• Feb 5, 2009
Anyone that's ever driven a Ford Crown Victoria in four inches of snow will tell you that the generations-old police interceptor doesn't exactly grip when sitting atop the white stuff. That can leave police just as stranded as the motorists they're out to need help. Coast Pontiac GMC in Portsmouth, New Hampshire provides the solution to the local fuzz's problem by loaning out SUVs during big storms. The generous dealer has been providing this public service for over 18 years, and we're not talking used junkers with 4WD. Everything from an AWD Buick Enclave to a Cadillac Escalade have been loaned during snow storms. The officer driving the loaded 'Sclade reportedly didn't want to give the plush ride back. We get that feeling all the time.

What does Coast Pontiac GMC get for its generosity? A public relations victory for sure, but every storm also works as a rolling advertisement for Coast Pontiac GMC's SUVs and crossovers. Who knows, dealership management may get out of a ticket or two as well.

[Source: Sea Coast Online]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and there was just a whole article on this topic in the news.

      The crown vic is just terrible, and one of my buddies that just graduated from police college said that the charger's are even worse (no surprise). Why would you just loan them though, our police forces use the SUV's all the time.

      Our major police forces are still using the crown vic but we also are equipped with the Tahoe and the Impala LTZ

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/TPS_ETF_SUV.jpg/350px-TPS_ETF_SUV.jpg
      ------> the Metropolitan Toronto Police SUV

      http://www.kemptvilleautobody.com/images/large/PIC_0140.jpg
      ------> the Ontario Provincial Police SUV

      You can see them way better and coming from Toronto where it snows friggin everyday, these things just dominate. There's even been a few instances where they've been pulling other cars out of ditches.

      If the concern of gas mileage ever arose for driving one of these tanks in a downtown core...well obviously you all know they make a hybrid as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I also live just west of Toronto, I would have to say its a small portion of the police fleet that uses SUV's, but they are definitely in their element during winter months. Funny, they make an AWD charger do they not? But they don't use them as police cars. The worst I've seen was a VW Beetle as a Quebec police car, it looked like it was from a circus. I bet it wasn't bad in the snow though!
      • 5 Years Ago
      First off, the tahoe pictured here is a 2wd pursuit rated Tahoe. There is currently no pursuit rated 4wd police vehicles.

      Anyway, no matter how much training you have or time behind the wheel, 4wd is just better in snow. It is really a no brainer. Obviously you can get around in snow with a Crown Victoria, but it won't be very fast or as safe as a 4wd. Tires are also a major factor with any vehicle in snow. A good set of snow tires will make a huge difference.

      I think that this dealership should be commended for this program. Can you think of any other dealership that would loan out an Escalade at no cost?

      As far as ex-police cars running around, I don't like it. Agencies should be required to remove all police equipment, including spot lights etc. I know that most strip these cars down as much as they can, but there is no standard. I also think it should be required to paint them a solid color if they are mulit colored like the classic black and whites. These cars are a bargain for people that don't have much money to spend on a car, but just be advised that these cars have been abused in their short lives. You get what you pay for....
      • 5 Years Ago
      good idea really, better grip, control. why not.

      http://www.30carinsurancetips.blogspot.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        Too small. No room for radio equipment and a box of doughnuts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I DO have "many hours of advanced driving techniques that the average driver doesn't possess"...and I drive (my personal vehicle) a open-diff, no traction control Ford Crown Vic...and if people knew how to drive in the snow, RWD wouldn't be a problem.

      Yes, RWD is a hair more touchy in the snow...but that is a good thing because it makes people SLOW DOWN. The sheeple think that just because they have FWD/AWD/Traction control and all of those other un-necessary gimmicks, that they can drive like it is sunny and dry out...when in actuality those are the people you find in the ditch.

      I have never been stuck in my car. It is not what you drive, it is how you drive...
        • 5 Years Ago
        ". But this is the POLICE! They need to be able to CATCH other cars "

        Police aren't going to chase anyone when there is too much snow on the ground. It doesn't matter if they are in a 4x4 suv, impalla, or crown vic, because if the roads are bad, a police chase would be unsafe for the officer, the guy being chased, and anyone around them.

        The rest of your post is correct though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Akboss302 thank you for your reply...

        But I must address one thing.

        Yes, your 4X4 will out accelerate my RWD, but that 4X4 will in no way help you stop.

        Now, myself, being in the unique position of having to respond to calls for service in the worst of conditions, I would MUCH rather take my time getting to a scene safely where I can actually be of some help, than to over do it and cause even more problems.

