By on August 30, 2011

Panther lovers will be sad to hear that this, the last of the black-and-white Crown Vic Interceptors, has gone down the line according to the Ford St Thomas Assembly Plant’s Facebook page. The last Panther (reportedly a Town Car) is scheduled to be built on Monday, and the plant’s “about 1,500″ workers will be laid off on the 12th of September. If you know someone who loves the Panther chassis, please be sensitive to their needs in this difficult time. Remind them that there’s always the used market, and that someday their beloved brutes will tear ass across a post-apocalyptic landscape, and be known as “the last of the V8 Interceptors.This is going to be OK…

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88 Comments on “What Isn’t Wrong With This Picture: The Last Of The Panther Interceptors Edition...”


  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    These will be around for a while. Today you still see the occasional 1992-97 Crown Vic in police service.

    • 0 avatar
      John Fritz

      My daily driver is a ’94 Vic with 81K on the clock. It wasn’t hard to find. There’s plenty of good condition 1995-and-up Panthers on the road and will be for quite some time.

      Hell, if you wanted a ’68 Plymouth Fury III as your daily driver you wouldn’t have any trouble finding one in decent shape for reasonable money. They’re out there for sale too. Lots of them. Just as an example.

      Us Panther guys will be OK.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      Yes, gently used retail models are a dime a dozen, as are any number of vintage sedans. On Sunday evening I was talking to an elderly lady at church who drives a 1990 Caprice with just over 90k miles. I have a 1967 Ford Thunderbird sedan with 75,515 original miles.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Ed… 150 workers? Missed a zero dude.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Sheesh. Why didn’t they at least send the Panther out with the Coyote V-8?

    Or better yet, a Shelby Blown V-8

    http://tinyurl.com/madmaxbl

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I always wondered why Ford never stuffed some version of the 5.4 in the old barge. IIRC they managed to cram one into a late Fox-derivative Mustang, so it should have been theoretically possible.

      • 0 avatar
        WEGIV

        If we’re armchair quarterbacking engine choices, why didn’t they simply replace it with the 3 liter V6, or a turbo four and a 6-speed auto? 235hp is approaching underwhelming by four-cylinder standards, let alone V6s…

        And to answer the question in the byline? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with that picture. I know there’s a loyal panther following here, but let me be the first of the trolls to say “good riddance, long overdue.” I will say that I’m sad to see that Ford didn’t make a serious effort to replace or update it, and I like everyone else will have to reprogram my brain to recognize other police cars, but I seriously don’t understand why there is so much lamentation for the death of this underpowered, overweight, inefficient dinosaur of a car/platform, no matter how reliable it is in the face of the combined abuse of the law enforcement and livery community. And yes, I have ridden in/driven Panthers that were not LE/Livery… still hated them. I am not a Ford hater either, I own a Flex and am considering a Focus ST or a Fusion.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I would have been happy with the 3.7V6 out of the Mustang and the 6 speed auto that’s connected to it. (Or for something really wild, a diesel Panther!)

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Would the Powerstroke 4.5 V6 from the unloved Ford LCF fit?

      • 0 avatar
        RedStapler

        I’ll take my P71 with a 4.5L Powerstroke (aka International VT 275).

        I think they are fools for giving away the Police market to Mopar.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Redstapler –

        Ford hasn’t given up on the police market. The Taurus-based interceptor performed very well in the LAPD (or was it LA county Sheriff’s dept?) testing. I’m sure Ford will give up some of the police market to departments that prefer RWD vehicles. I wonder how much of the Panther’s popularity was due to the BOF design more than the RWD though. With the BOF cars it’s easy to toss them on a frame straightener to put them back into service after getting banged up. That can’t be done on the new Taurus, but it can’t be done on the new GM or Chrysler offerings either.

