• Aug 27, 2007
While most of us haven't even thought about the big rear-drive Ford sedans much lately (unless one was wearing taxi or limo livery), those cars have received a lot of attention internally at Ford. The Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria have moved from active duty to scheduled for deletion to back into semi-production over the past year or so. The antiquated Panther platform was actually in production throughout 2007, but most people probably hadn't noticed. For 2008, that trend will continue.

Fleet sales will continue to take up a bigger portion of production, with dealers no longer ordering Crown Vics for customers. Town Car production was shifted from Ford's Wixom, Mich. assembly plant to its St. Thomas, Ontario, plant, but dealers will have a very limited set of option packages available, with the vast majority of production going to limo duty. The Mercury Grand Marquis, on the other hand, will continue to sell 45/55 private/fleet. Although Ford moved nearly 160,000 of these vehicles in 2006, production should be down to about 100,000 by '09.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 99 Panther P71 (Crown Vic Police Interceptor); Before that I owned only rice, and though I wasn't sure it was what I wanted, the price was $2500 and so why not give it a try? Now it's been 11 months, and I love the car more with every passing day. It has enough balls for dd fun, very little body roll, and a working spotlight. It CRUISES at fwy speed. The gas mileage isn't hideous (17.5-19MPG) and it's definitely got style. If you had told me two years ago that I would be driving a V8 American Sedan & loving it I'd have argued to the death about it, but hey the panther (especially in it's CVPI guise) is cheap, reliable, and pwns the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      4.6mods are very reliable v8's and the panther platform is so profitable to ford that it's not really a good idea for them to do anything else. i believe i heard an insider say that a base panther gets ford more profit than a fully-loaded 150.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it is clear that Ford does not wish to continue building cars on a separate body and frame. Their plan is obvious. Just ignore it and eventually it will go away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Then in two years when the 500/Taurus gets re-reintroduced with more power and updated looks again it can be the new Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car.

      Honestly though, these cars in many ways were icons and it's sad to see that a lack of product development and thought led to the Panther cars demise.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i ordered a 2008 escape hybrid 6 weeks ago. the dealer told me that ford is having problems getting batteries for the hybrids. does anyone know about this??
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a Panther body car. It's a terrible car. It's quality is quite poor, and it lacks a few modern features. It really is a dinosaur. A relic of a bygone era when the big 3 were selling their customers crap without apology. So far the motor has been replaced, some trans cable relocated, master cylinder cap replaced, oil leak addressed, rattling headliner ignored, the cruise control stopped working, the adjustable pedals stopped working, the door slaps the body too hard (causing finish problems), the hood squeaks, the foglights fail, and it has the poorest quality paint job ever which the dealer says is, "normal." There are probably a few other items on my Oasis report to mention but those are the ones that stick out in my memory now.
      It's hard to believe that my car is from 2003 where there is supposed to be enough pressure from the foreign brands to have caused the Americans to address this sort of quality. But in hindsight, I guess it should be no surprise that a platform from 1978 has the quality of a design from 1978.
      If the car just didn't look so awesome it'd be gone. Call me a slave to fashion. There are not many full size sedans that have the good looks that the Panther has. Especially in black and chrome.
      Otherwise... good riddance to the Panther.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've seen a few of those crown vic's with the lightning blown 5.4 swapped in (with a sportier hood, wheels, and exhaust) and I would LOVE to give Ford my money for one of those if they ever decided to make it. That's all that would need to be done with it, nothing else to keep the price down. Or maybe I'll just have to pick up a high mile vic and do it myself since it will be stuck with 240 hp from the factory.
      • 7 Years Ago

      We can't put good performance in these cars because of CAFE. We have to sell 3 Focus-mileage cars for every guzzler we sell. CAFE rules are pretty weird.

      The reason we haven't updated the design is the same reason we didn't update the Taurus, Escort, Ranger, etc - Nassar (our former CEO) is an idiot. And he hated American design.

      He believed he could make Ford an "upscale" company and more than just "cars and trucks". So he refused to spend money on re-designing these vehicles and expected the European engineers to design base cars that would work in the US.

      Obviously, that didn't work out too well.

