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Is thebest car in the world Crown Victoria?



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I don't think the poster was claiming "classic" status. In fact, no car built after 1948 has ever made official "classic" status. Modern cars are considered too knew for the term "classic", as the word implies a long, long history of being admired and standing out in people's memories. You might say it has to "stand the test of time".

    No, a Crown Vic will never be a classic, not even in 100 years.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    So the most recent Chevy Caprices will also never be classics, right?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    A possible exception might be the Impala SS IMO.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    No, Chevy Caprices will never be classics--I think one could safely make that sweeping statement.

    Impala SS probably won't be either because they are mass-produced cars made in large numbers, with only some options that differentiate them from normal Impalas. It's hard enough for any 4-door to become a classic (there are a few from the 30s and 40s), but these are all special-bodied cars as far as I can recall.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Just my opinion, but it depends on how far you stretch the word "classic". If you think that musclecars are classics (I don't, despite owning four GTOs) then yes, I think the Impala SS will be a "classic". That's based on seeing the kind of emotion these cars inspire in their owners. However, if you think that "classic car" is one of the most abused, overworked phrases in the language (and I do) then the answer has got to be "no".
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    If a 4-door Impala can be a classic, then the word is meaningless to me personally.. Any car would qualify if one broadens to include mass produced 4-door sedans. Why not then trucks and fire engines and bread vans?

    Actually the term classic is very clearly defined by the Classic Car Club of America. So it's more a question of whether one chooses to accept or not accept their "authority" on the matter.

    Your choice, of course. I use the CCCA definition of a classic just for the sake of making sure everyone knows what I personally mean by the term "classic".

    So when I say classic, I mean "a certain list of specific cars between 1935-1948". When you use it, it may mean something else (I don't know your definition but it might be fun for you to think of one) and when someone else uses it, it might mean "anything I think is a classic".

    At any rate, I myself reserve the term "classic" for exemplary cars that outshine everything around it. A '95 Impala is, to me, an ordinary car with a few fun-filled options. I woudn't mind owning one, though.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    The 56 Crown Vic IS a true classic. Later versions simply capitalized on what marketing people like to call "brand equity".
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I'd be interested in what the CCCA's definition of a classic is. I suppose they've got a web site and I suppose it would be on that site.

    My definition would be any car that advanced automotive design, either in styling and/or engineering. Sounds pretty straightforward but I can see problems with it. Is the Mini a classic because it was the first FWD econobox? Is the 1977 Impala a classic because it was the first of the downsized Chevies?

    Maybe it should be any car that had superior styling or engineering. That can still be pretty subjective.

    Anyway, I'm really not into '30s cars but I'd be reluctant to call any post-war car a classic--I think the CCCA's 1948 cutoff is in deference to the Continental. Maybe the first Corvettes (through 1967?), maybe the first Thunderbird, the Kaiser Darrin, the hemi 300s, stuff like that. I'm okay with calling a car like a GTO a "special-interest car". Some people find it condescending but I think you have to draw the line somewhere, sooner rather than later, or language loses its meaning.

    Good topic for its own thread.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518

    "So when I say classic, I mean 'a certain list of specific cars between 1935-1948'."

    The problem with enforcing such a narrow definition of a classic car is that, by 2048, which is not really *that* far away in the scheme of things, the newest classic car will be 100 years old. There will be so few of your 1935-48 "classics" left that they will be reserved for wealthy upper-class types to park in hermetically sealed garages, and the vast majority of regular people will not know or care anything about them.

    This is already starting to happen. There are plenty of people who know all about '50s, '60s and '70s cars, but how many are really familiar with cars from the '30s? Your "classics" are becoming the domain of a shrinking group of elitists. Are the rest of us just supposed to stop collecting cars, since we can't afford (or don't care about) super-rare obscure vehicles from the 1930s?

    Now, I realize that you are in the appraisal business, so thinking about the market value of a car comes more naturally to you than it does to most. I have no problem with you telling people, "Sorry, but your pristine 1984 Buick Century is not going to be worth a million dollars in 30 years." There are way too many people who see dollar signs whenever they find something that's even slightly old or unusual, and they should probably be set straight regarding its likely actual selling price.

    But where I have the problem is when you (and many other people...I don't mean to single you out here) extend that statement to, "Sorry, but your '84 Buick won't be worth a million dollars, so you might as well run it into the ground and scrap it." If the owner only cares about the money, that's probably what they'll do anyway, once they find out it's not a valuable car. And if they care about the car itself, hearing something like that will only make them angry that you don't care about their car.

    Of course, I don't think that everyone needs to care about '84 Centurys, but I have a feeling that if I expressed the sentiment that all pre-1950 vehicles should be scrapped because I don't care about them, you'd consider me to be rather narrow-minded and arrogant, too.

    All I'm saying here is that, for the sake of the automotive hobby, we need to support car enthusiasts whether they own a million-dollar Bugatti or a lovingly restored 1974 Mercury Bobcat. Both of those are "classics" to the people who own them. Otherwise we will only breed resentment between people who like different types of cars, and what good can come of that?

