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Old 01-21-2014, 05:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've always liked these old birds. ¬*But it runs in the family. ¬*

But now I'm conflicted and feeling insecure. ¬*Then I remember there are those who feel they need butt implants. ¬*Ahhh, that's better. ¬*

Has anyone ever owned one as a first car without testing the waters driving Gramps to the bingo hall?
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not a "hater" per se, but after seeing Jack's accident and the gov't crash test photos showing massive B Pillar intrusion, I will never own one.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like them, especially the Town Car Cartier or Ultimate editions but I haven't owned one only test driven and picked around the edges of them but I didn't wake up one morning loving them.

First time driving one was in college. I worked in the maintenance department and we were in charge of the motor pool and cars were occasionally rented by the college to pick up dignitaries that were flying in etc. It was one of the early areo Crown Victorias about a 1993 model, nice and soft, good torque, could brake the tires loose easily, and was very quiet and comfortably. I was asked to return it to the rental place.¬*

I had grown up on the GM B-bodies from the early 1980s to the early 1990s through my Father's employer who used them as company cars. I have always found the GM B-bodies to be superior in every way but GM is a bunch of freaking quitters who stopped building the B's in 1996. Panther wins by still being in production until 2011.¬*

My next next two times driving were on the lot of my local favorite dealer who happens to be a Buick/GMC dealer but has never had a bias to what he has on his lot as long as he can sell it.¬*

First was a 1998 Lincoln Town Car, every option save heated seats and sunroof. Dropped off my truck for service and went and saw the used car sales manager whom I'm friends with. He knows I like my cars big, soft, and American. I had a blast with that car I was allowed to keep it for the day. Finding curvy roads ¬*and blasting down the freeway it made me fall in love.¬*

A couple of months later they had a 2000 Crown Victoria with 108,000 miles on it and very few options beyond alloy wheels and automatic climate control. It still had cloth seats. Again I had fun bombing around the city in it.¬*

I don't think ANYONE comes to Panther Love without at least trying one out. Unless they are foreigners who come to visit the United States and vow to experience "BIG AMERICAN CAR."¬*
Owner 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible: 289V8, Cruise-o-matic transmission, vintage burgundy exterior, black interior and top, MSD Ignition, true dual 2.5 in exhaust system, Ford 9in rear. Owned since July 2013, in family since 1967.

DD: 2004 Ford F150 Heritage, single cab, bench, crank windows, 4.6V8, automatic, aftermarket flatbed, Dynomax cat back dual exhaust. Owned since 2006. 2010 Toyota Highlander, V6 AWD, three row, family truckster ¬*
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I kicked around 1 for some towing duty before I got the Frontier. ¬*Just didn't care for them. ¬*I have never owned one but I did have a 91 B-Body Caprice. ¬*I liked it OK but the brick vic is my favorite of the species. ¬*That or a late Roadmaster.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't have much love or hate for them, and only really keep an eye out for the remaining ones still running around with light bars on the roof.¬* My only direct experience with them is my grandfather's early 00's Town Car, which was bought new and falling apart everywhere but under the hood after about four years when they took his license away and it got sold - it was pretty sound mechanically, but **** near everything else was in some state of nonfunctional/falling apart/missing. I kinda wanted to turn it into a Lemons car.

The '92 Roadmaster he had before that was better overall, but still a fairly terrible place to be.¬* It still amazes me that an 18 foot long car had such miserable back seats.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not going to come on here and knee-jerk defend these cars just because I own one, but I will only say that I love the car in spite of its shortcomings, of which there are a few. But, it works for me. Can we not say that about any car we adore or are loyal to?¬* Anything else just unfortunately leads to a "what you should be driving" discussion which here, in North America, is anathematic to many of our values.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have an '03 Grand Marquis. I don't hate it, but it wouldn't be a car I'd go out looking for. I mean, it gets the job done. Parts are cheap. I've hit 27 mpg on the Interstate. And its got a bench front seat if you are into that. Durable engine and seems to be pretty solid underneath.

On the other hand, the trunk is not big for such a big car. The rear foot room is not that great. It has the same engine as my truck, and it sounds like it. The trim is cheap. It's not refined and I just don't enjoy driving it that much.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've owned a '99 CVLX for six months and I'm overall pretty happy. They're available very cheaply with reasonable mileage in pretty much any market, mileage is tolerable for what the car is (for me, 18 city 24 hwy typically) and it's been dead reliable. Currently running a 15k OCI, near 10k right now. The 4.6 is a very tough engine and the transmission seems to be bulletproof. Handling is surprisingly good, but I did upgrade the tired OEM shocks to KYB Gas-a-Just police spec, which makes a dramatic difference in killing any sense of float or wallow. To be honest, as numb as contemporary reviews found the steering, a Panther feels downright communicative compared to any electric steering vehicle I've driven. I could definitely make it handle even better with Addco swaybars and replacing the front end suspension. Unfortunately all 92+ Panthers have sealed-for-life joints and mine are clearly in need of lubricant. Interior wise I was lucky enough to find a cherry example so I have no real issue with mine. Less obviously fake wood would be a plus but it's a 15 year old car, y'know? The fact that it looks mint is solace enough. I do think the stock stereo and speakers sound pretty good.

That being said, knowing how NHTSA rates these cars and seeing Jack's accident, I'm not thrilled about these cars being relatively unsafe by current standards. If I could install extra airbags and a five-point harness I would.

All in all, not a bad car at all. It gets the job done comfortably, has a massive trunk and seating for 6 at a very cheap price.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I¬* had a '92 Crown Vic.¬* LOVED it--easy to drive, comfortable, sweet red leather interior, decent fuel mileage, just a great all around car.¬* Sadly, some crazy lady lost control of her car at 45 mph, totaling mine.¬* After that I had a couple non-Panthers, but I wasn't fully satisfied, so after the last one went down I got smart and grabbed an '04 Town Car.¬* Smart decision--it's totally filling my automotive needs.¬* Comfy ride, and holds a lot (just moved, and you wouldn't believe how much stuff I was able to load in the trunk and rear seat).¬* I hope to get 300/400K miles out of it, like cops and cab companies do.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The Ford Dealer I used to work at had a loaner car program composed of a near-perfect cross-section of 00-04 Ford Cars -- A couple end-of-run fleet white Escorts, a pair of early focus sedans. A couple Contours and a Mercury Mistake (Mystique,) three taurii representing a couple redesigns, and three panthers (a plain-jane white crown vic, a gorgeous crown vic special edition, and a MGM)

Despite being within the same age, miles, and abuse levels of the other cars, the panthers were far and away the most in-demand cars in the fleet, simply because they aged so much more gracefully and took the abuse much much better than the other cars. Plus they were rarely, if ever out of service for any reason, despite seeing more use.¬*

The panther platform may not be the safest, most efficient, or most up-to-date car on the road, but they are second to none for toughness and reliability.
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