You haven't worked as long and hard as the Panther platform. Starting in 1978, Ford began cranking out cars on its full-size rear-wheel-drive platform, and it didn't stop doing so until 2011. Over the course of that run, the most prolifically produced machine was undoubtedly the Ford Crown Victoria. It was the go-to vehicle for taxi fleets and police departments, but it's since been replaced. In fact, the Nevada Highway Patrol has just had to retire its last remaining Crown Vic.
Members of the Nevada Highway Patrol spoke fondly of the Crown Vic. “It's bittersweet,” said trooper Jason Buratczuk. “I think it was made so iconic because of Cops TV."
Interim chief John O’Rourke noted that he had pushed a semi with his Crown Vic.
Stephen Kennedy, NHP’s garage manager, talked about the car's reliability. “It's very dependable. We could fix it very cheaply and quickly. So, there wasn't a lot of down time.”
Today, you'll find police department fleet lots filled with Dodge Chargers and Ford Police Interceptors based on the Explorer and Taurus. If you talk to police officers, you'll find that some of the taller officers like the Explorer while others prefer the driving dynamics of the Charger.
The NHP sees the advantages of the new cars. “We can take phone calls from dispatchers without having to pull over. And then when we initiate a traffic stop, we can initiate our lights right from the steering wheel,” explained Buratczuk.
Still, when you ask the average person to picture a police car, they're most likely going to picture a Crown Vic. It's iconic, and it served its role quite well. Being a full-size car, the Crown Vic offered up lots of usable space in the front seat, rear seat, and especially in the trunk. You could easily haul all of the gear necessary for the job, and easily fit the baddies in the back.
It wasn't as fuel efficient. It wasn't as fast. It had very outdated tech. But it remains the cop car. Dear Nevada Highway Patrol car, you're getting too old for this s*&t, and it's time for you to retire.