Ask The Best And Brightest: Panther Love For Beginners?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ask the best and brightest panther love for beginners

Dan Joseph writes in:

How do I choose which Panther to start with? The 2002 Grand Marquis I was looking at (and loving on) sold before I could make it to the car lot on Saturday. Now I’m struggling to decide between a 1996 Crown Vic and a 1991 Lincoln TC. There’s also a 2003 CV, plus a few CVPI units that tempt me. The main issue is a new baby (12 weeks) that has a car seat that pushes mama into a claustrophobic area in the back of her Saab 9-5. Wider car, here we come.

I’d go for an Interceptor… but then, I’m hardly TTAC’s Panther authority. So let’s hear it, Pantherphiles: how should Dan begin his very own love affair with the classic American rear-drive chassis?

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4 of 23 comments
  • MarcKyle64 MarcKyle64 on Nov 15, 2010

    I upgraded the A/C on my '73 Galaxie to R-134 with some supplies from my local auto parts store - I just recharged it every spring for the 4 years I had the car. I don't see why you couldn't do the same with a 93 or older Panther - just put a sticker near the a/c compressor that tells the tech that it's been upgraded.

  • Supremebrougham Supremebrougham on Nov 15, 2010

    Well here's a thought, how about a Crown Victoria LX with the Sport package??? As I recall it came with the better suspension, full leather, center console with floor shifter, aluminum wheels and body-colored grille. And chances are, if you can find one, it won't have a carriage roof glued to it...

  • V65magnafan1 V65magnafan1 on Nov 15, 2010

    Whichever Panther you choose, if it's from the early 2000's be sure that it has had the intake manifold replaced under warranty. The original plastic ones disintegrated. Don't ask me how I know. As I've repeated over and over, my P73 (non-cop) 2000 Crown Vic has been, overall, the best car I've ever owned--and I've owned many different cars since the mid sixties. Maintenance is inexpensive. Parts are cheap and plentiful. Repairs are relatively easy. Except for one of the spark plugs, it's easy to work on. Insurance will be cheap. No one steals them. However, if you live in any area that gets snow, you will want winter tires. Four of them. All my friends, and my son's friends are always gobsmacked at how competent and sure-footed the CV is on the road. The secret? Something like Triple-Treads--good tires. As for an Interceptor--a P71, DukeBoy knows of what he speaks. Take his advice.

  • Twinsonic Twinsonic on Nov 15, 2010

    If I had a choice between a 96 CVPI or a 03 or newer CVPI, I'll go for the 03 or newer version, due to the redesign of the rear suspension (moving shocks outside of the frame rails, upgraded Watts linkage and flush mounted wheel rims making the 03 more forgiving at the limit handing, whereas the 96 will oversteer earlier causing the rear end swaping ends with the front. 03's is also the only car that can withstand a 70mph rear end impact without fuel leakage. Some of the newer CVPIs have ballistic panels installed in the front doors to prevent handgun, shotgun, and some rifle rounds that can penatrate the interior. More horsepower - 250 vs. 210, Bigger tires, 16 inch vs. 15 inch. And for reliablility, I have seen the CVPI's in junkyards that have 350,000 to close to 500,000 miles on the odometer. The last year for the CVPI will be 2011 so you have some time to find one that you like. Good luck on your P71 search!