Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last Ford Crown Victoria Ends Production

Last Ford Crown Victoria Ends Production

After a run of more than 30 years, the Crown Victoria - best known as Ford's durable, iconic police car - is retiring.

It marks an end for the era of big American cars with family-friendly bench seating and gearshifts on the steering column.

"They offer a glimpse into a bygone era of Detroit boulevardiers, with their front bench seats, soft suspensions and awkward, space-robbing proportions," Andrew Ganz, senior editor of the Web site , wrote of the Crown Vic.

Ford dealers stopped selling Crown Vics to consumers in 2008, but sales to police departments have been strong as Ford prepares to launch new police vehicles based on the Taurus large sedan and Explorer SUV.

Introduced as a police car in 1983, the Crown Vic was the top choice of law enforcement in 1996-2010. But the market has gotten more competitive, with the return of the Chevrolet Caprice police car and an improved Dodge Charger now on the market.

In the meantime, many police departments have decided to load up on the Crown Vic they know. Through the first seven months of the year, Crown Vic sales are up 64% to 35,203.

"We're kind of stocking up," said Sgt. Larry Poleski of the Grand Rapids Police Department, which bought about 28 Crown Vics earlier this year.

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