General Question

simone54's avatar

Why are cop cars and cabs usually Ford Crown Victorias?

Asked by simone54 (7629points) February 3rd, 2010

Does ford have some type of deal with the police and cabbies or are they just very convenient for them to be crown vics?

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13 Answers

Dog's avatar

They get fleet rates for the cars from Ford. (I think they also will modify the vehicles to the specifications of the department.)

(It is not always Ford. Different models and companies are out there. I think they put out a bid and the car companies send in offers.)

mrentropy's avatar

We get a lot of Dodge Charger cop cars around here.

Fred931's avatar

I don’t know why they still keep that deal, though. CV’s are awful cars with hardly any abilities, other than being able to generate a lot of antiquey body roll and make passengers uncomfortable and be quite noisy. Of course, the police probably modify the cars in ways other than inserting electronics, exterior parts, and paint… right? I know that I don’t know a lot about what the police are looking for in vehicles (or how much they pay for them), but I think there are plenty of better, even cheaper, cars out there that will suit the job well.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Donald Westlake included a line about cop cars in a novel from the 70s or early 80s, I think. At that time (and for the police he was talking about) the choice was the Plymouth Fury. He wrote to suggest that the police department in question had driven Furies since the model was introduced, moved up to the Fury II when it became available, were “now driving the Fury III… and were just waiting for the introduction of the Kill.”

wilma's avatar

They have to have a car that can have a big engine with a lot of horsepower, and be modified to their specifications. Several car company’s make models that can be built to suit their needs.

Snarp's avatar

I wonder, why exactly do they need so much horsepower? European police cars are much smaller than ours. I really wonder why the local University police need Dodge Chargers. Your entire patrol area/jurisdiction is a small, self contained area, how much horsepower do you need? Seems like handling would be more important. Maybe we need some big cars, but all?

It seems to me the only reason they have them is for the comfort of prisoners. OK, really for the comfort of the police. The Florida Highway Patrol has long had a mix of Crown Vics and Mustangs, and I remember there being some outcry about a new Mustang model, or changing to more Mustangs, because big cops would be uncomfortable in the cars.

jamcanfi74's avatar

They are fast to chace and catch people I guess

susanc's avatar

I’m tempted to wait till @Harp is published, but -
my first instinct is to say that a Crown Victoria looks impressive, like someone important is inside. Scares you into submission? in the case of taxis, scares the people outside the cab into submission?

Snarp's avatar

But they are definitely used as cabs because they have big trunks and big back seats without being too expensive.

Fred931's avatar

You make sense with the horsepower, but what about all the extra weight holding it back?

@susanc CV’s seem to repel me more than scare me. Eww…

Harp's avatar

The Crown Vic (which is no longer in production, BTW) had a lot of features that police departments liked. It was one of a dwindling number of cars that still used rear-wheel drive and body-on-frame construction. The RWD was less prone to damage when jumping curbs and medians, and the body-on-frame construction cost less to repair when the vehicle was involved in accidents. Once it got to be widely used, an additional factor kicked in: squad car accessories like radar mounts, passenger cages, etc. were manufactured especially for the Crown Vic, and so were easier to get and cheaper. Outfitting a squad almost doubles its base cost, so this matters.

laureth's avatar

I know that both of these uses for cars require extra large radiators, perhaps they make ‘em just right?

Fred931's avatar

@laureth I think the need for the XL radiators has been diminished somewhat by bullstops.

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