Despite what y’all may think sometimes, we do listen to you guys around here. Take this week’s Ace of Base as an example: Suggested by an alert reader, Ford’s current foray into the fleet of police forces across the nation do fit the Ace of Base ethos: a sparsely equipped example of a mass-market car offered at a rock bottom price.
Seven investigations on Autotrader quickly turned up several examples of current model year Ford Taurus Police Interceptors with under 100 miles on their clocks for around $22,000.
Barren interiors, steel wheels, plus Blues Brothers-style cop car modifications? Watch your head getting in, sir; we’re going for a ride.
Why merely explore when you can intercept?
A few readers of last week’s lookalike-Ford article mentioned that you can actually get the word “I N T E R C E P T O R” across the bonnet edge of a new Ford Explorer Police, er, Ford Police Interceptor Utility. This is good news for all those people who buy used cop cars and then try to restore them to approximate “on-duty” appearance in hopes of intimidating fellow motorists. (Within the tight-knit community of people who buy and restore ex-police Crown Vics, the guys who pretend to be cops are called “whackers.” The dividing line between mere enthusiast and whacker, as far as I can tell, appears to be the re-installation of lights.)
What about the rest of you? When Interceptors start hitting the auctions, will you bite? Or do you have some, shall we say, concerns?
Sure, most (if not all) cop cars offer protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you’re looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.
The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor vehicles will now offer the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.
Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, given that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs.
In each of the last ten months, Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility has outsold the Taurus Police Interceptor by at least two to one.
Beginning in July 2014 (a month in which Taurus Police Interceptor sales increased 15% and Explorer Police Interceptor sales jumped 64%) and continuing through April 2015 (when Explorer PI sales rose to their third-highest monthly level in the model’s history and Taurus PI sales slid 2%), the Police Interceptor Utility’s ten-month long U.S. sales tally rang in at 19,362 units. Ford sold 8,185 Taurus Police Interceptors during the same period.
As the Explorer goes, so goes the Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Unfortunately for Ford, as the Taurus goes, so too goes the Police Interceptor Sedan.
Sales of civilian Explorers in the United States are up 6% through the first eleven months of 2014. Ford sold 14,949 Explorers in November, a 13% improvement. In addition to those Explorers, Ford sold 18,823 Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utilities between January and November of this year, a 47% increase compared with 2013’s first eleven months. The Police Interceptor Utility went on sale in March 2012. Its best month so far was May of this year, when 2277 were sold, a 98% jump from May 2013 and a 196% improvement compared with May 2012.
As police departments across the United States start retiring their Ford Crown Victoria P71 Police Interceptors, now that those out of production vehicles are reaching departments’ mileage limits, it looks like they are replacing at least some of them with SUVs, not sedans. Though the end of the Crown Vic has been mourned by law enforcement officers and car enthusiasts alike, both groups looked forward to the new police package sedans being offered by the domestic automakers. Ford brought out the SHO Taurus based Police Interceptor sedan to replace the Crown Victoria, General Motors is importing a police only Caprice PPV with rear wheel drive from Australia (while continuing to offer a police package for the FWD Impala) and Chrysle r sells pursuit Chargers. Police department purchasing officials, though, are apparently opting to buy SUVs instead of the new cop cars.
Unlike most of the TTAC community, I am something of a Panther agnostic. To me, the venerable rear-drive Ford sedans are like cigarette ads in back issues of Car and Driver – a quaint relic of an era where “Occupy” was something you saw on the door of an airplane bathroom – because the Occupant was trying to suck down a Camel Light .
Today is a busy day. Bertel and Ed are off somewhere plotting their next round of skullduggery, Murilee is prowling the junkyards of Denver for the elusive 1991 Isuzu Impulse AWD, Jack is laid up in bed with an illness certainly caught from his child’s pre-school, Steve and Sajeev are collaborating on their next hit column and I am commiting a cardinal sin according to the Church of Panther…fraternizing with the enemy.
Finding Andy Griffith’s cop car on the streets of Eugene wasn’t exactly high on my predictability scale. But I’ve finally thrown that away, and nothing surprises me anymore. As far as I know, Deputy Barney Fife grew a ponytail, headed to Eugene and is using his old Mayberry cruiser in a ruse to keep the cops away from his grow operation. But there it sits, and it being Cop Car Friday, it’s now yours to ponder its existence on a side street off 1st Ave. But since its light isn’t flashing and might not hold your attention sufficiently, let’s also do a mini-history of the cop car.
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