By on November 24, 2014

lincoln town car limo. Shutterstock user Nadezda Murmakova

TTAC Commentator Nick 2012 writes:

Archangel of the Panther Platform –

A nice looking 2005 LWB Lincoln Town Car with only 107,000mi popped up for sale at a nearby dealer with a what-I-hope-to-be-optimistic $8,000 asking price. As any follower of the good book of fat Panther Love(tm), I keep my eye out for a good one on the local boards.

I took a new position a while back that has me commuting about 65mi a day – about 90% interstate. Going from my comfortable, competent Accord to the extremely comfortable TC would cost me about $10/week in increased fuel costs if I exclusively used the TC (which I wouldn’t do).

For a number of reasons – weekend trips to the lake, grandparents needing a real car with room for car seats, traveling to-from LeMons build sessions, conveying gravitas and refined taste when showing up at friends’ houses, hoonage, and taking stress of the DD Accord that is accumulating mileage like a space shuttle, a third car would be a nice thing to have, even though I’m aware it is probably cheaper to just run the Accord into the earth.

But I miss the cult of Panther and secretly want one and all the fun parts my kids and I could bolt on it. Also, my folks would probably use it somewhat regularly. In my first ‘third car’ experience, they were happy to informally allocate running costs as they used it a lot more than they thought. My Dad’s Focus just isn’t the kind of freeway ride he wants at his age, so I think he’d secretly be rooting for this purchase.  Long term, it might be an appropriate car hauler or cart hauler if Jr is interested in such things.

The LWB is more than I planned to spend for a third car, but not an unreasonable amount. LWB models with well in excess of 300,000 miles seem to go for no less than $4000-5000 on eBay. As long as its not wrecked, I’m figuring that the thing wouldn’t depreciate much if kept in good shape.

Which leads me to my questions:

– Am I self rationalizing about the depreciation and would it be better to scoop up a Marquis/Vic/regular Town Car when one hits the sweet spot for me for less than half the price?
– How much better are the 2003s than the earlier models?
– Does the LWB body bring any special challenges or limit tasteful aftermarket modification?

– anything to look out for with these?

I think the dealer is selling this through the wrong channel and I’m hopeful it’s going to not attract a lot of foot traffic at a retail car dealer.

Sajeev answers:

Well this archangel certainly thinks the LWB Town Car (black on black, if possible) is totally the way to rise up the ranks in the cult of Panther Love. But since most of our readers are of the boring “ZOMG Panthers are horrible” crowd, let’s keep it brief. To your questions:

Am I self rationalizing about the depreciation? : It’s a safe bet that LWB Town Cars (and Marauders) with good paint/interiors will hold their value well.  Not true for other Panthers, but it is The Great American Sedan: even for GM guys looking for a newer ride.

How much better are the 2003s than the earlier models?: they are still “skinny” Panthers (skinniest is 1998-2002, especially 1998), as the 90-97 models (especially 1995) are the Fat Panthers in terms of fit/finish and overall lack of bean counting in everything from dashboards to the number of Lincoln-y tail light clusters.

But the 2003 model has significant chassis (hydroformed bits, aluminum bits), steering (rack and pinion) and electronic upgrades that make them better…even without yesteryear’s plush ride and creature comforts.  They are still better because they soaked up engineering advancements over the years. Except journalists say the Panther hasn’t changed much since 1979, they’d rather not do their homework and shame FoMoCo for neglecting it to death

…what a load of trash! 

Does the LWB body bring any special challenges or limit tasteful aftermarket modification?: Suspension, engine, transmission, etc are all the same.  Honestly they look better than the short wheel base model, I don’t expect any challenges. Even the rear stereo controls are probably compatible with aftermarket stereos, as they have conversion harnesses that work with auxiliary controls (normally the ones on the steering wheel.)

