When I was about 11, I fell in love with the Chevrolet Caprice. It was what the cops used in the movies I used to watch, and they always got the bad guys.
I didn’t know about the existence of the Impala SS based off of the Caprice, or what an LT1 was. No, I knew one thing and one thing only: it represented the epitome of a proper American car. Big, V8 powered, smoke coming from the back tires, and most of all it was unique (Let us ignore the rebadging GM is known for), it still is. Quite like an old friend, if you see a Caprice on the road, you are going to recognize it.
In 1996, GM shot itself in the foot (Leaving space for more gunshot wounds just in case) and canceled it in the US. Australia, being proper men that have to survive the fact that potentially lethal animals are lurking all around them said “Screw that,”and made the Caprice the more sport oriented version of their own big V8-powered unique RWD car, the Statesman. I salute you for that move Australia. While the death in the US of the Caprice was very sad indeed, it also made way for the car I want to mention here: the Ford Crown Victoria.
There are many cars that can outcorner it, and many that can outrun it, but I challenge you to find a car that withstand the amount of torture the Crown Vic can handle. The 4.6L V8, the suspension and the body is reinforced to go through 24-hour shifts, to never be switched off between shifts, to survive skipped/skimped maintenance, to cruise up and down highways at the speed limit, burst out in pursuit of a car, then cruise again. They have to do that day in, day out, in all sorts of weather, and they have to do it safely and reliably.
Ironically, the Crown Vic is very popular in the Middle East, where it is not restricted to fleet sales. It now has Ford’s 3-bar chrome grille, and you can have a civilian long wheelbase version, which was never released in the US. If you want a more posh one, you can get a Mercury Grand Marquis. Want a more powerful one? Surely sir, the Mercury Marauders are this way.
Sadly, Ford will pull a GM in 2011 when they kill the Crown Vic in 2011. From then, it will be replaced with something else, possibly the Ford Falcon or Taurus. However, we have a worthy successor coming from the land down under, the Chevrolet Caprice.
Here’s to you Crown Victoria, may we enjoy you in the used car market for years to come.