David Long, who goes by the online moniker Car Wizard, is a veteran mechanic who’s seen quite a few vehicles in his bays throughout the years, including quite a few from Ford. He’s taken the time to outline issues with the Ford F-150 pickups and isn’t shy about discussing the troubles of owning an aging vehicle based on his experiences with a Lincoln Continental. Now, he has made a video to talk about the Ford Panther platform, which he touts as being one of the best, most reliable buys for shoppers with a tight budget.
“This is, as far as the platform, the best car you can buy outside of a Toyota,” Long explains, referencing the Ford Panther platform vehicle in his bay.
While he’s specifically showing off a 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis, he notes that the Panther platform is also beneath the skin of the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car. He calls out the fact that law enforcement favored the platform for quite some time, thanks to the affordability of repairs, although they “hardly ever break down.”
Long pops the hood, pointing out the simple, easily serviceable design of the 4.6L V8 engine. Things like the alternator and water pump are relatively easy to get to. He says that if you’re mechanically inclined, the Ford Panther platform makes it simple to work on your own vehicle and perform repairs to keep it on the road. Inside, these vehicles are extremely comfortable and feel solid, ready to tackle daily commutes or long hauls.
Long acknowledges that the Ford Panther platform vehicles are often perceived as being “grandpa” cars, but he thinks that the dependability they offer trumps aesthetics.
“These are so comfortable,” Long says. “It’s bulletproof – and I mean, bulletproof.”
The Ford Panther platform was in production from 1978-2011, and won over many drivers during that time. It also served as a reliable taxi cab for many cabbies in New York City. Incredibly, two Ford Crown Victoria sedans are still in service in the city, although as Ford Authority recently reported, that may change soon, as they have aged out of the standards set by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.