Anything to look out for with these?: Be careful of how awesome you feel after owning a “skinny panther” Lincoln Town Car. But seriously, check for normal wear and tear and the condition of the transmission and ATF.  Everything else is pretty robust, even if a module goes bad, replacement bits are cheap and plentiful.  Also try not to go nuts with Panther Love modifications after you do an SCT engine/trans tune, because that’s one of the few bang for the buck modifications that’ll work.

I think the dealer is selling this through the wrong channel: Wrong!  You think fleet buyers don’t look for cars in your corners of the Interweb? You think their employees don’t have buddies in the fleet car trade that are foaming at the mouth for it? Be it Panther, Land Cruiser, or whatever automotive poison, the fanbois are all over the web looking for it.

[Lead image: Shutterstock user Nadezda Murmakova]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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99 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Looooooong Cult of Panther Love?...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Do it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’d go for the LWB, no matter what happens you could always get $40 a pop to take your neighbors to the airport

  • avatar
    Occam

    “But since most of our readers are of the boring ‘ZOMG Panthers are horrible’ crowd, let’s keep it brief”

    Right here! Yo!

    I don’t like to drive ’em, but its a shame you can’t buy a new one. There’s not a market for every maker to build a Panther, no 7-way battles on the cover of Motortrend (where they pick the one with the best steering feel even if it only has three wheels), but it was a niche that could have been exploited. There aren’t a lot of small BOF SUVs, and only one with a soft-top, but the Jeep Wrangler is still successful. The Mustang continued while pony cars dried up and disappeared. The new paradigm where everything is a family sedan/hatchback, at heart, and can be lifted with AWD for a crossover needs to end.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      ” The new paradigm where everything is a family sedan/hatchback, at heart, and can be lifted with AWD for a crossover needs to end.”

      Lol, you funny guy ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      You don’t have the love, but you have appreciation for the niche.

      That’s pretty righteous.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Hmmm. My take is that the 300C took over for the Panther in the RWD large sedan niche. You can read about how the 300C is selling in Tim Cain’s analysis today.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        300 and charger aren’t very roomy inside they also lack the panthers innate rebuild ability, as do all modern unibody vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        I’m with VoGo. My dad got Grand Marquises as company cars every three years from 1992 till he retired in 2008. Fine cars in their own right; he and I both loved them (only thing I hated was them not having a left foot rest, though. I’ll never understand why Ford didn’t fix that). Couple of years after he retired, I got him a great deal on a one-year-old company car Chrysler 300 that a co-worker of mine had driven until he suddenly left the company, and my father has absolutely loved that car since purchasing it. He still owns his last Grand Marquis company car, which he purchased upon retirement, but hardly drives it anymore (to give you an idea, it’s a 2007 and it has a little over 12,000 miles). He just finds the 300 a much better all-around car. Important Disclaimer: before anyone in the Panther Jihad (©Murilee Martin) goes nuts, I am not saying it’s a bad car, OK? The reality is the 300 is a much more modern RWD platform, and it reflects that modernity. Peace and out…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There’s definitely a niche for large RWD sedans (although it’s shrinking).

      I don’t see why there would be a niche for BOF sedans, with the attendant poor packaging and ride/handling compromises. The advantages of BOF are best suited for trucks. They really don’t help 99%+ of car users.

      And then the Panthers had significant weaknesses beyond those attributable to BOF construction.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      But for the sake of Cafe and 2012 federal rollover regulations went the marquis /crown Victoria /marauder /town car/Ranger :(

  • avatar
    danio3834

    That price is in the ballpark. A significant Premium Panther tax exists on Town Cars, especially LWB models. If it’s what you want, go for it. There is an intense satisfaction in owning a top-of-the-line Panther that the Teutonic types will never understand.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    “as the 90-97 models (especially 1995) are the Fat Panthers in terms of fit/finish and overall lack of bean counting…”

    Hmmmm… so MY95 is the best as far as fit and finish?

    If I’m reading this correctly, this is going to be a good week. It’s early Monday morning, and I’ve already learned something.

    And oh yes, Cartier TC FTW.

