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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The Last Crown Victoria

Posted September 28, 2011 10:00 AM by dstrohl

Marking the end of an era that stretches back virtually to the dawn of the motorcar in America, the last body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive sedan from an American car company rolled off the line last week in Ontario, Canada.

Workers from the St. Thomas Assembly Plant documented the last Crown Victoria produced on September 15 on their Facebook page. Although sales to retail consumers in the United States stopped with the 2008 model year, fleet sales continued to police departments and taxi companies, both of which value the cars for their rugged durability.

Ford introduced the Panther platform in 1979 with the LTD, which later became LTD Crown Victoria and later just Crown Victoria. The redesigned Mercury Marquis debuted the same year and Lincoln models followed for 1980. All Panthers had V-8 engines, varying over the years with different displacements and valvetrain layouts, with the last car equipped with a 4.6-liter overhead-camshaft V-8. The Crown Victoria name itself dates back to 1955, when it was first applied to the hardtop top-of-the-line version of the Fairlane.

Previously, the last Grand Marquis rolled off the line on January 4 of this year and the last Town Car met a similar fate more recently on August 29. As well as marking the end of the body-on-frame sedan for American manufacturers, the end of the Panther platform also marks the last American rear-wheel-drive sedan with six-passenger bench seating.

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Re: The Last Crown Victoria

09/28/2011 10:10 AM

Ah, the Vicki.

Big, comfortable, affordable... an all around nice car.

This car got a recent plug here at CR4.

But in the world today, it is a dinosaur. Too big and not so affordable. Gas guzzler, some will say.

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Re: The Last Crown Victoria

09/29/2011 2:36 AM

Gas guzzler. Not that bad. I regularly get 26 on trips with the air on and plenty of leg room, length and width. Kick it down and there's plenty of power when you need it. Two and a half body trunk and it can take a class three hitch. Ten foot 2 x 4's fit through the passengers window with ease. Try that in a Prius. I needed a rear bumper for my "85 Olds (24 mpg) and found one in a junk yard in New Jersey on my way to Atlantic City. Layed back the passengers seat back and the whole thing fit inside. Even the junk yard guys were amazed. About 75K on it and only had one coil and the odometer fail so far. New instrument clusters (the whole thing has to be replaced since they plastic weld it together) are $350 so I've been hunting yards for one with appropriate mileage.

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Re: The Last Crown Victoria

10/01/2011 11:15 AM

Yep. I had a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis with the 4.6 V8 and before I gutted and modified the emissions systems it too would pull consistent mid and upper 20's MPG numbers even when running on the interstate at 75+ MPH all day long with a loaded trunk and back seat!

After the emissions gutting it would dip into the low 30's on the same trips even with my typical moderately aggressive driving style. I also loved the fact it could easily pull 5000 pounds and handle it well on the road. But I did I add an oversized transmission cooler though when I put the hitch on it.

I always wonder what one of those would do with the heads milled for 12:1 compression, an off road non emissions cam, and a propane conversion.

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