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Monza275
Monza275
9/8/19 6:09 a.m.

8/29/2019.  From Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/Grassroots-Challenge-Cop-Car-104949444216532/?modal=admin_todo_tour 

 

Al Bateman, Tom Doyle and Nick Nicaise. In two months, we will be heading to Gainesville Florida to enter the Grassroots Magazine $2000 Challenge. In this event you have to buy and modify a car to race and show for under $2000 total. The event includes a drag race, and autocross and a concours car show. We were at this event in 2003 and Al and his son David in 2004. This year we are heading back again in what was formally a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria Maryland State Police Cruiser purchased for $1000. It currently has 207K miles and needs a bit of spit and polish (though I think plenty of spit was included with the car). But that’s why they call it a Challenge. We’ll be posting to the site with updates and photos as the car becomes, if you’ll excuse the expression, race-worthy. Grassroots puts on a great event with fun being the main theme. Look for updates soon.

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/8/19 6:10 a.m.

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Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
9/8/19 8:51 a.m.

I've had three panther platform Fords, the first year LTD (79), a 93 and a 95 p71.

One of my favorite cars. The end of the production models like you have have the watts link rear end, rack and pinion steering, and the most horsepower that any of them got. It'll also have better brakes than the earlier ones. I'd love to have one with an eaton blower and a manual swap.

I won't be able to attend the challenge this year, but I'm looking forward to seeing more of this car here.

Welcome to the forum!

akamcfly
akamcfly Dork
9/8/19 5:09 p.m.

Fix the cigarette lighter...

Agent98
Agent98 Reader
9/8/19 7:28 p.m.

OK! loving the panthers, I've had 1990, 2000, 2003 (Marauder), and a 2006.

Suggestions:

1.With 207K DEFINITELY no 5W-20 at the track, run 5W-30 Walmart synthetic or 15W-40 Rotella. With Motorcraft filter, no other type.

2.Tires are your biggest improvement here, either Nittos on all four corners, or find a set of Marauder 18" wheels.

3.Weight reduction? ha. The car weighs 4000 lbs.  yank all the interior out you want if this is a track only beast...wont matter a whole lot. All the other seats, spare tire, floor covering that's about it....might be 200 lbs there... the door panels are light weight, as are the window motors, etc...so I'd quit there.

4.If you don't mind the possibility of walking home -get a 75 nitrous dry shot used, otherwise nothing much you can do to boost HP and stay within budget. For the drag strip portion only.

5.Paint -get some 2X rustoleum gloss black and activated clear from amazon, like 18 bucks a can for painting over the ugly olive green sections.

Good luck!

 

 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau SuperDork
9/8/19 7:52 p.m.

A vinyl cutter will get you to a cool John Player Special theme with little effort. "John Panther Special".

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UberDork
9/8/19 7:55 p.m.

Nice car to start with!  I think the 2004 is the first year of the improved transmission, and the last year with a cable throttle.  Considered looking for one for rallycross at one point.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/8/19 8:24 p.m.

One vote for Smokey And The Bandit livery.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
9/8/19 8:39 p.m.

+ one million votes for "John Panther Special."  Maschinenbau wins the Internet.

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/8/19 8:53 p.m.

In reply to akamcfly :Ah, I knew there was something missing from my To Do list! Ha.  Thanks for post.

 

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/8/19 8:57 p.m.

8/16/19
Xxxxx delivered the car last night.
This morning my first look in the daylight. It’s kind of like Las Vegas in the early morning. You can’t believe it looked this good in the dark. So far I have found, in the trunk and back seat, a car battery, 3 gallons of coolant (not a good sign) and lift kit, (I’m assuming for 24” wheels) and loose change, a pack of unused condoms and flotsam of all shapes and sizes.
I stripped out the trunk insulation, the under hood insulation and some plastic trim (24 lbs.). On the good side, it starts right up, sounds good and drives around the block. There is a Wal-Mart oil change sticker that is new and shows Synthetic oil change. That’s a good sign.