        The better fuel economy of the Taurus Interceptor combined with the familiarity of many police departments with their local Ford dealer could easily lead to a lot of departments migrating to the new interceptor as the path of least resistance.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Red Stapler, Around here the police depts are already abandoning the Mopars and are currently buying Tahoes. Another local PD was so disappointed in the Mopars they are rebuilding their Crown Vics. I know the guy who is responsible for purchasing all the vehicles for a local city. Shortly after they purchased the first batch of Mopars I said WTF are you buying those for? He said the Chrysler sales people told him that the would save them money vs the Crown Vics. Unfortunately that was far from the truth, the fuel bill went up and they were wrecking them right and left and since they are self insured it was a big expense. So for now he’s buying Tahoes, and hanging on to the CVs they still have until they can get the new Caprices.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        NulloModo-

        In the case of California departments, its RWD, not BOF. Most were Mopar-loyal (unibody) until Lido axed RWD sedans. Square Impalas, goofy-looking Caprice, and then the CV was bought when GM failed with police-package FWD Impalas. Today, Charger squads are all over the place. When snow falls up here in the mountains, out come the Expeditions and Tahoes. I dont see the CHP or high-altitude county sheriff’s departments going to AWD Taurus squads.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Put one in yourself; the engine mount points are compatible. In theory, anything from the Modular family should work with a little cajoling; I’ve seen one with the 6.8L V10.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        spoke to a mechanic who works in the Dade county PD garage and when I asked him he said the Dodges were “crap” he much preferred the CV’s. When I asked why one of the things he said were brakes and he knows they won’t be as durable.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        I have also heard police officers say that the brakes on the Charger do not last as long as those on the CVPI. At least the Charger’s brakes don’t catch on fire like the brakes on the old Intrepid police cars. One police chief I spoke to said his department would not buy Chargers because of all the problems they had with their Intrepids.

        The other common complaint about the Charger is that the interior packaging is not very good for a full-sized car. Compared to the CVPI the Charger’s trunk is small and its back seats are cramped.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Its a sad day indeed. If you get past the 1500 direct jobs gone,and another 1000? ripple effect, we have lost a great vehicle.

    Thats it no more full size RWD, BOF, live rear axle, cars.

    These are the cars I grew up with. Everybody drove them. Those that wanted more room,got a Station Wagon. There was no mini vans, okay maybe the VW bus, for the ecentric. Only farmers drove pick ups.

    Big Chevs, and Fords, and the Mopars were the common mans car.

    I think I feel old.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    “Remind them that there’s always the used market, and that someday their beloved brutes will tear ass across a post-apocalyptic landscape, and be known as “the last of the V8 Interceptors.” This is going to be OK…”

    Not to pick nits but what would be the last model year that would be able to withstand an EMP weapon with minimal damage? 1984?

    I’ve riden in a few Pathers but didn’t get to actually drive one till last week. 1999 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited, just about all the options except heated leather. It was a fairly boring “Arizona Desert Tan” (I know cause my F150 is that color) with a tan leather interior and chocolate brown dash. It was a local trade (I know cause the insurance paperwork from the 1st owner was still in the armrest) and had 63,000 miles on it. It screamed “garage queen” and had a few scratches that indicated “elderly owner with failing eyesight.”

    Those folks who complain about the Panther, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was a good honest American car, the steering was light but no worse than the 80s Caprices and Oldsmobiles I drove right after getting my licence in the 1990s. I liked the way the air suspension soaked up imperfections, I was able to find a supremely comfortable driving position due to “power everything.” It’s the first car I can remember driving since a late 80s B-body that felt relaxed and composed at 85mph on I40. Now I know why Baruth bought one. The 4.6 and 4-speed auto were smooth and relaxed, hardly seemed stressed out by a 34 year old that wanted to play, not cruise to the bridge club.

    The sightlines were good and it was easy to park, hell it felt smaller than the 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham I drove until 2000. Drawbacks? Yeah it needed a hell of a detailing and the drivers side mirror “wobbled” inside it’s housing at speed. Both easy fixes. You guys who say the Panther’s got no rear seat legroom have never been in the back of the Lincoln with it’s extra three inches of wheelbase.

    It’s been sitting on our local GMC/Buick dealers lot since March 2011, he told me he took it in trade on a Lucerne. If I was in the market for a car, I’d make him an offer. Good thing I know him well enough that I can talk to him about hunting me up a good one when I’m ready next summer.

    LONG LIVE BIG QUIET RWD BOF AMERICAN CARS! (Oh wait, that’s right, this is the last one.)

