Monday, March 15, 2010

Classic Car Profile - Ford Crown Victoria

When it comes to classic American cars, the Ford name ranks right at the top. From the earliest days of the Model T to the on again, off again love affair with the Crown Victoria, this company has often set the bar others seek to attain. The Crown Vic as it is often called was originally produced in 1955 and 1956. Original Crown Vics are quite a boon to come across since production ceased so quickly on the models. Collectors, in fact, will find it is not uncommon for good condition 1955 Crown Victoria models to fetch $30,000 to $100,000 or more.

Classic Car Profile - Ford Crown VictoriaInitially a coupe with two doors and six seats, the classic was distinguished from the regular Victoria in the Ford line by a decorative stainless steel band that ran along the roofline. This feature essentially gave the roof a crowned appearance. The full-sized car also featured a sweeping design with rounded lights and the perfect body embellishments to make a two-toned paint job look fantastic. This V8 beauty was a follow up to the Ford LTD in production. Just like the LTD, the Crown Victoria was and continues to be favored as a police car and fleet vehicle.

Classic Car Profile - Ford Crown VictoriaAlthough the original rear-wheel drive Crown Victoria models were appreciated by some, especially those building fleets, the model did not initially sell well. Sluggish sales, in fact, led Ford to shelve the model for a time. It did not reappear on the market until 1979. At this point, Ford introduced the LTD Crown Victoria. This four-door design was shorter and less bulky than the original version. The changes resulted in improved handling, ride and fuel economy. The LTD version came with two engine types, a 255 CID V8 and a 302 V8. Most models made between 1979 and 1980 were three speeds with an automatic transition. An AOD four-speed was an option that was made available.

Classic Car Profile - Ford Crown Victoria
Classic Car Profile - Ford Crown Victoria The reintroduction of the Crown Victoria paid off for Ford with sales and production continued. In the 1980s, the LTD Crown Victoria was a hit with both law enforcement and civilians. Ford, in fact, began producing two versions by 1983. Models for the general public offered a fuel-injected V8. The police version boasted a 5.8 liter V8 with a Variable Venturi carburetor. During the 1980s, a number of alterations were also made to the Crown Vic design. In 1983, for example, central fuel injection was introduced. By 1986, this had been replaced by a sequential fuel injection system that was electronic.

The success of the reintroduced Crown Victoria line has led to production of this design since the late 1970s. Although many changes have occurred through the years, the model continues to be one of top in the Ford line for luxury combined with speed and handling. The 1990s did see a break off of the police version of the car. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was officially introduced in 1999.

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