This post is a bit lengthy, but it makes up for the days I’ve skipped writing. 😛
The Ford Crown Victoria may be an outdated dinosaur of a car in terms of technology, but it is a car that intimidates other drivers due to the fact that it was the only car that was used in police fleets for over a decade. Ford stopped selling the Crown Victoria to civilians a few years ago so all recent Crown Vics have been sold to fleets. I happen to get one for a rental car and it was such a pleasure to drive.
The newest 2011 Crown Victoria has a black rear panel between the taillights like the Police Interceptor (normal civilian models have a body-colored panel) which makes this the perfect car for being mistaken for a police car. Unfortunately, the trick only works if the person is approaching from the rear because this car doesn’t have the black Police Interceptor grille (it has the normal chrome grille).
It was quite fun to toy with people. Most people would be too afraid to pass me until they got closer and saw that it was not a police car. It was also nice that the car slips under the radar because it was so official looking. The only real thing that stuck out was that it was red. It’s ironic because they say red cars attract the attention of cops, but it’s a Crown Victoria which means it’s the least likely car to be pulled over. Luckily, the fact that it was a Crown Vic outweighed it being red.
I felt so high and mighty cruising down the road. It wasn’t because it felt like I was driving a living room (the leather seats could very well be made by La-Z-Boy), but because everyone was too afraid to drive terribly around me. Since I was not driving five under, no one assumed that I was some old-timer so they had to be cautious around me. I know I’d do the same. I have never felt such a power trip, even when driving a pickup truck or SUV. I was the king of road rolling in a comfy fortress.
Besides feeling so assertive, I also felt as if I was in a time warp. I felt like I was a typical ’60s traveler. It was quite refreshing to drive a car again where I could see the hood! The last cars I drove where I could see the hood was an ’87 Chrysler Fifth Avenue and am ’88 Oldsmobile Delta 88 which says how much car design has progressed. Seeing the hood always reminds me that I am piloting a real car. New cars with sloped hoods and giant windshields remove the element of driving a giant mechanical beast and make it more like piloting a sterile spaceship.
The car had a CD player, but who brings CDs with them on a trip anymore? Unfortunately, there was no way to hook up my phone to play my music through the car’s stereo so I just listened to FM radio. It wasn’t bad as there were plenty of stations around to pick from. Listening to FM radio always makes me feel at-home. The music is the same, but the ads are different. The different ads catered to the residents always make me feel like I’m already a local there. I had to tune to a new station every time one dropped out as I moved from town to town, but it wasn’t bothersome.
Look at me, I’m rambling, but the point is I felt like the quintessential American of decades past sitting on a sprawling leather bench cruising in my classic American sedan through the rolling hills of green and skies of blue. To further the illusion, I was dressed in my nice clothes (collared shirt, tie, and slacks) for an event. I was only missing my fedora. I’m romanticizing it, but this car is a handsome time machine.
I felt so sad turning in the car back to the rental agency. I had my fun, but I felt it wasn’t over yet. It was a pleasure to drive as it was a smooth cruiser that commanded people’s attention. If I ever get a large enough garage for a fleet of cars, I’d have a Crown Vic in there for sure.