    • 0 avatar

      Hmmmm… so MY95 is the best as far as fit and finish?

      1996 is only slightly worse, little details like (IIRC) indirect lighting in the ashtrays and a fully lit taillamp assembly were gone. 1997 was when things starting getting real bad, take a look at the trunk lock: they deleted the spring loaded door and punched a hole for the lock assembly instead.

      Silly details, but why get less in your Lincoln? Problems like these are precisely why Town Cars slipped into fleet sales and Lexus reigns King of Retail.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        “Silly details, but why get less in your Lincoln? Problems like these are precisely why Town Cars slipped into fleet sales and Lexus reigns King of Retail.”

        Amen, Sajeev. I lived in South Jersey in the 1990’s and the early 00’s and during the early to mid 90’s that area was Town Car Country. I started seeing the shift to other vehicles when Ford began to pull stunts like that (plus, I gotta admit, I never cared for the post-97 versions. Now, having written this last sentence, I better run and hide).

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh yes, 95 or 96 TC Cartier, with those unique trim level wheels and paint colors, and Cartier logo replacing the Lincoln cross-hairs at the back.

      It’s disappointing to me that the special edition ones (Cypress, Spinnaker, Jack Nicklaus, Diamond Anniversary) were always done based on the Signature trim level, meaning you missed out on a couple things usually (sunroof, most often).

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Well, it has since been sold, but I will definitely keep my eyes open for one. I purposely bought a fairly Protestant base car for my DD to leave room for a silly car.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Why would anyone choose to commute 65 miles a day?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    LWB Town Car, what the Town Car should have been period. Room to cross your legs in the back seat, heated rear seats available. All kids of awesome.

    Too bad they didn’t come from the factory with more power, 250+ hp standard would have been nice.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      Agree 100%. If there was ever a candidate for Ford to drop in the 5.4L 3V, the LWB TC was it.

      When I worked at Ford, they were quite far along in developing a Crown Vic with the 4.6L 3V motor to compete with the Charger, but couldn’t get the super-jumbo PI alternator to fit. Had they succeed, I bet police departments would recognize a lot less depreciation when selling off their CVPIs.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        It always seemed to me the standard Panther lineup had small rear seats for what they were supposed to be. If there was any car that should have made a roomy back seat priority #1, it was these cars.

        They all should have had a few extra inches of legroom in the backseat, even if it meant taking it out in the trunk.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          That’s because, in addition to being a wallowy piece of garbage, it’s about the worst car ever in terms of packaging, interior and trunk volume for the size of the beast is absurd.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            If there’s one thing these cars excel at, it’s trunk space.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Excel in trunk space? They have a trunk that would be OK on a midsize sedan, except that it has a weird shape, with a high lip and a super-low lower section that gives you a hernia every time you pull out a suitcase.

            I second S2k Chris’s comment.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Whatever you say…

            The EPA rates the trunk volume of the Panthers to be 21 cu ft where other midsize to large sedans are in the 16-18 cu ft range.

            A Panther is the only sedan where I can fit a set of wheels and tires side by side and close the lid with room to spare. No other sedan can compare.

          • 0 avatar
            Roberto Esponja

            “with a high lip and a super-low lower section that gives you a hernia every time you pull out a suitcase.”

            Oh, amen to that dal20402!

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            My comment(s) appear to be stuck in purgatory, but tl;dr, Panther trunks are at least 3-5 cubic feet bigger than comparable large and midsize cars according to the EPA.

            Lies, I know.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’m sure the volume is higher than the competition, but the shape is so strange that the volume is not really usable.

            I have a G8 with a significantly smaller trunk on paper than the Panthers, but I have a far easier time putting four rollaboards into my G8 because they arrange neatly and it’s easy to get them in and out. The Panther requires some awkward and unstable stacking.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I’m sure the volume is higher than the competition, but the shape is so strange that the volume is not really usable.”

            Then I guess it’s subjective depending on what you use it for. Just last night I had someone come over to the shop to put a snow tire package on their ’05 TC. They were able to neatly put all 4 wheels with tires in the trunk and close the lid with room to spare.

            I used to haul complete engines in the trunks of examples I used to own, they were great for that. If the OP is on a LeMons team, I’m sure he will find the space useful.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @jacob – I completely agree with you. The CV could have stayed with the wimpy 114 in wheelbase but the Grand Marquis should have had the standard Town Car wheelbase (117 in) as its one and only wheelbase. Then all the Town Cars should have had the 122 in wheelbase of the LWB standard.

          That would have made the cars much more appealing in the market.

      • 0 avatar

        A 3V Crown Vic with a 5-speed auto woulda been pretty awesome in 2006-ish. Oh well, more wasted effort on a niche platform that deserved better.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I always thought the plan was to have the 4V motor (a la Lincoln Mark VIII) in the CVPI. I remember Ford making some noise about that before the ’92 Crown Vic started production, and then it just didn’t happen.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The 4V came to fruition in the form of the Marauder, but not the CVPI. Fleets generally don’t like having to use premium fuel. The ’03+ 2V CVPIs with the power improved heads and the performance rear alxe ratio came close to the Marauder’s performance anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The regular WB Town Car is actually a bit longer than the other standard Panthers and has more standard rear seat room than your average Crown Vic. The L versions of the TC are positively limousine-like.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I secretly yearn for a TC for my various drives that I routinely have to make. My Nissan Frontier CC is fine for about 90 miles one way and then my back reminds me why this is a teenagers truck.

    8k purchase price and you are worried about depreciation? Come on son, I thought this was a big boy blog. If it were to lose half its value…..4k. Every frequent poster on here has or had ( every true gear head has made a mistake along he line and over paid, over built/modified and learned a harsh financial lesson) a car that ate up 4k in a flash. I would think any TCwith less than 100k in great condition for less than 9k is well bought. I routinely see them on CL for 4k with 300k on the odo. Now, I have no idea what the true transaction price is all said and done, but nonetheless if you can buy with 100k and 8k cash and sell for $2500 with 300k you have done just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      You make excellent points. Back to searching the interwebs. It’s hard to get search tools to look for the “L” models.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        If your prices are showing up as high as 87 Morgan sees, I would advise looking in a different part of the country. They are definitely cheaper than that here in Ohio, and easy to find in good condition.

        I think one would be striking in navy blue with tan, but maybe that’s just me. And that might not be an option for LWB.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          Non LWB 05-08 TCs in decent shape and ~100,000 (+/- 15,000) seem to be going for 5-7k through dealers in Indiana.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This one is brilliant! Ultimate!

            http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=45242&endYear=2015&modelCode1=LINCTC&showcaseOwnerId=0&startYear=1981&makeCode1=LINC&searchRadius=25&maxPrice=6000&showcaseListingId=0&mmt=%5BLINC%5BLINCTC%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=371466706&Log=0

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            Or this guy in black.

            http://www.bosemotors.com/2006-Lincoln-TownCar/Used-Car/Crestwood-IL/5073655/Details.aspx

          • 0 avatar
            spreadsheet monkey

            Excellent stripes vacuumed into the carpet on that Bose Motors car. Strong work by their detailler.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “But since most of our readers are of the boring ‘ZOMG Panthers are horrible’ crowd, let’s keep it brief”

    Count me in that group, I have appreciation for the old box-models with their traditional American car look, tough thick steel bodies, pushrod V8s, but I will openly share that they don’t handle, have “okay” brakes by 80’s standards, and are pretty slow all things considered.

    I see little merit in the 2000’s-era models, yes they’re mostly tough, yes they’re reliable (what isn’t from that era?), but their interiors tend to be a depressing sea of cheap gray and their is nothing remarkable about how they drive other than how bad they slip in the snow. Their styling is nothing to write home about, and they dent and rust about as easily as any Japanese car of the time.

