My grandfather, Joseph Jerz, worked as a tool & die cutter for Ford. After he retired, he bought a new Ford car every few years, and passed his previous car along to my father. So I ended up with a lot of experience driving Fords, and for my first few years at Seton Hill, I drive a wonderful, huge, blue Crown Victoria.
The audio version of this story features hammering noises, which underscores the story’s core message about the mechanical soundness of the design.
This popular model is the victim of federal laws requiring auto makers to increase the average fuel efficiency of their overall sales.
What makes the Crown Vic and the Lincoln Town Car stand out is the way hey are built. It’s called body on frame — the body is separate from the rigid frame it’s mounted on, and the body is not integral to the structure.
Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst with IHS, says that old technology makes the Crown Victoria attractive to cops and cabbies alike, because if you dent the fender, for example, you can take the fender off, repair it and put it back.
“Or [you can] make repairs just to that panel,” Bragman explains. “Whereas in a unibody car, if you’re hit, sometimes you have to repair more than just the fender. A lot of people have [gone] to the collision shop and [found] out there’s damage behind the damage that has to be repaired. That’s different than a vehicle like a Crown Victoria.” —