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California Highway Patrol Retires Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor After 36 Years Of Service

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It doesn’t seem all that long ago when the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was everywhere in the United States – behind every roadside billboard, patrolling every neighborhood. But slowly, over the course of several years, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, based on the Ford Explorer, has taken over as law enforcement’s patrol vehicle of choice.

These days, we rarely ever see a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, unless it’s been sold in a government auction and is being driven by a private citizen. It’s hard to believe that any of these cars were still in service, but apparently that was the case. We know this because the California Highway Patrol just retired its last two Crown Vics.

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Amazingly, the Crown Victoria has been patrolling California’s roadways for a whopping 36 years – since 1984, in fact. Back then, it was known as the LTD Crown Victoria, the flagship model in the Ford LTD range. In 1992, Ford ended the use of the LTD prefix and its extensively redesigned sedan became known simply as the Crown Victoria.

That same year, Ford introduced the Police Interceptor version of the Crown Victoria, which became the most popular choice of police cruiser across America and various other countries, thanks in part to the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice. Ford would go on to hold a veritable monopoly on the market for many years.

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Today, The Blue Oval once again dominates the police vehicle market thanks to the raging success of the Police Interceptor Utility. But we’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts for the Crown Victoria, even if many reading this might have a different opinion on the matter based on their rap sheet from the past.

We’ll have more cool (and sad) news to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Crown Victoria news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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8 Comments

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  1. That chapter had to be closed at some point. Yes very sad for we could only imagine what they may have been if they were still building them.

  2. Yes ford what are you going to do now the police explorer was selling good for awhile but with tight police budgets they are buying sedans they are a lot cheaper so what sedan police car are you selling oh that’s right ford quit making cars whoever made that decision ought to be shot Should have never quit making the crown Vic,fusion and focus. That’s roughly 500,000 units a year stupid stupid stupid. That just means A lot more dodge chargers in police departments. If you want to debate me about this remark I am available anytime.

    • Taxicabs too. Used to be that the CROWN VICTORIA was pretty much the only cab in Chicago and now, it’s the TOYOTA CAMRY hybrid. The CAMRY is nice enough and I think the ride and comfort is fine as far as cabs go after riding in several but I like to imagine a CROWN VICTORIA hybrid which no doubt would have likely been available. Talk about a smooth and quiet ride in one of those as a cab. Yes, FORD did flub but hey you’ll feel better if you don’t attach yourself to one builder or brand of vehicles.

    • Last I saw the explorer was still the best selling and fastest law enforcement vehicle in America. In those models’ prime they could clear 500k but don’t think there’s that much demand anymore. Regaurdless, the number of units you produce is meaningless, if they are low or no profit what’s the point? They still make sedans for other markets, so it’s not like they have to reinvent the wheel if Americans start buying sedans like crazy again

    • I think they stopped building those about 1989 so unless they have some for parade and or PR use, they likely aren’t in patrol service.

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