8/17/19

It smells. I mean smells. It has 23 air fresheners in it. I’m not sure what is worse, the sweet sickening air freshener smell or what it might be masking. The decision to completely gut the interior became easier. For a while, I went back and forth or how much to do to it for the Challenge. I was considering making it resalable when I came home, assuming nothing blew up. But eventually, the smell was overpowering enough for a complete interior gut. Once I decided that, the project became fun.

8/19/19

Starting with shop vacuuming pounds and pounds of debris. On the bad side, I’ve found dozens of pencils, pens, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, an additional car battery, 3 gallons of coolant and enough change to half fill a coffee can (I’m running them through the parts washer first).

8/21/19

Finally cleared away, enough debris to take out the front and rear seats. The bolts were covered in God knows what and I couldn’t get a socket on them. Found that the Passenger side air bag had been deployed and shoved back under the cover.

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/8/19 9:00 p.m.

 

 

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Agent98
Agent98 Reader
9/8/19 9:52 p.m.

Get an ozone generator for the smell....79 bucks on amazon. Run it inside the car with the ac fan  on full blast 1 hr...all stink will be gone. 

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/9/19 8:09 a.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

Thanks but we've just gutted the interior (see future post) and Im leaving all the windows down (dry Fall in Baltimore). Thanks for the post and tip.

 

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/9/19 6:42 p.m.

8/29/19

Installed junkyard seats. They feel firm and don’t smell (always a plus in used upholstery). Started making small plates and riveted them to body covering holes from multiple cop antennas. I used the lower baking drawer from a discarded oven for the sheet metal. Removed 10 lbs. more of insulation under dash. Al found some scrap bar for harness bar support and we’ll be using part of the roll bar we used in the 2003 Challenge for the bar itself.

 

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Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/9/19 6:43 p.m.

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Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/9/19 6:44 p.m.

Latest update on our Cop Car. Cashed in the change found under the seat at Coinstar, $24.46. Not bad.
Then found a very clean set of 17” wheels and tires on Facebook Marketplace at a good price from a nice young guy in Towson.
Ordered a 20’ piece of .120 mild steel tubing for harness bar and supports.
Pulled several pounds of wire from aftermarket sound system.
And finally... replaced the child’s swing chain that supported the left exhaust system with a real exhaust hanger (in a box) I bought in the 1970s at Western Auto.

 

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/9/19 6:48 p.m.

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OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
9/9/19 7:15 p.m.

Has that Hertz gt350 / Smokey Yunick thing going for it for sure.

 

The trunk picture gives me anxiety however,  this VIC has great potential! 

 

It's got a cop motor, a 4.6 plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. What do you say, is it the new $2000 Challenge or what?

Agent98
Agent98 Reader
9/10/19 7:57 a.m.

Great job!

it's a different car already, especially with those 17" wheels. Wonder what a local outfit would charge you to do a custom tune for 93 octane?

Maybe vinyl wrap for the hood, roof and trunk...

https://www.amazon.com/GLOSS-BLACK-Release-Pockets-Bubble/dp/B01GNBAGHQ/ref=asc_df_B01GNBAGHQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312061963574&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15009566684491786646&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008121&hvtargid=pla-571946708838&psc=1

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/10/19 6:28 p.m.
  1.  

 

  1. was planning on building a NHRA approved battery box and tie down. When I pulled the battery, I found the OEM underneath. The last owner, apparently, just pulled the old battery and put the new one in on top of the bolt and hold down.

 

  1.  The top of the air cleaner box is missing. So I was thinking of a ram air duct.  I saw a cool video on making one from the headlight cavity. Since we need only one heading for NHRA rules, I pulled the old unit (not attached properly) and made this one. Actually very easy. Took it apart, cut off wheel cut (or melted) the plastic. A hole saw to make the back hole bigger. I had brake duct left over from our 2003 Challenge car. And I found an old screen window to use in front. I use old album covers as cardboard templates for cutting it to size..  seem to be the right thickness.  No air cleaner but we’ll live dangerously.
Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/10/19 6:32 p.m.

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Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/10/19 6:33 p.m.

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/10/19 6:34 p.m.

Monza275
Monza275 New Reader
9/10/19 6:37 p.m.

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