All the talk about the next-generation of US police cars has been about the battle between the Ford Taurus and the rebadged Holden Caprice.
Exactly how that ends up we will know more about next year when orders for new cars are placed.
But one thing is certain: the Ford Crown Victoria is on the way out.
America’s last traditional body-on-frame sedan can trace its roots back to the 30 year old Panther platform.
But the name goes back even further than that.
Over 50 years actually, to 1955, when the Crown Victoria was a two-door, six-seater coupe in the Fairlane range.
It featured a stainless steel band extending from the B-pillars and crossing over the car and “crowning” the roofline, hence the name.
But that model only lasted until the next year, and it was not until 1979 that the LTD Crown Victoria came back and revived the name and the crown.
Two famous Ford V8s were offered in the 70s LTD – the 302 and the 351 – the latter being a 5.8-litre unit that became popular with the police.
The current version, which has undergone numerous upgrades since its 1992 debut, is assembled at St Thomas in Ontario, Canada.
In 1999, the Crown Victoria officially adopted the Police Interceptor name, and since 2008 it has been available only for fleet sales as police cars, taxis and rental vehicles.
While not the most efficient car in its class, in terms of cost, durability and performance the rear-wheel drive V8 has been the dominant force among the police and the taxi ranks.
Its ultimate fate is still undecided, but judging by history the crown’s journey may be far from over.
And until a new iteration comes along, we’ll just have to watch repeats of Law & Order and Cops to get our dose of the Crown Victoria in all its American glory.
In another case of the old being replaced by the new, US police are continuing their roll out of “rumbler” sirens, with over 150 vehicles recently fitted with the new tech in New York.
Rumblers are works like a bass-heavy boombox, sending out vibrations through two subwoofers and an amplifier.
They emit a lower-pitched sound capable of cutting through traffic and create vibrations in vehicles and pedestrians.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the rumbler had a range of more than 50 metres and worked with five different siren sounds.
“It emits vibrations that can be felt, so drivers, even with their windows rolled up and stereos on, can be alerted to the approach of emergency vehicles.“It also gets the attention of pedestrians with headphones or iPods or who may be otherwise inattentive to conventional sirens,” he said.
Rumblers were first introduced in Washington in 2007 and will feature on the Crown Victoria’s replacement.
by Tim Beissmann