an issue for high stress vehicles which is where framed vehicles shine.

Well, technically speaking BOF cars are only “obsolescent” if parts, etc are readily available. To be obsolete, something has to be so outdated that means to maintain and utilize said item are non-existant. Record players are obsolescent; 8-tracks are obsolete.

An accident that will leave a unibody car unrepairable will wreak havoc on a car with a frame as well. There are still many RWD cars in production as well–Chrysler’s LX platform (300, Charger, Challenger, etc.)

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been a unibody vehicle I believe, and it is rated for off-road use, as all (except one model) Jeeps are, and has been very successful at it, despite what anyone thinks of Chrysler. To make a long story short, there’s no reason unit body cars can’t be just as durable as body-on-frame ones, and they are probably safer in a serious accident.

The Panthers got 17 MPG in around town taxi service and on the highway, models with 3.00 axle ratios could deliver 26-27 MPG…My 3.23 cop cars get 24 mpg. There are many smaller cars with V6 engines that have trouble doing much better…I think with as competitive as the marketplace is, it was just getting too expensive to continue with the body and frame platform. And after 20 years with the same basic design, the Panthers were overdue for replacement. It’s somewhat telling that the assembly plant where they were made, the St. Thomas Plant in Ontario Canada was shuttered and abandoned when the last Vic rolled out…If you take a ride in a Fusion Hybrid, you will quickly realize that automotive design and technology has come a LONG ways since 1992…They say the all new 2014 Chevy Impala is another landmark vehicle that sets new standards…Have no fear, the police and taxi companies will adapt and adjust to the changing world…Over their 20 year run, millions of Panthers were made so they will be around for a while…

Judging by the Camaros and Mustangs I’ve seen police driving, I’m not sure how much the police will miss the Crown Vic. I sure wouldn’t mind being upgraded from a Crown Vic to a Mustang or Camaro.

According to James Eagen, the former NY state trooper who wrote A Speeder’s Guide to Avoiding Tickets, the Crown Vics most officers drive aren’t all that great.

First, I agree with @Whitey that the Crown Vic’s aren’t a great car as a police car compared to other choices when driving. But, they filled multiple needs and did it with an efficiency and ruggedness few could approach. Their recovery from hard use was unmatched.

They aren’t produced anymore because they just don’t sell enough to the general public to make it worthwhile to produce as Fleet and Cop cars. 80k units a year, possible but with a downward trend is not enough in a factory designed for 250k units. They are space inefficient and 17 to 24 mpg for the average driver just doesn’t cut it. I like rwd platforms better personally but it’s harder to make a Crown Vic compete with a car like a more passenger roomy Accord that can get as much as 40 mpg highway. When customers need towing, they get a truck which fills even more needs. Many municipalities are replacing Crown Vic’s with trucks…but over the long run, trucks and fwd platform cars will be more not less expensive to maintain, which is the real CV advantage.

But, like Whitey says…they are not great cars for the average public. And, all of us who do like them enough to buy them NEW, are really in the vast minority.

Over the past decade, Americans have lined up to buy and are STILL lined up to buy F-150’s, Silverados and Ram pick-up trucks…Mostly, they just drive them to the super-market…I don’t think the Panthers fuel mileage bothered people too much…It just had developed a reputation as a Geezer-Mobile, the kiss of death in the car business…

@Caddyman Right; my brother in law who is a great many years younger was shopping for a new car. Even though he is 6-2, the salesman did not even try to show him any Crown Vics, which were still in production at that time. He pushed a loaded Fusion instead.

The average car buyer just does not register any more with this vehicle. My wife is over 70 and she calls these cars OFCs (old fart cars) and won’t be seen in one.


I totally agree with you there, fuel mileage is not a big issue to many people. I love when I see f350 or a expedition in the walmart parking lot, engine running with one person sitting in it waiting for the driver to come out. I have seen this on a nice day when they had all of the windows down, so its not like it was running for ac or heat.

The crown vic isnt a 35 mpg car, but its better than most suvs.

Gas is cheap.

Lots of People buy trucks not because what they actually use them for what they were intended all the time but what they think they might. I know we all see people driving trucks to the mall, but they are used, if even just a couple times a year, in ways CVs can’t.

And, if you think gas mileage is not on the minds of the vast majority of those buying sedans, sorry to say, it is. People accept trucks having poor mileage because they rationalize the boat towing and camping advantages and the like. Most average drivers will not put up with 20 mpg any more in any sedan.

SUVs are another breed where lower mileage is more acceptable, especially when they can serve many more needs then a sedan like the CV. You don’t compare CVs to SUVs for public use, you compare them to Acoords, Fusions and Camrys. They tend to loose out in this comparison, big time.

SUVs are another breed where lower mileage is more acceptable, especially when they can serve many more needs then a sedan like the CV. You don't compare CVs to SUVs for public use, you compare them to Acoords, Fusions and Camrys. They tend to loose out in this comparison, big time.

I agree…I accept the lower gas mileage because of the added functionality my 4runner gives me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want an SUV that gets 30mpg highway. Give me one that has the same functionality AND 30mpg…I’ll be all over that.

An AWD Panther would have been a simple and popular addition but Ford had just lost interest in the car and the plant that built them. They just pulled the plug without even thinking about redesigning the car…They were just tired of looking at it…But I’ve had 4 of them and I’ve never walked home or had a problem I couldn’t fix myself…Around town, yes, they are cumbersome in tight quarters but not as bad as a truck…Out on the highway, they are unexcelled for comfort and safety…The trunk capacity equals that of a small P/U or SUV…They are rated to pull a 3500# trailer and you can find used ones, geezer owned, maintained and cheap. I like the P71 cop cars, cheaper still when you can find them…I’m 71 years so I’m not going to need too many more cars…

Those cars are going to soldier on for a long, long time even if they are considered outdated.

I might note that at the Pull A Part yard, vehicle inventory gets rotated pretty regularly with most cars not being there very long before heading to the crusher.
They had about a dozen CV police cruisers parked on the front row of the Ford section and those cars must have been there for a year and a half before they finally did them in. The market for parts is obviously good.