    The newer models are okay $2000 cars I guess, they’re great if you have a garage full of mechanics and spare parts. I certainly wouldn’t buy a police-taxi model though, last one I drove had brown stains everywhere in it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    These are just big, boring, mind-numbing sedans that run forever. My dad just traded one in on an Impala, because he wanted something more “sporty”, he’s 88

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Indeed, even after driving a Police-spec model with all the fancy performance mods I feel that they’re basically glorified Camrys, but with an interior from Toys R Us.

      I’d rather have an Impala myself, even with FWD.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Just be aware of the weaknesses of the Panther platform, which don’t get a lot of play among the Panther-obsessed commentariat. If you’re aware of these issues going in and still want one, then you’re a good candidate to get one.

    – Terrible interior materials, from dash and door plastics to switchgear to the leather and vinyl on the seats. Because the materials are so terrible it doesn’t feel nearly as luxurious as it looks in artistic pictures.
    – Less interior space than you think (although the LWB fixes this with respect to the back seat, it’s still true in front). The packaging really isn’t good at all.
    – Bouncy, way underdamped ride. Expect two or three oscillations after every bump, particularly if you haven’t replaced the shocks after those 100k+ miles.
    – Noisy transmissions.
    – Less low-end torque than a modern DI four-cylinder.
    – Roughly the agility of an elephant on Jim Beam and downers.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      blasphemous, but true

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I am familiar with the weaknesses – I drove a ‘fat’ Grand Marquis (not by choice) from 16 through 24 years of age. The handling can be improved with a bigger rear swaybar, but I wouldn’t want to do too much to the suspension to maintain the cloud-like ride.

      If I get one, it would be for inhaling highway miles in peace and quiet – my DD Accord with a manual can give me the sporty kicks when I want it.

      The back seat on the SWB panthers is almost comic. Regular TCs have a few more inches, making them better.

      Ford just seems unable to make a space-efficient large sedan. The new Taurus suffers from the same lack of intelligent space use.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        If all you do is want to go in a straight line in coffin quiet with zero interaction with the outside world, then this is your car. You might want to take up smoking to alleviate the boredom

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        If all you do is want to go in a straight line in coffin quiet with zero interaction with the outs*de world, then this is your car. You might want to take up smoking to alleviate the boredom

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          I’d much much rather pay a little bit more and get an LS400/LS430 for the same duty. At least I wouldn’t get seasick every time I drove it.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            For $4k you could get a decent LS400, I’d do that myself or get a Benz.

            Heck, if I’m going to put money into a car, I’d rather put the extra cash into maintaining a Mercedes than throwing cash into Crown Vic mods in order to make it “good”.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            I’ve looked, but to get an LS in that price range, you’re looking at cars almost a decade older, which is a long time for all the rubber and trim bits. Also, LS400s need timing belt replacements and god help you if you have a car with the air suspension.

            Part of the appeal of something like a TC is the commonality and low cost of parts, as well as the simplicity of major moving parts.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            The Lexus LS models are just a much better execution of a big, rear wheel drive sedan.

            You can definitely find a really nice LS400’s for almost half that asking price.

            It will be older, but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts it will be more reliable than most Town Cars over a decade old and probably better taken care of. You also won’t have that Fisher-Price looking interior that’s completely falling apart.

            I’m a Panther fan, but when you get inside a Town Car, they really feel used up. I’m amazed Ford thought they could actually compete with other luxury cars in that price range with a Crown Vic with rear air shocks and a few gadgets.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            Comparing a Benz to a Town Car is utterly without point.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        A swaybar can reduce roll and the size of oscillations a bit, but it can’t give the car good damping. You’d need a stiffer frame and very different spring/shock rates to achieve that — a big project.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The 03 up frame, particularly the L frames are very stiff. A good set of shocks works wonders, but some HPP spec springs will help a fair amount too which if you are doing the shocks you’ll have out anyway. The air springs in the rear are easy to change and the HPP version is redially available at a reasonable cost from the aftermarket.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        If you want cheap and common parts, whats wrong with
        something like a Ford Explorer?