    -Andrew L
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think we're confusing "classic" with "collectible". 1974 Bobcats didn't advance automotive styling or engineering, but if someone finds a mint low-mileage edition and treats it with tender loving care, more power to him. As for me, I'd think it was a waste of scarce garage space, but that's because Bobcats don't mean anything to me.

    The collectibility of most of the cars we talk about here is highly subjective. I know my father wondered about some of the oddball cars that followed me home when I was a teenager. The losers of the '50s were the budget collectibles of the '60s.

    I had a friend back in the '80s whose father-in-law was a car dealer. The father-in-law offered to give my friend a car. He said "fine, any car as long as it's not a Pinto". So the father-in-law gave him a Bobcat :-(.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I think the CCCA's definition is way too broad. How can a '57 Bel Air convertable not be a classic? Sure, the made a boat load of them, but that doesn't make it any less of a car. Besides, after 45 years, there's not that many of them left, to mass production really doesn't mean anything except that it's a little easier to find all the random bits & pieces. Then there are cars like 68-70 Dodge Chargers, 61-63 Thunderbirds, and other cars, that being fast, and being from that bygone era where engine displacement meant more than fuel economy, become very desirable cars. Sure, a '69 Dodge Charger will never sell for 100K at auction (unless, of course, it's a #1 condition, all original Daytona driven by Richard Petty himself), but the fact that they are out there to choose from doesn't make them any less desirable.

    Back on topic, I think the only thing holding back the Crown Vic from tripling its sales is its "Grandpa car" image. They are relaible, as proven over and over again by almost every police department and taxi company in the country. And compared to the Toyota Camry, you get a bigger, more powerful car for less money. And no one can tell me that the vast majority of Camry buyers bought their car because of it's sporting nature and XK-E rivaling sex appeal.

    Of course, the Marauder may change that, but the price will go way up, so don't look for that car to seriously increase Panther sales. Now if only they made the Marauder convertable, and then made a regular Grand Marquis convertable to help recoup the development costs. A base Grand Marquis with a drop-top...I'd sell my left kidney on E-bay to be able to get one of those!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518

    I just thought of the Bobcat because it's one of my brother's three favorite cars, the others being the European-import Ford Capri and the '71-77 Toyota Celica. Fortunately when he bought his first car, he picked the Celica. Lots of rust, but at least it has a strong Toyota 20R engine :-)


    "A base Grand Marquis with a drop-top...I'd sell my left kidney on E-bay to be able to get one of those!"

    I think that would be very cool. I'm not a big fan of the Marauder's everything-black paint scheme and huge wheels, and I bet the old people in Florida would just love a convertible to go with their sedan :-)

    -Andrew L
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    " I bet the old people in Florida would just love a convertible to go with their sedan :-)"

    So would this young person in Texas!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    I'm not at all invested in the CCCA definition. I just use it so that the word "classic" has a particular meaning, rather than being a totally subjective term. It's like the term "software" or "furniture". I need the term "classic" to mean something when I communicate to people, but I'm not enforcing that definition on anyone. As long as you know what *I* mean by it, then I've gotten my point across.

    I'm not sure what someone who calls a 5 year old 4-door a "classic" has in mind for their logic , definitions and parameters, so in essence I can't understand them. To me it sounds like a classic is "whatever you think it is", and so then the word is meaningless. I have nothing to hang my hat on when the word is used without pretty tight discrimination.

    If everything is "beautiful" the nothing is. It's all the same.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Seems like it belongs in the Sedans conference, or News & Views, like the "Used Japanese Luxury Cars" topic that got rejected.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    yeah, you're right we got sidetracked. Someone was wondering if the Crown Vic was going to be a classic, and it went downhill from there. Modern cars don't belong in the Classics Board.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Maybe they mean classic like 2002 Thunderbird classic. A car that is new, but generally thought to be a cool car. "Classic" in a timeless sense, not in a "1948 or older" since. Like building a brand new Queen Anne style house. It looks like a classic Victorian, but its new.

    Of course, I wouldn't put a Crown Victoria in that category either. It's a very good car, but a very '90's car. It will never be "timeless" IMO.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    More like "time-full" as in very quickly dated.

    I mean, look at say a '52 Chevy 4-door. Hardly worth anything and who even looks at them?
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    in East LA.
  • ballparkballpark Posts: 41
    Perhaps not the '52 but the '53 Chevy 2-door makes a beautiful custom lowrider. It's popular enough out here in SoCal to warrant a 1/24th scale die cast replica.

    About the topic being here, who cares? Any topic that generates good conversation should be allowed to exist anywhere. At least as long as it continues to draw a response.

    I find it interesting that the Crown Vic and it's 4.6 are touted as super reliable in this forum but the Mustang and it's 4.6 get trashed as "unreliable" in other forums. (No need to respond I just throw it out as an observation)

    Will the Vic be a classic. I suppose it has a chance. The 57 Bel Aire was just another car in it's day. The tastes of people in 30 years will actualy determine which of todays cars are worth restoring. Who knows, perhaps it will go down as the "last" of the American land barges, and therefore become prized for this in the future.
This discussion has been closed.