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      I think you’d need to go much earlier to pre-date electronic ignition.

      They don’t do V8 Falcon police cars here any more either, haven’t for a few years since the 4.0 inline 6cyl turbo has taken over. The only V8 available now is a supercharged Coyote so all hope is not lost, however it would cost too much.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No Panther is safe from an EMP, electronic ign came about in 74, 5 years before the first of the first gen Panther was born. If you are talking about EFI it depends on the version TCs got CFI in 80 but police spec versions had the carbed 5.8 on the options sheet until 91.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Absolutely hate to burst your bubble but every panther on earth would still work after an EMP hit simply by turning the car off and restarting it after the EMP passed. The ignition isn’t powered while off and Electro Magnetic Pulses are designed to scramble working electrical systems by overpowering them. So statistically most panthers would turn over just fine after the nuclear holocaust rained down.

      In most cases simple electrical shielding will do the job, the military has it equipped on most planes because the earth’s magnetic fields can cause EMPs.

      • 0 avatar
        Aqua225

        I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment.

        An EMP pulse, with current technology, would more than likely be provided by a high altitude nuclear detonation. This is not the same as ham radio transmitter blocking out your tv or crashing your computer.

        The pulse will be spread at very high power levels, all over the radio spectrum. Even the gold leads between the pins on a ball grid array package that are soldered to the silicon chip in the package could be induced to potentials of hundreds of volts. Never mind the circuit board wiring that has traces much longer than that.

        The damage will be done whether the system is powered or not. Transistors at the size of those found in just about any integrated circuit all suffer from low breakdown voltages… this is the voltage to perforate the metal oxide insulation layer between the gate and active conductor. Once perforated, that transistor is no longer functional. Basically, anything unshielded with a integrated circuit, even if not connected to any wiring in the vehicle, will be ruined.

        Now many ECMs are now encapsulated in a metal can, which can reduce the interference directly into the ECM circuits, however, they are wired — directly, I may add — to the car — power, sensors, etc. The potential on that wiring will exceed thousands of volts, and because of the amount of raw wattage dumped into them, and resonant effects at particular frequencies due to wire length and wave length at particular frequencies, not only will transistors be perforated in the ECM, but the wiring itself will more than likely be damaged (melting, fires, etc.).

        Yes, the military has shielding specifications for vehicles made for them. And yet, during desert combat, there were lots of radio failures from the static electricity that accumulated on antennas because of blowing sand & dust. Plus, that shielding adds great cost & weight. It’s not as simple as braided wire covering, simply because of the frequencies involved (basically RF equivalent of white noise at 200dB or better :)). You aren’t going to find this level of engineering on a stock Panther, and even if a lone man attempted to outfit such a system himself, what he’d end up with is something that would survive the 20/20 RF car disabling episode’s test (decades ago), but more than likely have nil chance of surviving a nuclear EMP weapon. It would be much cheaper and effective to determine the crucial components you will need to go tearing across the not-very-fruited-planes of apocalyptic USA, and store them under ground in a welded steel container (absolutely no gaps allowed — the chamber must be 100% sealed). Or, store a whole Panther. They are cheap used now from reports here, buy up a bunch, and seal’em up!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Not to pick nits but what would be the last model year that would be able to withstand an EMP weapon with minimal damage? 1984?”

    There was a book back in 1985 called “War Day” which dealt with the aftermath of a nuclear war. The main character found a 1975 Dodge that still ran!

    • 0 avatar
      TwoTone Loser

      Anything with good old point condenser ignition will work. The early transistorized ignition systems likely would not work right during a pulse but should regain full function after. Anything with a chip in it would be scrambled. Chips not in circuit with all the pins shorted together, say via stabbing them into aluminum foil, should re-direct all the danger outside the chip and not through it, but these would be old dual inline package and pin grid array. You can build a lot of stuff with those but reverse engineering a car PCM may be unreasonable.

      I’m sure there has to be something to consider with wires longer than certain lengths, but im not sure if EMP is helped or hindered by resonance.

      They still deal with EMP on space stations all the time. The on board computer systems use high-current chips that need more than a few volts difference to make a one or zero. I’d ask NASA what is up with that.