        They’re BOF, V8, gets similar gas mileage, and have a bit more space in them too.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Yet they hold up to abuse so much worse.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          Nonsense. My in-laws have a ’06 Explorer and there is no way that thing beats a CV in terms of hip/shoulder and leg room. They feel very pinched.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Having to suffer with a 2002 Explorer I don’t even know why I made that comment, the interior packing may not be the Panthers strong point but Explorers from that era were much, much worse.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          On the interior point, until last year, I’ve only driven cars with less-than-competitive interiors. The ’96 Grand Marquis (which I thought was pretty nice at the time), an ’01 Impala w/3800 engine and tupperware everywhere, and a Honda Fit, which had better build quality, but also was a hard plastic-fest.

          My Accord is the only car I’ve owned with segment-competitive interior, so going back to hard plastic isn’t much of an issue.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Well put, there are a few issues that I’d like to add myself:

      -Rust, if you do some research there are a few police agencies who’ve complained about their fleet of Vics rusting pretty badly.

      -The well documented plastic intake issue on some years.

      -Corroding steering mechanisms, Ford did a recall on this.

      -Somewhat thin sheet metal, tough cars but they dent in hail just as easily as a Honda. While we’re at it let me add plastic bumpers, like all modern cars.

      -Expect a few electrical gremlins, which in a modern car, let alone a modern Ford, means either expensive or very time consuming repairs. The older you go the more you should expect.

      -Generally bad snow performance

      -Knowing that any modern V6 can stomp you at a stop light race.

      -Knowing that a stock Honda Civic can keep up with your ex-police cruiser.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        V6? Hell, a four-cylinder CVT Accord would be several carlengths in front by the end of an onramp.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          ANY modern 4-cyl mass-produced family sedan can stomp a CVPI in every measurable dimension, but if you put an Altima in severe police duty, it would be shot within weeks.

          I’m not a CVPI fanboi and wouldn’t get any kicks driving around a rubber-floored car with a “cop motor” wearing sunglasses and a cheap black suit. The Lincoln is the last of the old-school American way of luxury, however flawed it was. That has some intrinsic appeal to me.

          @Ryoku75 – thanks for the additional info. The plastic intake was resolved in the 90’s, and it blew on my 1995 Grand Marquis (Ford eventually paid for the repair via a class action lawsuit).

          @Lie2me – I’ll be listening to things like this Ted talk while smoking a Cigar. And picking my nose.

          http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I’ll be listening to things like this Ted talk while smoking a Cigar. And picking my nose. ”

            Ah, multitasking, you can throw in eating a cheeseburger while you’re at it, not much else to do

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Perhaps a Panther will beat any modern car in police uniform, but does that mean that you’re going to use said car in police duty? Keep in mind that most police cars are toughened up a bit compared to their civilian counter parts.

          If you want durability and a V8, a Ford Explorer will do everything that a Crown Vic can do, and more.

          Anytime with that info, if you’re serious about getting a Panther find the nicest, cheapest example you can find.
          If you want cop car durability there are countless shady dealers that’ll give you one for $2000.

  • avatar
    baggins

    I am not sure showing up driving a 10 year old limo would be ” conveying gravitas and refined taste when showing up at friends’ houses”

    Rather the opposite in most people’s mind, I would think.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Obviously, that was written in the tongue-in-cheek tone of the email to Sajeev.

    It sure as hell beats showing up anywhere in a Prius.

  • avatar
    doubleshooter

    Having seen what the TC suspension does performing an evasive maneuver while changing on the highway something like a turning on the hydraulics system during the worst time possible.

    Did the Marauder have a somewhat better suspension tuning than a TC ?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      The Marauder is basically what the factory TC should’ve morphed into, better engine tuning, better suspension, just give it the longer wheelbase and you’d have the ideal Town Car.

