If it weren't for the somewhat obsessive and frankly narrow-minded love by taxi drivers and police officers for the body-on-frame Ford Crown Victoria, we'd imagine the old Panther platform would have been put out to pasture a very long time ago. As it stands, though, New York cabbies especially seem hell-bent on keeping it around on life support as long as possible.

Interestingly, though, a report from USA Today suggests that cab drivers make more money when operating a Crown Vic than any other automobile, and that supposedly includes hybrids. According to John Shaban, a 27-year-old cab driver, "I don't like the hybrids... Mechanics charge an arm and a leg for them."

Could it be that customers inherently prefer the Crown Vic? Shaban believes so, saying, "People wait for the Crown Vic because it's roomier. They're more likely to get in." Regardless, that's all set to change soon as Ford finally discontinues its long-running rear-wheel-drive people mover. It's expected to be replaced with – you guessed it – a hybrid or some other fuel efficient alternative.

[Source: USA Today | Image: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty]