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FWF,

I've read the threads on here, I've done a search on the ford crown vic on the forum and on google. I'm ready to buy a car, and have considered several makes and models before settling on buying a crown vic for myself. I had been trying to convince the girlfriend that while it's not great on gas mileage, that is just one component of the cost of a vehicle. I pointed out that almost every cab in our city is ford crown vic. I was finally able to convince the girlfriend today when we took a cab and I asked the cabbie: "Is this a ford crown vic? How many miles does it have on it?" "Yes, 277,000. All I do is change the oil every 3 months, and you can move your entire house in the trunk in 3 trips."

So now that I'm ready to buy the FWF car of choice. What crown vic buying advice do you have for me?

The best guides I've found are by drcop2u on eBay, but a large portion of the advice applies to any used vehicle. Anything to look for other than a clean title?

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Cop shocks, cop tires...

Just PM Delzy!

kamalktk said:   Cop shocks, cop tires...

And a half pack of cigarettes

A Crown Vic is only the FW car of choice if it's a retired police cruiser.

Been there, done that. Had two Crown Vic police cruisers. Sure the cars were still going strong at 200k miles, but I had them by the mechanics shop almost every other week for as long as I owned them. Put in over 3 grand a year in repairs. Got myself a toyota and had one repair in 4 years. 150k miles and its a pleasure. Sure the lane in front of me doesn't clear out and I get cut off in traffic once again, but I am never going back to a Crown Vic.

The former cop cars are good to drive a few months and flip for profit, I would not keep one long term

You don't have to get the police model, civilian models of the Vic and grand Marquis are generally driven by old ladies very gingerly. You can also get a nicer interior with leather etc. Just don't but a Former rental car.

One thing not mentioned in the eBay guide is that there is a big problem with fords white paint on the cop cars- it tends to come off in large chunks. Other colors do not seem to have this problem.

I thought the whole Crown Vic thing was a joke.

Gas is going to be $5 soon.

Just sayin.

You have to buy them at municipal auctions from city/county/state. You get them for about $1200. Give them a little elbow grease cleaning and you have a good ride for another 30k miles. Then you sell it for $1800 or more. i usually give mine a new set of plugs as a practice. I'd make a phone call to the nearby sheriffs and police stations asking how they get rid of them.

fasttimes said:   kamalktk said:   Cop shocks, cop tires...

And a half pack of cigarettes



And an empty box of donuts

And you can do this with it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtmpYMLumUI

ColbyS said:   I thought the whole Crown Vic thing was a joke.

Gas is going to be $5 soon.

Just sayin.

It's not a joke. It's one of the cheapest, safest , roomiest, and most reliable cars ever made. It's also rear wheel drive built on a full frame, so it can tow.

And it will get 25mpg highway which isn't much worse than many imports. And better than almost ANY import SUV or sports car. My friends g35 gets 18mpg overall and a crown Vic can do better.


No it will not impress enthusiasts or snobs. But it's one of the best overall used car values.

Another standout for reliability and economy is any GM car with the 3800v6 engine. These get 30+ mpg so the fuel economy argument is a fallacy - these full size family haulers get better mpg than an econobox, while in roomy, leather lined comfort

delzy said:   You have to buy them at municipal auctions from city/county/state. You get them for about $1200. Give them a little elbow grease cleaning and you have a good ride for another 30k miles. Then you sell it for $1800 or more. i usually give mine a new set of plugs as a practice. I'd make a phone call to the nearby sheriffs and police stations asking how they get rid of them.

Thanks, delzy. I'm in Washington, DC. I don't think I'm going to want a used DC Metro PD vehicle (they auction via liquidation.com and require more than a little elbow grease). The fed is another option, and they tend to use Manheim to auction their vehicles. These auctions are the only Manheim auctions open to the public (http://www.manheimgovservices.com/). It would be nice if I could get a used US Park Police Vehicle or US Capitol Police Vehicle. I'll keep looking.

I stumbled upon a website by accident while researching a used car the other day. For the curious, it was similar to this: Policecarauctions

firsttimelongtime said:   fasttimes said:   kamalktk said:   Cop shocks, cop tires...

And a half pack of cigarettes



And an empty box of donuts
no! A full tank of gas. Geez.

