As many of you know from having read my 1965 Impala Hell Project series, I spent many of my formative junkyard-prowling years in Southern California. San Francisco Bay Area junkyards, 400 miles to the north, are pretty good— you’ll find many mostly-rust-free examples of old British sports cars, interesting edge-case Italian machines, and ancient American steel up there— but the self-serve wrecking yards of Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties are so numerous and so vast that you’re guaranteed to find some great stuff. I spent a couple of days in Los Angeles last week, and here’s what I found at the very first junkyard I visited. (Read More…)
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…
You’re driving down the road at a spirited tempo when you see a big, black, tuned Taurus. No biggie, right?
Ford’s new Taurus-based Interceptor will be available with the 3.5 liter Duratec, or the twin-turbo Ecoboost engine. Front wheel drive is standard, and AWD will be an option. But then, if you got to use other people’s tax money to buy your work ride, would you really save the few bucks by not buying the 365 hp, AWD version? Of course not. You are the law! Libraries can always have bake sales. [via Jalopnik]
When Ford announced that it would be building an “all-new” Police Interceptor model, speculation was rampant. At the time, we noted:
GM went to Australia for their police-duty RWD platform, might Ford do the same with a Falcon-based interceptor? Or is this the prelude to Panther 2.0? Or, as common sense seems to dictate, is the Interceptor “all new” simply because there’s just never been an Interceptor based on this Taurus before? If Ford is really engineering a dedicated fleet vehicle for US production with no civilian counterpart, they’re as crazy as GM is.
Against all odds, common sense won out (damn you Alan Mulally!). The Detroit News reports that the new Interceptor will debut tomorrow, and that it will be based on the Taurus’ D3 platform. Which gives us less than 24 hours to speculate about which engines will be turning which wheels, and whether Ford and Chevy’s FWD-RWD cop car flip-flop will favor one automaker or the other. Oh yes, and mourn the eventual passing of the Panther platform, now that there’s no hope of a police duty-inspired update. Actually, some of us might need to take our time with that last one…
UPDATE: Bonus police-duty Taurus gallery!
Maybe Auto Bild missed the memo that police fleet Ford Crown Victorias have been called “Interceptor” since 1992. Either way, they’re arguing that Ford’s new “all-new Interceptor” should be a production version of 2006’s Ford Interceptor Concept. “With it the police’s new transportation would not only be more modern, but also properly cool,” they deadpan. “Ford has to assert itself to remain the dominant supplier of service vehicles. Starting with the Interceptor wouldn’t be bad: the concept looks cool. Next to it, the Crown Victoria looks like a real dinosaur,” is the sage conclusion. Not to mention a luxuriously spacious vehicle. Sorry guys, but short of the Interceptor’s influence on the Taurus (which will most likely underpin the “all new Interceptor”), this one sounds way too cool for reality.
GM surprised more than a few observers when it announced it would build a police-only Caprice model, based on the global RWD Chevy Lumina/ Holden Statesman. “Why build a fleet-only model and miss out on some private volume?” we asked at the time. Well, it looks like Ford’s about to do the same thing. A presser announces the development of a “purpose-built Police Interceptor specially designed and engineered to replace the Ford Crown Victoria law enforcement vehicle lineup in 2011.” Given that time table, “all new” is at least partial exaggeration (as it so often is). And it’s possible that this was motivated in part by the cool reaction to news of a possible Taurus-based Interceptor. GM went to Australia for their police-duty RWD platform, might Ford do the same with a Falcon-based interceptor? Or is this the prelude to Panther 2.0? Or, as common sense seems to dictate, is the Interceptor “all new” simply because there’s just never been an Interceptor based on this Taurus before? If Ford is really engineering a dedicated fleet vehicle for US production with no civilian counterpart, they’re as crazy as GM is. D3 it is.