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Is thebest car in the world Crown Victoria?

thecougarthecougar Posts: 7
edited March 7 in Ford
Beat to death as taxis and police cars and then continuing to be soldiering on for 300-400k in the third world, any car takes more cruel treatment and still runs faithfully? The live rear axle, body on frame V8 rear wheel drive v8 is something the USA knows how to do real well, and these old cars really can do the job. Best car dollar for mile I ever saw to run, cheap as dirt to care for but tough as an anvil.
Why hasn't this come up before?


  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    No it isn't. But a serious contender and competitor would be any Chevrolet Caprice.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    Since the RWD caprice is extinct and you once thought the 6.5 GM diesel was a great engine......Your opinion is somewhat tainted. LOL!!!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Nice to hear from you again. I trust that you are well. You own a Chevrolet, right? (I do; it's an '87 Nova)
  • coarse they are the only car in there class :)

    Who else makes a car thats seats 6, has a big [non-permissible content removed] truck, a V8, and all for $20k.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...but unless you spring for the handling package, it's going to drive and handle about as well as any 25 year old land barge retrofitted with low-profile tires. A friend of mine has a '95 Grand Marquis GS, and he recently looked into getting a brand new one, since his has about 116,000 miles on it now.

    I think his has 215/70/R15 tires, and the new ones are something like 225/60/R16. About the only difference is that the new one rode rougher and was noisier, in addition to the sloppy ride.

    Also, considering their large external dimensions, I don't find them that roomy inside. Even though most of them have bench seats, I wouldn't put anybody bigger than a small child in that spot. The transmission hump is just too big, and the dashboard juts out too far. It might have the shoulder room for 3 across up front, but is definitely lacking in foot/knee/legroom. GM's old B-bodies and Chrysler's old R-bodies felt like they were roomier inside, and better laid-out.

    Another thing that bothered me, when we looked at the new Grand Marquis models, was the sloppy build quality. There was one in the showroom that had a mis-aligned door that you could spot from 50 feet! The mating around the front header panel seemed a bit sloppy too. Inside, I swear not a thing has changed since 1995 (I think in '95 they re-did the instrument panel a bit), except the carpet looked like a cheaper grade.

    My friend ended up hanging onto his '95. I think the realization that he'd be paying $20K+, not to mention rolling over some negative equity, and ending up with the same damn car hit him!

    As for reliability issues though, his car hasn't been too bad. He bought it in '99, with about 55K on it. It needed new lower ball joints around the 90K mark, and a few months ago he needed new front rotors. Something went wrong with the windshield wipers too, where they'd freeze in the up position when you turned them off. And I don't think I've EVER seen a check engine light that came on that often!

    One thing that's always bothered me about the Ford "Panther" body is that a disproportionate amount of them have what I call "shock waves". You hit a bump, and you can actually see a shock ripple go through the hood, from front to back, and then the cowl/dash area shakes. You don't feel it or hear it so much as see it. The older '79-91 style did it, and I've seen the newer styles do it, too.

    Performance-wise, I think the '95's had 190 hp/260 ft-lb of torque. His felt about as fast as my grandmother's '85 LeSabre, which has a 307 with only 140 hp/255 ft-lb of torque. I think his is stuck with fairly tall gearing though, and the 307 hits its peak torque at a lower rpm than the 4.6. Not to mention the old B-body LeSabres were a few hundred lb lighter than the current-gen Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. So all that might explain why there really doesn't seem to be much performance increase. As for the 2002, they have something like 220 hp/265 ft-lb of torque, so I'd imagine they'd be a bit quicker, although we didn't stomp on this one since it was a brand new car with something like 12 miles on it.

    Another thing I've noticed about them, is that they don't seem to be as "heavy duty" as they used to be, in respect to how much load they can carry. Now maybe the manufacturers are just doing this to cover their own butts in case you overload them, but I've noticed that, even as curb weights are increasing the GVWR's, and therefore, load capacity, are going down. For example, I saw an '87 Grand Marquis on a used car lot that had a GVWR of around 5400-5500 lb. My friend's '95 is only around 5100 lb, a 3-400 lb loss. But at the same time, the newer cars are a bit heavier, so that's cutting into the load capacity, as well.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    I think that if you think so, you need to get out more :)
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    the truth! =O)

    Actually, they're good cars in the sense that they have plenty of room, are way more reliable than most American cars, and won't embarrass you with blody cladding or other weird styling fads.

    In fact, when the Toyota Avalon was first introduced, my brother in New York asked me to get him a deal on one (I was working for Toyota HQ at the time), but I couldn't get one without a sunroof (that's South East Toyota Distributors for you), so I recommended a Crown Vic, which he bought and is quite happy with.