  • avatar
    TCragg

    I live in St. Thomas, five minutes from the plant. As Mikey mentioned, the loss of direct jobs is catastrophic enough, but along with Ford STAP, goes Lear Seating, the CN Rail Payne’s Subdivision, and numerous spin-off jobs. This in a town still reeling from Daimler’s closure of the Sterling Truck plant in 2009. St. Thomas is going to be a hard-luck town for a long time to come. But St. Thomas has risen from the ashes before, after the decline of the railways in the post-WWII period. We will persevere, but it won’t be easy.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      Good luck to you guys. Seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      DPerkins

      Yes, good luck to all the St.Thomas (and London area) folks affected by this closure.

      BTW, I don’t think that some of the local politicians have a clue how hard this closure will be felt. And the local media have had very little to say so far. “You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone”.

      • 0 avatar
        TCragg

        You’re absolutely right. Southwold Township, where the plant is located, derives something like 40% of its tax assessment from the Ford plant alone. How do they make up that shortfall? There are many Southwold resident who are going to be shocked to see their tax bills next year, or face substantial cuts to services. But I realize that this pain is being felt in communities all over North America. It just hits close to home here.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I know little of the business end of automobiles, so forgive me if this is too green a question: Why wasn’t this plant retrofitted to produce any of the new Ford vehicles? It pisses me off to see skilled labor and real manufacturing jobs just disappear into thin air.

      • 0 avatar
        DPerkins

        Ford’s position is that they still have over-capacity, some plants needed to be axed. And re-tooling the Crown Vic to meet new legislated standards (and replace aging tools and dies) is not justified at this point in time. So, this plant can go.

        I think that they are wrong, and many within Ford Canada think that they are wrong, only time will tell.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I think that they are wrong, and many within Ford Canada think that
        they are wrong, only time will tell.

        The problem with the Panther is that the very things that make it very well-suited to fleet use (old, commonly available parts, simple structure, coarse suspension and driveline components) are also the very things that need updating in order to bring it up to modern standards for safety and performance

        So you have a catch-22: if you change it, it’s no longer a Panther. It’s something like the Chrysler LX or GM Zeta cars, which are better in every way yet themselves are challenged to compete against front-drive midsizers in the mass market and might not sell to fleets who want TCO.

        This is why Ford is selling a police Taurus: sure it’s not as rough and ready as the Panther, but at least they can make it make sense in the big picture. I do wonder if perhaps a cop-spec Tahoe equivalent might not have been a better idea.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        Psar, all the rural RCMP I’ve seen around here are starting to replace the Vic with 3/4 ton GM Trucks and Tahoes.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The OPP seems to be doing the same.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    OK, I’ve never understood the Panther lovefest around here. I won’t miss them. I can accept your hate on this matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      It’s ok, I don’t hate. Different strokes for different folks. Just don’t hate on the fact that I love Top Gear USA. There I admitted it.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Speaking of TGUSA, which car was it that won the last challenge? A Panther with more miles on the clock than the challengers combined and one of those challengers had a “new” engine the other “superior” German engineering.

  • avatar

    NYC will be dominated by these cars for sometime, I think the yellow cabs will go away first since they are the most abused, then the police cars, the city handicap service cars and at the end, all those black town cars.
    I had such hard time to sell my 1992 Grand Marquis LS, every time I drove it (2005) it kept bothering me that it make no sense driving this car when gas prices went up, the fun was gone, I used to drive it all the way up to the end of Vermont from NYC, a 350 mile trip, it was a joy when gas was 1.50.
    Now I drive a Mazda3 hatch with half the engine, I love the Mazda but it’s a different love, there is nothing like these old American cars, V8 and RWD.
    And NO, I don’t like the 300, not even the Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      Until the NYC taxi authority makes cabbies ditch Panthers in favor of Nissan NVs and Ford TransitConnects. Disgusting. Yet ANOTHER reason for me to never go there, at least most of the Panther cabs are retired Interceptors with ballistic door panels…

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        Oh fer crying out loud get over yourself. You remind me of those guys that won’t come here because you can’t carry a concealed handgun.

