Piston Slap: Mo Money, Mo ...Panther Love?
TTAC’s twitter friend, Ethan, writes:
You probably remember my original query but this indecision is compounded by my second problem: I love the aforementioned Volvo, but with 185K ticking past on the odometer, the steering rack and other things are letting go.
The two cars I am looking at to replace it are both 2002 Ford Crown Victorias (yeah I’m giving up a little Panther love) priced at $3500, one is loaded with all the options with 120k miles and upon visual and driving inspection is clean. The other Panther is a Police Interceptor that was owned by a local mechanic, is very clean (and it doesn’t have the searchlight on the drivers side door), but needs a little paint. Which of the two would you prefer? And what would you suggest would be good options to make it a better driving and handling ride? I know you give love to the Panthers so I’m sure you know more than me on what to do.
And a follow up: some people tend to be extremely bold with their slightly stinging words about my letter to you and Steve. I regret not including this in the letter, but I have worked very hard most of my young life just to have the cars I own now. No handouts. With me trying not to tell you how much money was left to me, I did pay my parents’ mortgage off, made a nice donation to each of my favorite charities, stayed in school, and made life better for others as I saw fit.
Only one person–other than you and your readers at TTAC–knows I have this money and I plan on keeping it that way.
This isn’t Jalopnik or Autoblog: TTAC solicits questions from our readers, and we get letters from real people back. Far from a perfect system, but we’ve expected respectable discourse from day one. While TTAC’s writers are guilty of baiting the conversation (insert sensationalistic media remark here) nobody’s really taken it to this extreme, until Ethan came along. Come on people, grow up.
Back to Panthers: while I love CVPI’s (i.e. cop cars), their interiors are too boring for most. The solution is doing significant interior/electronic swappage from a crusher-bound Panther. Awesome and worthwhile, but I suspect most are better with a civilian model, tricking it out with aftermarket performance bits: Bilstein shocks, Marauder sway bars, any number of aftermarket 17” wheels, a decent stereo and an SCT tune. So what’s the verdict?
Neither. Ethan should wait for a 2003-up model, or find one from the days of Dearborn’s honorable bean counting. The 2003+’s are so much better under the skin (hydroformed this, aluminum that, big brakes, etc) they might as well be a different platform, almost. And the pre-1998s are, quite frankly, a true Ford flagship in the Detroit tradition. If Eminem did a cheerleading bit for Super Bowl XXVI, the wind tunnel tuned, be-windowed and de-grilled silhouette of the 1992 Ford Crown Victoria would set the boob-tube on fire. Even today, it makes way more sense than that star crossed, aesthetically challenged Chrysler 200.
Because, when you import something from Detroit, you indirectly endorse Panther Love.
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