The last Ford Crown Victoria rolled off a Canadian assembly line Thursday, marking the end of the big, heavy Ford cars that have been popular with taxi fleets and police departments for decades.
My grandma gave our family her '91 Crown Vic around the time I turned 17, so I wound up drivin' the old beast for the rest of my high school and college career. After school, I picked up an '88 with a lot less miles on it and drove that for about five years. Fell very much in love with the big ol' 302 V-8, sure-footed handlin' and roomy, comfortable interior along the way.
The Crown Victoria and its cousins have been popular with fleet users because of their roominess, legendary ruggedness and relative simplicity.
Most cars today are built with so-called unibody engineering in which the body sides and roof play a role in keeping the body rigid. The Panther Platform vehicles were engineered with an old-fashioned body-on-frame design that's mostly used by pickup trucks today because, while heavier, it's better able to bounce back from heavy, punishing use.
"You couldn't kill it no matter what you did to it," Ford spokesman Octavio Navarro said of the Crown Victoria.
I can attest to that, as I put mine through a gamut of abuse over the years. Although I will admit that I killed the '91 by seeing if it fit into the trunk of a Geo Metro. Didn't fit very well
But before that, when I was workin' at the farm on a regular basis, I'd beat the ol' bitch around the fields lookin' for groundhogs to shoot, among other attrocities. Discovered somewhere with the '91 that I could fit 11 adults in without too much trouble. Also discovered that the backseat was very, very roomy. Aside from other endeavors, I spent many hours sleepin' in the back of 'em, especially durin' school.
Truth be told, I had both of 'em well over 100mph many, many times. I had no fear of whippin' into corners, drivin' on bald tires, takin' chances every chance I could. I had no business livin' through my Crown Vic years.
Dug around and found some ol' pictures of the '88 from when my cousin Jordan and I took an epic roadtrip back in '06...
|Some tough-ass blockin' the view of a perfectly good car.|
|We had no fun on that trip whatsoever.|
I miss them ol' bitches.