        If you are “stuck” in NYC, take the subway or a bus like real New Yorkers. Taxis are a ripoff anyway. If that bothers you so much, maybe you’re not tough enough for the Big Apple.

      • 0 avatar

        acuraandy:
        Wrong, in NYC, all yellow cabs start life as new extended wheel base model. Police cars are different animal.
        The amount of miles they do does not allow you to start with an old car and in any case, you have to ditch a cab after 6 years from new if I’m not mistaken, that is the reason some Lexus RX350 drivers went crying to the TLC asking to extend their license for 2 more years.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Ford could have shown some more love for this platform.

    I get that the platform was basically just made for the commercial market, and that the Mercury Marauder was a failure. But I really think Ford SVT could have had a lot of fun with these and sold a lot of entry-level Crown Vics with a halo effect had they given it some patience.

    I love what this car represents, and LOVED the smooth and quiet ride, but at the end of the day, a soccer mom Honda Accord or Toyota Camry would absolutely smoke it at the drag strip, out handle it, and get better gas mileage to boot (they probably also had more rear leg room) If you’re going to have a V8 and rear wheel drive, you need to be able to back it up. Chrysler understood that with the 300c and Charger, Ford decided to starve it to death.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I think they totally missed the boat with the Marauder it really should have been the return of the Galaxie 500. The fact that the bean counters nixed the 4.10 gears didn’t help either.

      I have to disagree with an Accord or Camry smoking it at the drag strip, yes some of the v6s are quicker than some versions of the Panther. Handling there is no comparison if you are talking a HPP car the Panther will smoke the camcord through the turns. Gas mileage is also a wash and it depends on what models you are comparing, in the real world and by EPA estimates, in many years the Panther meets or beats the V6 versions in hwy MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Unless Hertz is getting some sort of special version of the Grand Marquis, I simply do not get how anyone could think that these cars have a “smooth and quiet ride”. Maybe you all are driving rattling ’80s heaps or something? Because every one of these cars that I have suffered through renting has had a nausea-inducing ride, and are anything BUT quiet. I just LOVE how they manage to make a car that shudders and bangs over small bumps while wallowing and pitching over the large ones. Lots and lots of wind-noise too, and if you get on the throttle at all the engine is not particularly quiet either. And steering with all the feel of a frisbee held at arms length.

      Dinosaurs went extinct for very good reasons, and these ancient crocks need a dirt-nap too.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        There are lots of different versions of the Panthers. Most of the rental GMs were the GS version which has a lot less sound insulation than the LS versions. There are also different suspensions and the rental cars don’t have the HPP suspension which eliminates the “wallowing” and it’s quicker less assisted steering is a dramatic difference. Im not familiar with this shuddering and banging on small bumps. Yes the Marauders and P71 front and p71 rear (if you don’t have 300lbs of equipment in the trunk) suspensions can be a little harsh sometimes.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Krhodes –

        I seem to remember you mentioning that you’re from the Bay Area, correct? Perhaps the multitudinous hills and roughly paved streets around San Fran give the Grand Marquis some hiccups, but on the long, flat, straight roads of FL the panthers do indeed ride smoothly, quietly, and effortlessly.

        There were different suspension setups available. The air springs were always a bit floatier than the coils or the optional sport suspension package, but at the same time absorbed bumps in the road like nothing else.

        Air spring Grand Marquis and Town Cars don’t ride like anything else on the road. The goal was total disconnection from the road below, and the cars performed admirably in that respect. That isn’t something that most buyers today are looking for, but if you get in expecting it, the car delivers on the promise.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        Nothing eats up potholes like the Lincoln Town Car suspension. Granted, it’s an air ride system which is not installed on the Crown Victoria.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        @max, yes CVs did have air suspension available, available as an option with the standard suspension and a stiffer set of bags standard for the HPP cars.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @NulloMondo

        Nope – I live outside Portland, Maine. But the last few places I have had Grand Marquis as rentals have been Lincoln, Nebraska, Rochester, NY, and Newark, NJ. That’s in the past six months. I average about 30 weeks of travel a year for work, usually 4-5 days per trip. I drive a LOT of rental cars.

