Ford Crown Victoria1955 - 2012
Category: USA / Australia
The Ford Crown Victoria (commonly nicknamed the Crown Vic) is a rear-wheel drive full-size car that was sold from the 1992 to the 2012 model years. Sold in two generations, it is the last of the rear-wheel drive Full-size Ford model line. Discontinued in the 2012 model year, its final incarnation had been in production since 1991 at Ford's St. Thomas Assembly plant. The Crown Victoria name (dropping its previous LTD prefix) was a reference to a two-door model sold in the North American market during the mid-1950s.
While the Crown Victoria shared the Ford Panther platform and major powertrain and suspension components with the Lincoln Town Car, it shared almost no exterior sheet metal or interior parts; conversely, it was nearly an identical twin of the Mercury Grand Marquis. The Crown Victoria (along with its Mercury and Lincoln counterparts) was the only full-frame rear-wheel-drive passenger sedan being built in North America. It was also among the last vehicles still in production with features such as the column-mounted gear shift and a two-bench, six-passenger seating layout; a format which was dominant for US-manufactured vehicles from the 1950s into the 1980s. Today, this format has largely been abandoned in favor of the two front-bucket layout; consequently. After the 1996 discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice, the Crown Victoria held a near-monopoly as a police pursuit vehicle in North America. While newer front-wheel drive platforms may have been popular among consumers, they did not challenge the Crown Victoria's dominance as a taxicab, fleet vehicle and police car where durability, cost and performance are valued over fuel efficiency. The Crown Victoria remained popular for these applications due to its rear-wheel drive layout and V8 powertrain, both beneficial to police driving techniques. As one of the few remaining passenger cars with body-on-frame construction, it was rugged and enabled repairs after minor accidents without the need to straighten the chassis – an important benefit for a car frequently used by police forces for PIT maneuvers.
As Ford began to phase the Crown Victoria out of the passenger car lineup, they originally promoted the Ford Five Hundred as its replacement, but as the Crown Victoria remained in production, it would outlive that model, which was replaced by the current generation of the Ford Taurus.
As early as 1999, the availability of the Crown Victoria became reduced. As Ford discontinued the Mercury brand in Canada, the Crown Victoria was relegated to fleet-only sales there as Ford dealerships adopted the Mercury Grand Marquis wearing Ford badging. After the 2007 model year, this version of the Grand Marquis was replaced by the new full-size Ford Taurus. From 2000 to 2011, the sole market outside of the United States for the Crown Victoria was the Middle East, largely Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In the early 2000s, Ford developed the Volvo-derived Five Hundred to replace the Crown Victoria in the retail marketplace. As Ford dominated the market for police cars and taxi vehicles at the time, Ford chose to continue the Crown Victoria for the purposes of securing fleet sales; retail customers still interested in full-size rear-wheel drive cars would be marketed towards Mercury and the Grand Marquis. Sales of the Crown Victoria to retail customers plummeted as a result; only 3,000 were sold in 2006 (outselling only the Ford GT, and only by 1000 cars). When the Five Hundred was updated and rechristened as the 2008 Ford Taurus, the decision was made to end retail sales of the Crown Victoria in the United States entirely. A year later, as part of The Way Forward, Ford announced the closure of the St. Thomas, Canada facility where the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis were assembled; production of the Lincoln Town Car had been relocated there as part of another factory closure. Production of all three cars would cease by the end of 2011; only the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor would have a direct replacement (a modified version of the Ford Taurus). With the end of production of the full-size rear wheel drive body-on-frame platform for the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS flagships for consumers. Ford is also promoting the Transit Connect Taxicab to replace the Crown Victoria for urban taxi cab usage. Some taxi operators have expressed concerns about replacing the roomy Crown Victoria with smaller, more compact vehicles, due to a "bumpier, more cramped ride" and "knee-bumping back seats and flimsier frames". For police pursuit use, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and the Ford Explorer interceptor to replace the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
All Crown Victorias built after August 31, 2011 are 2012 model year cars. For the 2012 model year the US government required that electronic stability control be fitted on all new cars. Ford did not add this feature to the Crown Victoria, so the 2012 model was not sold in the US and Canada.
On September 15, 2011, the final Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line. It was destined for export to Saudi Arabia.
Ford's discontinuation of the Panther platform cars led to the closure of the St. Thomas plant in Canada and the loss of over a thousand jobs, as well as job losses at suppliers in the USA.
While the car has been highly rated for safety, there was some controversy and lawsuits in the 1990s and 2000s over Ford Crown Victoria (and its Mercury and Lincoln counterparts) gas tank leaks after certain types of high speed impacts, specifically when being hit in the rear end at high speeds. These impacts did cause fuel tank failures in the Crown Victoria. The leaking fuel in combination with friction between the vehicle and the road was found to be the cause of fires.
The reports that the cars were more prone to fires during a rear collision was a simple combination of three things. First, most law enforcement agencies rely heavily on the Crown Victoria as their primary vehicle, meaning that any police-related auto accident is very likely to involve a Crown Victoria. Second, the accidents occurred as the result of the officers intentionally parking their vehicles close to active traffic to shield a stopped motorist - something most civilians would never do. Third, the impacting vehicle was often traveling at, or above, the posted legal limit (65 to 75 mph (105 to 121 km/h) in most jurisdictions).
The condition was exacerbated by police equipment installers drilling over the package tray in the luggage compartment. Due to the gas tank's orientation, drilling through the package tray may result in drilling into the gas tank. Installers also used screws set directly into the bulkhead and facing the fuel tank. In the event of a high-energy collision, these screws could be forced into the tank, both rupturing the tank and possibly acting as a spark source. Long bolts for mounting heavier equipment were also directly suspect. The manufacturer provided an aftermarket shield to help prevent these items from puncturing the tank during impact. Further, many investigations, both performed by federal/state agencies, and the police department themselves, have found that removable items in the trunk were improperly stowed. These items became tank-piercing projectiles during the rear-collision scenarios. Ford's second solution came in the form of a recall kit including patterns to mark unsafe areas (to drill) in the luggage compartment. Also included were rubberized kevlar and hard ballistic nylon shields for the differential cover lower shock bolts. They also included a kevlar-based trunk liner. Ford used similar kits on early-1980s model passenger vehicles. For 2005 and newer models, Ford offers an optional on-board fire-suppression system for the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor units. The system itself is integrated with the anti-lock braking system as part of the activation, and can be activated manually. However, Ford does cite several system limitations regarding fuel loss and impact speeds.
Despite numerous court cases charging Ford with partial liability for fires caused in accidents, the company has never been found liable in a Crown Victoria accident.
Notably, only the Ford Crown Victoria and new Ford police car have been certified for high speed rear impact collisions, adding credibility to Ford's statement that fiery crashes are a result of extreme and unfortunate situations.
Model years 1996 to 2001 inclusive, using an all-composite intake manifold, are subject to coolant leaks. Late in 2005 Ford settled a class action lawsuit.
|1990 Ford Crown Victoria LTD|
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|Ford Crown Victoria 1955 Ford|
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|1955 Ford Crown Victoria 1955 Ford|
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|1998 Ford Crown Victoria II|
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|Year||Engine code||Fuel||[ccm]||Cylinders||[kW]||[Nm]||No. of
|V8 4.6 OHC||gasoline||4 605||8 / Furcate||178 kW||389 Nm||16|
|Ford Crown Victoria||1955 Ford|