        One thing emergency responders must realize, is that they did not cause the problem...they are just called to mitigate it. So, if it takes a few more minutes of a patient not getting any care...well, so be it. I would much rather delay care to be sure I get there safely than to try and "hot rod" it and not get there at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only point I agree with here is your statement of "It's not what you drive, its how you drive". But the point it seems people are missing here is we aren't talking about the capacity to get from point A to point B in the winter - if you have hours to get where you need to go, you can spin along in any two wheel drive car until you eventually get there. But this is the POLICE! They need to be able to CATCH other cars and to respond to emergencies in a timely manner. And if you say you have advanced driver training, then you are no different than the average police officer, giving you absolutely zero advantage as far as knowledge in driving a RWD. If I pull up to a light in the snow, in a new 4x4 beside you in your RWD, when the light goes green, my vehicle will accelerate at a much quicker rate than yours. Guaranteed. No matter how you feather the gas or start in second gear, whatever. I grew up in Northern Ontario and I have seen plenty of talented drivers in the ditch, not because they can't drive, but because any vehicle has limitations when there is no grip. AWD gives you an advantage in winter acceleration, giving the police a better chance at doing their job. Props to this dealership.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The police is snowy cities might want to abandoned the Crown Vic for something like this:

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/LegacyB4pc.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree ... NH is not exactly south and should be equipped to deal with snow.

        I'm a few hours North from NH, in Montreal, we have more snow in a week than some states get in a decade.

        Our police drive around in Crown Vics, Chargers and Impalas (FWD) through storms without having to resort to charity from car dealerships.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess where I live is rare because most of the police cruisers are Tahoes. I live in the Philadelphia suburbs so it's not like they really need them all year round, or even for most of year, but it does fit with the whole "suburbia" look quite nicely. I find it ironic that in PA they drive Tahoes just in case, but in Ann Arbor where I go to school and it snows on a daily basis they still use Interceptors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone that had the pleasure of dealing with New Hampshire cops will tell you that those cops are some racist and corrupted mtherfkers.
      • 5 Years Ago

      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey, I drive an ex-police interceptor Crown Vic with All-Season tires and have no problem driving it around in the white stuff, even in Buffalo where feet of snow is the norm. If people could learn to actually handle a RWD (or anything for that matter) in the snow properly, we wouldn't have problems like these.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @duders

        No silly. I said a reg Vic or GMarq would be an alternative and still offer the V8, the mileage, be bulletproof, etc etc, all the "reasons" he gives for owning a PI. The regular ones don't have the dog dishes, blacked out grille and trim, or takedown lights that make me think I'm being tailgated by a cop when one of these comes running up on my bumper as is usually the case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Typhoon...

        I don't care what anyone says but those Interceptors are an amazing buy. A local Ford dealer had two at one point. One was close to 90k miles but was a former narc vehicle. The second one was a detective's car. Former detective cars are usually the best bet because they don't come with an interior that has holes all over the place and usually have the regular bench seat in it.

        Oh and Tourian...I would buy an old Interceptor because they are damn reliable. Not because I want to look like a cop. I would rather spend my $4-7k on something proven. Some people don't have the extra ten grand (myself included) to spend on a Marauder. It would be great to have one cuz I love them but I gotta factor in the extra cost of buying it and the insurance rates.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Please tell me what the attraction is to owning a decomissioned Police Interceptor. There are tons of these around my city and they drive me crazy. Are you planning on painting it candy apple green and putting 28's on it? Or do you like just driving around looking like a cop?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chances are you aren't chasing criminals in your ex-police interceptor in snow storms. Your point about 'learning to actually handle RWD in the snow' is just pointless as police are given many hours of advanced driving techniques that the average driver doesn't possess. Besides, why not have 4-wheel-drive when it counts? Its great the dealership is doing this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No doubt- When I lived in Houghton, MI (annual snowfall is over 350") most of the cruisers and all the taxis were rwd sedans. Got around FINE. I'll take RWD in the snow over FWD any day- as long as there are proper tires back there. Or here's one: If conditions are really that bad, consider trading the bulk of the patrol fleet out for Explorers- they're pretty close in cost. Fuel econ ends up around 10 either way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Tourian

        So all the guys in grand marquis, crown vics and town cars go around looking like cops too? No.

        Stop trolling. Typhoon's got a good point. It's an awesome bang for the buck ride and I looked into buying one too.

        @ Typhoon: I wanted to buy one and do the same thing. But I wanted mine painted flat black with the marauder exhaust on it. Would be a sick ride that would last forever for about $6000
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Anyone that's ever driven a Ford Crown Victoria in four inches of snow will tell you that the generations-old police interceptor doesn't exactly grip when sitting atop the white stuff."---------------------Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the overall design of a car is 25 years old.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rear drive with 55/45 weight distribution and an open differential sucks. (traction control not withstanding)
        No getting around that.
        If an Impala is 60/40 f/r, you have 1/3 better traction.

        and just try to reverse uphill in a crown vic [in wet, snow, ice], you won't be going anywhere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree to some extent but I think two things are much more important

        A) TIRES. In winter only winter tires are acceptable. End of story.
        B) Driving style.
      • 5 Years Ago
      sure, what good are you when you can't even go up the hill with a rwd car
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll repeat what I said: I have no problem getting around (including hills) in the snow in my Crown Vic.
      • 1 Year Ago
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