Early 2000 and later Buick LeSabre is better and will get 29-30 Mpg Hwy for most drivers. I gave $2800 for my 2002 with 78,000 miles and average 28 City and Highway. These and Regal are arguably best vehicle GM ever made. I grew up in extended Ford family and owned 2009 Crown Vic and Lincoln, a Lexus, Three Toyotas all costing much more and purchased new or with less than 30.000 miles. I would rather drive this older LeSabre than any of them. I do minimal maintenance myself. In 81,000 miles only fluids, new belt set and set of new top end Toyos same as Taxi companies prefer.

elektronic said:   Thanks, delzy. I'm in Washington, DC. I don't think I'm going to want a used DC Metro PD vehicle (they auction via liquidation.com and require more than a little elbow grease). The fed is another option, and they tend to use Manheim to auction their vehicles. These auctions are the only Manheim auctions open to the public (http://www.manheimgovservices.com/). It would be nice if I could get a used US Park Police Vehicle or US Capitol Police Vehicle. I'll keep looking.

How do the prices for retired Crown Vics in DC/New York/etc compare to the prices in not-so-urban areas? Seeing how DC is full of taxicabs (and Crown Vics are generally their car of choice), there's probably a lot more demand compared to smaller and more car-centric cities...although in either case there are a good number of them being sold. I could be wrong, though.

scottxmso said:   elektronic said:   Thanks, delzy. I'm in Washington, DC. I don't think I'm going to want a used DC Metro PD vehicle (they auction via liquidation.com and require more than a little elbow grease). The fed is another option, and they tend to use Manheim to auction their vehicles. These auctions are the only Manheim auctions open to the public (http://www.manheimgovservices.com/). It would be nice if I could get a used US Park Police Vehicle or US Capitol Police Vehicle. I'll keep looking.

How do the prices for retired Crown Vics in DC/New York/etc compare to the prices in not-so-urban areas? Seeing how DC is full of taxicabs (and Crown Vics are generally their car of choice), there's probably a lot more demand compared to smaller and more car-centric cities...although in either case there are a good number of them being sold. I could be wrong, though.
You are exactly correct. Where there are a lot of cabs, you can't get them cheap. You need to go to rural sheriffs sales for the very best deals. Next is city auctions in the flyover states. It's really hard to find a crumb when you are in the center of the ant hill. I know a lot of you are pretty far from what most would seriously consider the country, but if you go to hicksville county's abandoned and surplus vehicle auction, they're practically giving them away. Hear them run, check the a/c, pull the codes and raise your bidder's paddle. I know I make it sound easier than it really is, but you have to work the phone to find the counties where they are required by charter or board to liquidate via auction. Lots of counties just trade them in when they place orders for new cars.

My local auction gets a bunch of fleet crown vice and grand Marquis ...about half have leather but they sell for 2-3x the cop cars.

I'd say about half the ones with white paint have the peeling issue, so stay away from white if possible

We have owned two civilian grand marquis...put 120k miles on one we paid $3000 for and flipped one we paid $800 for....two of the best cars ever.

scottxmso said:   
How do the prices for retired Crown Vics in DC/New York/etc compare to the prices in not-so-urban areas? Seeing how DC is full of taxicabs (and Crown Vics are generally their car of choice), there's probably a lot more demand compared to smaller and more car-centric cities...although in either case there are a good number of them being sold. I could be wrong, though.


It depends. In New York the taxicabs are regulated, so they are all brand new fleet vehicles when they enter service. In DC the taxicabs are unregulated. I've been driven in everything from a 1983 stationwagon to a late model lincoln towncar in the last 3 years.

Ibelieve the new York city cabs are a special extended version of the crown Vic , using the livery frame from the towncar L series extended model which gives 6 inches additional rear legroom

http://www.nyctaxiphoto.com/p/taxicab-models-today.html

foche911 said:   Early 2000 and later Buick LeSabre is better and will get 29-30 Mpg Hwy for most drivers. I gave $2800 for my 2002 with 78,000 miles and average 28 City and Highway. These and Regal are arguably best vehicle GM ever made.

One great thing about used Buicks is that they're generally bought by old people (not a stereotype, I believe the average Buick purchaser's age is 70) who treat them fairly gently.

ppatin said:   foche911 said:   Early 2000 and later Buick LeSabre is better and will get 29-30 Mpg Hwy for most drivers. I gave $2800 for my 2002 with 78,000 miles and average 28 City and Highway. These and Regal are arguably best vehicle GM ever made.

One great thing about used Buicks is that they're generally bought by old people (not a stereotype, I believe the average Buick purchaser's age is 70) who treat them fairly gently.


lol.. 99% of the time this is true. Then they came out with something called a 2010 LaCrosse.... I have a friend about 27 who's practically drooling over wanting to get one. I'm 30. When he said he wanted a buick i was like huh???? a buick? really? then i saw it.. lol. that's a bad ass car!! lol if it had no branding badges and you had never seen it b4 you'd deff guess it was foreign, looks like something lexus would make to me..