    Interesting side point, though -- he complained about the lack of rear seat room considering the size of the car, and I've heard the same complaint from other people.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I think part of that may stem from the fact that, despite the Crown Vic's overall size, it's wheelbase really isn't that big compared to other, comparable cars of the era when it first came out. When the Panther platform debuted for 1979, it rode a 114.3" wheelbase, compared to 116" for the General Motors B-bodies and 118.5" for the Chrysler R-bodies. GM's C-body was on a 119" wb back then, and those 3 additional inches all went into back seat legroom, so these things ended up huge inside. The Caddy back then though was on a 121.5" wb, but its 2.5" over the Electra/98, I believe, were added in front, ahead of the firewall, so you didn't get any extra room.

    My main complaint with the Crown Vic is actually more in terms of foot room than legroom. With the seats all the way back, I can barely fit in the back with my knees just touching the seatback. In that respect, it's about the same as my Intrepid, Grandma's '85 LeSabre, etc. But the driveshaft hump just seems huge compared to other cars of the era, and my size 13 foot just doesn't have that much room down there. Part of the problem is there's no toe room under the seats.

    For some reason, it seems Ford cars in general back in the '70's had unusually large transmission and driveshaft humps, compared to their GM and Chrysler peers. Whassup wit dat?

    Still, it's a good car with a lot going for it (despite my rather lengthy nitpick post above, I actually DO like them ;-)
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I was told in the past that the GM B-bodies' production in Arlington, TX was stopped in December of 1996. If that fact was or is true, cars built 8/96 and up would be considered MY '96 cars, not '97, correct? Because the Arlington plant was later retooled to build Tahoes and Suburbans.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    I'm actually not sure when they stopped making them. I remember reading somewhere though, that for 1996 the Caprice/Impala SS, Roadmaster, and Fleetwood only sold about 100,000 cars, combined. In contrast, the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, and Town Car were usually good for around 125-150K units EACH, in a good year.

    I seem to recall hearing, somewhere, that the '96 model run was actually cut short, so they could start re-tooling for higher-margin SUV's. If that's the case, that might explain the unusually low production of the '96 B-bodies. (trivia note...I'm not sure if the Fleetwood was technically called a B-body by that time. It used to be called a C-body until 1985, and then a D-body when the C's were downsized)
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,395
    If you tell me the Crown Vic/Grand Mrarq is a classic I'll LOL and I'll have plenty of company.
    You really do need to get out more.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,648
    We have a firm believe in the right of every Town Hall individual to exercise free speech, at least regarding their choice of "best" car. Of course, in Russia they would jail you for saying that about a Crown Vic.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,395
    just as we should be allowed to laugh our butts off
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590 the next couple years, I'm probably going to see first-gen Panther bodies with historic plates on them! In Maryland, you can get historic plates when a car is 25 model years old. Kinda scary to think the same basic platform is going to be driving around both as an antique AND as a brand new car!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,355
    Notice he didn't come back?

    Funny, though. I happen to like them for some strange reason. For straight line highway cruising they do the job nicely.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,395
    It's quite another to say it's the best car in the world (if there is such a thing).

    I too have a soft spot for those tanks. I partyicularly likeed the CV when it first came out with the Taurus style streamline styling ('91-'92?). It looked nuch sleeker with no grill and thin C-pillars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...was 1992, and that was the only year without the grille. I thought they looked nice and clean without the grille, too, and with the thin C-pillars with the quarter-windows built in (as opposed to the thicker, formal Grand Marquis style they both use today).

    I really didn't like 'em once they tried tacking a grille on, probably because it looked just that...tacked on! It seemed like the taillights got bigger and clumsier each year, too. I guess the "Taurus" look didn't sit too well with the traditional Crown Vic buyers, so they had to mess it up to appeal to the masses :-(
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    Buddy just picked up a black '98. Put on 5 spoke Cobraesque wheels and blacked out the windows. I think it actually looks tough. People do get outta your way as you come from behind!!!!

    We're researching if he can replace the air bags with coils and lower it an inch or 2.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    I think this topic is more like those over in the News & Views forum-or maybe in the Sedans conference. I mean, a 90s Ford 4door sedan in the classic cars conference??? To me, the Ford Crown Vic is just a big, bulbous, boring barge-the pillsbury doughboy of cars. Except for its V8 and rearwheel drive, there is nothing there for me to like. It will NEVER EVER be a classic. I mean, we rejected expensive Japanese sedans as a topic in this forum-what's with these huge, Ford barges? Now, if we were talking '55-56 Ford Crown Victorias, that would be different. I think these current big Fords should be called Galaxies-not Crown Vics-to me, it's kind of a ripoff of an old classic model name that deserves better.
This discussion has been closed.