      Well, that and a semi-decent interior.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Currently drive an ’04 TC and love it. It is a far better ride, imo, than the ’99 Mercury Panther (with 30k miles) I used to drive even after installing Aadco sway bars. Mr. Friction is largely absent as it has only 80k miles. Mr. Oxidation is not since it is, after all, 11 years old.

    Its great virtue and a major potential vice is the air ride suspension. Alas, it is essentially a soft part beholden to Mr. Oxidation. Mine recently went out – $2k to fix. Even so, I still love my beast. Nice that gasoline has gotten cheap again.

    $8k for an ’05 with 107 miles is a reasonable asking price assuming it is super clean and everything works. Just set aside another $2k in case the air ride craters.

  • avatar

    Never got this one. I’ve had a lot of rides in this, and it strikes me as a car from the 70’s they kept making. OK, never driven one, but I was always impressed by the taxis who picked me up with over 300k on the clock.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      After driving an ’84, ’89, and a ’02 Cop Car I can safely say that driving one won’t change your opinion much, better to be the passenger than the captain.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      That’s basically what they are. The people who love them tend to love old cars, and the Crown Vic and it’s fancier brothers were the last of the older style of American cars.

      Without the nostalgia filter, they’re pretty awful, but durable. I used to drive my grandmother around in her Grand Marquis from time to time (she couldn’t drive, and when I’d visit, she’d have me drive her to lunch in her car so that it got some use). I couldn’t believe how cramped it was… Limited legroom, awkward driving position, scary handling, sleepy engine, and it somehow managed to soak up large bumps while transmitting small imperfections in the road as jiggles.

      They are tough – they’re basically built like trucks. It’s like a low-riding body-on-frame SUV with marshmallows for springs and a strangely shaped (but massive) trunk. Not my cup of tea, but my car isn’t others’ cup of tea, and I admire the Panther-lovers’ passion.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        I’m an odd duck in with my panther and big ‘ol American car affinity. I’m only 32, but gainfully employed, married, and with 2 kids. I should be driving a Prius.

        My Grandmother’s beautifully kept LT1-powered Caprice (with the tow package and heavy duty suspension) first started my large American car adulation. She knew what she had, and I would drive her to see relatives a few hours away when I had my permit. She knew what she had, and would encourage me to give it the beans when merging onto Chicago’s interstates. She was a bit of a led foot and enjoyed cars. In WWII, she was in the red cross and would apparently go joyriding in Army jeeps in Belgium and the Netherlands, blast over craters to knock the exhaust off, and run around town with the loudest, most obnoxious jeep. All of us 25+ grandkids could never quite wrap our heads around sweet, kind grannie vandalizing US Army property for kicks.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    I currently own an ’04 Town Car with 80k miles and love it. Used to own a ’99 Mercury Panther (30k miles) with Aadco aftermarket sway bars. The TC with air ride suspension is a much better vehicle.

    One serious potential problem – the air ride is a soft part. It tends to fail after about 10 years from oxidation. Mine did, and it was a two grand repair. So, budget for that eventuality and hope to dodge the bullet.

    An $8k asking price is reasonable for an ’05 TC in excellent condition. Gas mileage is only 14 in town and 20 on the road but it burns regular, and gas has gotten cheaper lately, and it figures to stay low for some years.

    Good luck.

  • avatar
    Panther Platform

    I think my 03 Mercury GM LSE is one of the better versions of the Panther. It’s geared more aggressively and the suspension is tuned for handling. This car is fun to drive and definitely does not float. Yet it is very comfortable on the open road and is quite relaxing on long trips. Sure I wouldn’t mind some more horsepower, but 239 HP is adequate and the engine takes regular gas. I alternately call her “Marauder-lite” or the “cop car with lipstick!”

  • avatar
    -Nate

    And here I thought Panther love was big on this Board .

    I don’t want one but from what I see they’re pretty good cars , both the CV and TC versions .

    -Nate

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