WantTheBest said:   ppatin said:   foche911 said:   Early 2000 and later Buick LeSabre is better and will get 29-30 Mpg Hwy for most drivers. I gave $2800 for my 2002 with 78,000 miles and average 28 City and Highway. These and Regal are arguably best vehicle GM ever made.

One great thing about used Buicks is that they're generally bought by old people (not a stereotype, I believe the average Buick purchaser's age is 70) who treat them fairly gently.


lol.. 99% of the time this is true. Then they came out with something called a 2010 LaCrosse.... I have a friend about 27 who's practically drooling over wanting to get one. I'm 30. When he said he wanted a buick i was like huh???? a buick? really? then i saw it.. lol. that's a bad ass car!! lol if it had no branding badges and you had never seen it b4 you'd deff guess it was foreign, looks like something lexus would make to me..
I didn't mention I have two Porsches. The LeSabre is my best buy ever and covers ground just fine. More power than needed.

If you get one make sure and keep the cop spotlight on the drivers door- for autheticity sake. Then just cruise around and watch all the other drivers brake in horror and move over out of 'respect' for the law- something a 100k mercedes wont get you.

I had a friend who had a white crown vic or something like that. Looked just like an unmarked cop car. He could make record time on the interstate and never got a ticket (or so he claims).

wp746911 said:   If you get one make sure and keep the cop spotlight on the drivers door- for autheticity sake. Then just cruise around and watch all the other drivers brake in horror and move over out of 'respect' for the law- something a 100k mercedes wont get you.

I had a friend who had a white crown vic or something like that. Looked just like an unmarked cop car. He could make record time on the interstate and never got a ticket (or so he claims).
The spotlight goes through the a-pillar, but you are very accurate in describing how everyone yields and gets out of the way. When you pull up to a 4-way stop, it's sometimes a pain because people who have the right of way will sit and wait for you. I think it's a very deep psychological nature to worship authority in such ways. Not everyone does it, but if you fly up on someone's tail in the left lane, 4 out of 5 times they'll show their blinker even if the right lane is jammed.

SIS mentioned the white paint problem. This happens on almost every car I buy. I just chip off as much as I can and paint it with Rustoleum oil-based gloss white using a small roller. If I want to do a really nice job, I use a cheap Harbor Freight air brush with thinned rustoleum.

My first NEW car was a Crown Vic, $19,000 right out of college. I went with my dad to buy it and the salesman thought I was jerking him around so my dad could get the college grad discount. That was in 1998. A few years ago I sold it with 250,000 miles for $2000. It didn't owe me a dime.

The CV is a different car that's not going to appeal to most drivers. If you want to feel like you're driving your living room sofa down the road, the Toyota or Buick or Honda isn't going to do it for you. I have a Saab now and I soooo miss my Vic!

That said, it was a very basic (read: dated) car back in 1998 and hasn't changed at all since. That's a LONG TIME to stand still in the auto world. I totally understand why the car has a following (not all cop-wannabees) but I'm not sure I'd buy another. There are a lot better/safer/more economical cars out there even for those who like the CV. Maybe if I could get a gently used 2008ish MGM for $5k that didn't look very geriatric I'd consider it.

Also, I would advise *against* buying a used cruiser or fleet model since they see much harder service than a civilian car. Unless you know what to look for and can do maintenance yourself, you're probably buying a car that will spend time in the shop.

And the gas mileage isn't as bad as people say. It's no econobox, but the big V8 engine doesn't work very hard like it does in an SUV. I had a heavy foot and would get 20mpg in mixed driving. On a 30-day cross country trip (all highway, lots of mountains though) we got almost 30mpg.

Check out the forums at www.crownvic.net as these cars have tons of loyal followers. You'll get a lot of good advice there, especially what to look for when buying.

One more thing... it's a mixed blessing to drive. Yes, people get out of your way on the highway BUT they also tend to slow down on 2-lane roads!

JimR1998 said:   My first NEW car was a Crown Vic, $19,000 right out of college.

Jeez, man, what a dream!
My new car out of grad school would be VW GTI

I drive a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis.