        I guess at 42 I am simply too young to appreciate whatever it is that these tanks are supposed to provide. A Camry is an infinitely better vehicle, and I loath Camrys.

        Actually, the last time I was in the Bay Area, Hertz gave me a Corvette Convertible. Not my cup of tea, but fun for a week.

  • avatar
    erikhans

    My how sweet and caring you are to the Panther lovers…Now why don’t you guys spread some of the love and sensitivity around the next time a snarky Saab post is put up….Saabistas have feelings too.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    It will definitely as sad sad day when that last TC roles off the line.

    I sincerely wish they had spent the money they spent doubling the offerings and used some of the money on the rest of the body shell.

    At the end there were 4 different wheel bases. The CV and GM should have all went to the TC’s longer frame and floor pan and shortened up the front overhang to keep it the same or shorter overall length (there is near a foot between the rad and back side of the bumper reinforcement). The TC could have still been available in the L version. So they would still have only 2 wheel bases and floor pans and only 3 doors and roof stampings. Since the frame and body shell are structural I’m pretty sure that the cost of new front and rear ends would have been less.

    Don’t get me wrong I like the new coil over front suspension and stiffer hydroformed frame rails but the fact they put the same shell on it with the same basic front and rear end prevented pretty much everybody from knowing that the 2003 received that new frame.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      I recall how we did a major re-design for front-end chassis components on tnat car, and I too was unimpressed with the unremarkable body styling that ended up pn it.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    I also think the Ford shot themselves in the foot, at least with the police interceptor market.

    Witnessed my first 2011 Caprice PPV in action today in Maple Grove, MN; and being friends with a couple of police officers, let’s just say their chiefs WILL NOT be buying Tauruses…Ford just lost an entire market.

    For shame, blue oval, for shame. Might have to go get one now just out of spite…:)

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’m trying, guys, but aside from the lost jobs I just don’t see much to get upset about. These remind me of another archaic car I had the displeasure of owning–a 91 Olds Cutlass Ciera. Poorly packaged, nautical, manufactured well past its expiration date.

    If I wanted a quiet, smooth cruiser that eats up interstate miles and smooths out broken pavement, I’d walk right past any Panther and grab a Camry. It’s 20 years ahead and performs better in any objective measure I can think of. I’m sure it lacks the Panther charm, but I haven’t been able to figure out just what that charm is.

    It is interesting to me that the Crown Vic can get such a loyal following, while another cushy non-driver’s car like the Camry is universally abused.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The Panther is a drivers car, you can drive it, drive it and drive it some more. Meanwhile that Camry is back in the shop. Show me a Camry made in this century that has 350K and you’ll see a car that has had at least one engine and transmission replacement. Meanwhile a Panther with that many miles is still running on it’s original engine and likely the trans too.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Show me a claim that car X is dead reliable to 350K while car Y is a shop queen and I’ll show you a claim that is one part hyperbole, one part anecdotal, and one part skewed to make an argument.

        And if I don’t like anything about the way a car drives, performs, or looks, why would I want it to run to 350K?

      • 0 avatar
        WEGIV

        @Scoutdude, that’s the worst definition of a “driver’s car” I’ve ever heard. Panthers are the antithesis of a driver’s car.

        From MT on “best driver’s car”: “…a car that delivers a balance of useable performance, accessible handling, and driver-friendly design; a vehicle with a multidimensional personality that will delight and reward the enthusiast driver on any road at any time, regardless of weather and traffic conditions.” (http://www.motortrend.com/features/performance/112_0910_2009_best_drivers_car/viewall.html)

        And from Automobile mag: “…driver’s cars–cars that entertain above all else, cars that possess that elusive, almost ethereal quality: balance. Some are fast and expensive; some are slow and cheap. But they all have one thing in common. They’re great to drive.
        (http://www.automobilemag.com/features/lists/twenty_five_greatest_cars/0709_25_greatest_drivers_cars/index.html)

        I think it’s safe to say that the only people who have ever gotten pleasure while driving a (stock) Panther were doing something else pleasurable while driving.
        What you’ve defined is a Timex. Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Admirable, but certainly not fun.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        And I think “drive” is a generous term for what happens behind the wheel. Perhaps “pilot”, “navigate”, or “coax” would be more appropriate.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        @WEGIV, Per your quote, “Some are fast and expensive; some are slow and cheap. But they all have one thing in common. They’re great to drive.” The Panther does fall in the “slow and cheap” at least at the end of production, and they are enjoyable to drive particularly with the HPP. I derive a lot of pleasure from my Panthers, sure more so with the Marauder than the CV. Sure one of those pleasure is that I don’t have to touch it change the oil every year or 2 and the brakes and tires every 80K, otherwise it’s drive and drive and drive.