      BTW, I haven't seen anything in the works to replace the Panther platform. I'm kinda concerned.
      Chris
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a Panther Platform car (07 Mercury Grand Marquis) and I love it, it handles good the ride is excellent I actually like the floaty ride and the Grand Marquis has always been reliable it was rated with 5 Star safety ratings in all categories and these cars are very durable the can take just about anything you can throw at them and I have no problems with the power train or the transmission they both work fine the engine has plenty of power to get you up and on your way and the you could not ask for a more comfortable car on the inside although the dash does need a redesign but overall these are still great cars and offer you a lot for your money and if Ford plans on discontinuing the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car it might just kill the whole Lincoln Mercury Brand because they are still Mercury and Lincoln's best selling cars so if Ford drops these cars their probably going to end up dropping two brands because in my opinion these are still the best full-sizers on the market and you can't find a car any where else that will offer you the size and comfort that they do for the price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If only they sold the Crown Victoria with some guts at least equal to the Marauder's. Ford could probably make competive cars from the Panther platform still. Update the styling (more than just slapping on a three bar grille) and give it a modern V8 with a 5 or 6 speed transmission, and who would buy an Avalon?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It may be hard to accept, but reading up on this is enlightening: the Panter platform cars do poorly in both IIHS and NHTSA crash tests (as well as having less-than-stellar accident avoidance abilities) as compared to their unibody brethren. They also do poorly in both CR and JDP reliability testing.

        The Fusion and Taurus are more reliable and safer. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but this fallacy that Panther-platform cars are somehow magically better or safer isn't borne out in reality.

        They are, however, simple and cheap to fix when something goes wrng, which is why fleets love them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They're not the most reliable, perhaps, but they are very durable.

        From the Mercury website: "It’s the only car in its class to receive the government’s highest five-star front crash-test rating 12 years in a row. In addition, when equipped with available front-seat side airbags, Grand Marquis is the only vehicle in its class to receive five stars in all five categories."

        How can you say it's not safe?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Panthers ARE unreliable, and unsafe. Hilarious. The umbrella also shot JFK.
      amssca02
      • 2 Years Ago
      i am looking for a used ford crown victoria for less then ten thousond on a payment plan year models are the 1994-2005 model of crown victoria and the round body for the most part and a few square body for my supervisors will pay for all vehicles cash or credit mo checks do not carry them any more for employees at all
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a Panther. It's a 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis. That's the last year of recirculating ball and joint steering (or whatever you call it), just before they put the rack and pinion. Steering sucks.

      Besides that, nothing much has changed between my car and the 2008 models. Oh yea, mine doesn't have heated seats, but it does have the cool console shifter instead of grandma's steering column shifter.

      I bought it because it has a cheap insurance rating--too many speeding tickets in my old Porsche.

      Here's the problem with the car: The transmission. Sure, the steering has novicane in it, and the brakes are far too squishy, but the transmission is the worst part of the package. When I bought it, I though the land-yaught handling would be the biggest deal, but if you are waiting a full second (it seams) for the tranny to kick down, it sucks. The handling is something I've actually gotten use to.

      It sucks even worse than the detuned engine. Sure it's reliable. but, the engine needs to have smoking power, not just adequate power. That's the only thing going for the car, and that's the other thing they have let go. The car should have at least 350 hp and 400 lb/ft. I need to be comfortable passing other cars in true Q-ship fashion, this car has prodigious power pretensions, but wheezes like a fat kid in high RPMs.

      But I like the car! Here's what I like about the secret agent man's cop car:

      I actually like the way it looks. I think it has a nice old-school look abou it that is timeless. I think it's cool that Ford, like Porsche, doesn't make dramatic changes to the styling every other year.

      It's quiet and comfortable in the city, on the highway, everywhere. I like how I can roll up the window and shut out the rest of the world.

      All of the acres of leather and (fake) wood make it feel like I'm in a much better car. I like cruising around in the comfort that it affords.

      I feel safe in such a big car; like I'm in an SUV, but I'm lower to the ground for sedan handling.

      But, I can't wait to buy another Porsche after those points fall off my driving record and I start making more money again.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You can get the HD bilstein dampers to improve the handling.
        even the C (comfort) should be an improvement over old stock dampers.
        Nobody liked the worm and sector steering.
        http://www.echoscaninc.com/product.cgi?code=Mjk4
        I don't like the fact the fuel tank isn't mounted under the rear seats (and is small)
        So if Ford got independent rear suspension, moved the fuel tank there, enlarged it (22 gallons perhaps) then moved the mufflers to the rear, and mounted the full size spare between them, things would be copacetic.

        and the improvement from the 6 speed automatic would be so great, you wouldn't need but 300hp in the TownCar (cough, mustang), and the 250hp 'cop' engine would be plenty for the grand marquis/crown vic. and taxis too.
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