Reasons to drive a Crown Vic (or G Marquis, or Town Car):
-outstanding safety, 5 out of 5 stars in all 5 categories
-cheap labor, cheap parts, easy to repair, won't need to be repaired if maintained
-can hold 6 people
-my grand marquis has 3 child safety seat locks in the back
-can tow
-GREAT value (Grand Marquis depreciates quicky - get one afterwards)
-ultimate road-trip machine

Concerns:
-gas (but not as bad as you would think)
-harder to drive in snow

I don't own a Crown Vic, but I do own a Caprice Classic that rolls a LT1 (Corvette V8 engine). Fixed the tranny and never had a problem since 1996.

its dark and we're wearing sunglasses

ppatin said:   foche911 said:   Early 2000 and later Buick LeSabre is better and will get 29-30 Mpg Hwy for most drivers. I gave $2800 for my 2002 with 78,000 miles and average 28 City and Highway. These and Regal are arguably best vehicle GM ever made.

One great thing about used Buicks is that they're generally bought by old people (not a stereotype, I believe the average Buick purchaser's age is 70) who treat them fairly gently.


Another concern is that the car thieves like the older Buicks too. Easy to hot wire?

delzy said:   wp746911 said:   The spotlight goes through the a-pillar, but you are very accurate in describing how everyone yields and gets out of the way. When you pull up to a 4-way stop, it's sometimes a pain because people who have the right of way will sit and wait for you. I think it's a very deep psychological nature to worship authority in such ways.

I think most people just don't want the hassle of dealing with the average police, no "worship" involved.

kelle1202 said:   its dark and we're wearing sunglasses
106 miles to chicago...

Buy a civilian version with 2.71 gear ratio in the back so you get better gas mileage... Local cops do beat the crap out of their cars. Highway patrol cars are probably better.

I drove a Grand Marquis and I got 27-28mpg on the freeway.

TTAC
Go to this website and read their "Panther Appreciation" posts. You will learn all you need to!

BlueEr03 said:   TTAC
Go to this website and read their "Panther Appreciation" posts. You will learn all you need to!
Invalid link. I also suggest crownvic.net

I have owned a Crown Vic as a daily driver since 1997 (just about to get rid of it this month). I bought it as a five year old used card (1993 model built in 12/1992) for $8500. It was the second year of the new body style that was used until manufacturing was discontuined. I took it from 62k to 187k miles. It was a loaded for the time LX with the HPP (higher performance package). Pros, great ride, decent handling with the HPP, huge trunk, safe, interior space decent but not as good as you would expect for this size car, particularly the back seat. It was fairly cheap to operate. Insurance is very low because you will be one of the 2% of drivers under the age of 50 driving one (except cabbies and cops).

My 1993 was reliable to a point. I think the later ones were better. But I did have to do a few major repairs in the time I had it. The transmission required a $1000 repair arond 110k miles (known issue with early vics), I had to spend $1500 to have the valve seals replaced at 140k (could have done it myself but was lazy). Other repairs that I mostly did myself, alternator (175k), entire AC system other than evaperator at 165k (did this myself and it still cost me $750), rusted out brake lines, power windows (more times than I care to count), replaced the stereo head unit twice (bought cheap junkyard pulls on eBay), EGR valve and tube (110k, tube is know to crack and leak on earlier vics). It sounds like a lot but all in all spread out of 13 years not too shabby. That said my wife 2000 Taurus Wagon with 152k miles on it, has been MUCH more reliable. How a 2000 or later Vic would be I don't know but I assume more reliable. Many of the problems I had were unique to the earler years, other than the electric windows which Ford should be ashamed of. I went through three power windoow repairs on the driver's window and all the other windows failed at least once. I am getting rid of it now because the clearcoat has totally failed, the air suspension has a leak and the driver's window has failed for the 4th time and the air bag light is now on for a faulty clock spring in the streering wheel. The latter two issues would not let me pass the state safety inspection.

Personally I'd really look closely at the numbers. I think if you can get a cheap vic then it will make up for the, at best fair gas mileage you will get. I averaged 19 in mixed driving, but then my car was 18 years old though it was about 300-400 pounds lighter than later Vics. Predicting fuel prices is probably a fools errand but with millions of Chinese and Indian's starting to drive I think they are more likely to rise than fall. That wouldn't eliminate a Vic from consideration but it would give me pause for thought.

Oh and as has already been mentioned the Vic is sooo easy to work on. Lots of space and simple for a modern car. Even if you don't do your own work it will be reflected in the labor you pay.

Skipping 9 Messages...
nycll said:   firsttimelongtime said:   fasttimes said:   kamalktk said:   Cop shocks, cop tires...

And a half pack of cigarettes



And an empty box of donuts
no! A full tank of gas. Geez.


FIX THE CIGARETTE LIGHTER



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