        @ 30-mile, No Hyperbole, that it’s just the cold hard facts, pretty much every other car on the road is just about used up when the Panther is just getting catching it’s stride.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        scoutdude,
        You love your vehicle and you know exactly why you love it and I have nothing but respect for that.

        I am curious, though, if you have any source or stats you could share for the “cold, hard facts” about the durability of this platform. I just don’t see many of these on the road in my area anymore. Maybe it’s neglect and abuse; poor treatment by the former owner of our used Civic certainly shortened its life.

      • 0 avatar
        LectroByte

        350k, maybe in taxi service, but even Priuses made 300k miles as taxis before having significant problems.

        http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1023454_toyota-prius-taxi-tops-340000mi-dispels-battery-myth

  • avatar
    ajla

    OK, I’ve never understood the Panther lovefest around here

    I’m sure it lacks the Panther charm, but I haven’t been able to figure out just what that charm is.

    Availability is good, aftermarket is decent, DIY is simple, insurance is cheap, finding parts is easy, electronics are minimal, initial purchase price is low, durability is good, V8 soundtrack, kitsch value is high, and it’s the last of its kind.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’ll admit those are all admirable reasons for liking a car. For owners who care little for how a vehicle drives and would rather have cheap, honest, basic, accessible A to B transportation they can fix themselves, the Panther probably is Nirvana.

      V8 soundtrack? Sure, but with 4-cylinder acceleration! :)

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    The Mayans said the world would end in 2012, well, the automotive world just ended in 2011.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    I live in Hamburg, New York, and I know some of the people who are losing their jobs at the stamping plant. This is not a good sign for our economically troubled community.

  • avatar

    Lots of work in the oil patch out here in Alberta-100k a year if you want to get your hands dirty…maybe it’s time for a fresh start.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Jim Sutherland…..I hear you. The CAW set up a job fair here in Oshawa a few years ago. As I recall it was pretty big turn out.

      Its good for the younger guys. The older guys get a pension. Its the 40 + guys with 15-20 years in, they get the crappy deal. Alberta is a long ways from home,but you do, what you got to do, eh?

  • avatar
    Giltibo

    Get over the Panther! It’s a platform that’s at best mediocre… and has not been substantially updated since 1978, back when we still had LTD IIs, horrible 93hp Mustang IIs and Pintos. We are in Goldarn 2011! The automobile industry has changed!!!

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Yeah! Consarn it anyways!

      Confound all you Panther-lovin’ folk, things so old them thar wheels are still square! You’re worse than the Flat Earth Society!

      Pshaw, dag-gumit!

  • avatar
    Smoglar

    “…last of the V8 interceptors..WOULD’VE BEEN A SHAME TO BLOW IT UP!”

    Well when I went to the bank in my 87 GMC Suburban (manual trans 4×4 2500) a few years ago, 2004 I believe, I came out to the otherwise nearly empty parking lot and made a startling observation. On the left was a V8 Volkswagen Tourag, as wide as my GMC, and probably higher HP. On the right was a Honda Ridgeline, longer than my GMC. The owners clearly wanted to demonstrate that they had thought about a US SUV/4×4 but chose foreign for their own reasons, or it was an odd show of respect. But just the fact that foreign car companies decided that they could outdo US automakers in designing and manufacturing the types of vehicles traditionally dominated by Detroit, and the US public would respond, spoke volumes about where the forward thinkers were in the auto industry. I concede I wouldn’t have bought the GMC if I didn’t know how to fix it when it had issues. But 277k miles later it is strong as can be. Will the VW or the Honda last that long with only a new starter and radiator? More importantly, will anyone care?


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