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Tom Heath
Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
9/16/09 1:35 p.m.

Okay, so now that the Miata is wrapped, I've decided it gets a little too much attention to be a good daily driver. Coupled with the fact that it's only a two seater, I need to have something else on hand to use as a kid hauling device and general purpose transport.

I've also got the car formerly known as GRM Project Neon. Although it seats four, it's loud and crude. The doors don't lock, it has no stereo, and it scares small children. In short, it makes a great race car but a crappy daily driver.

This leaves me needing something else...something easy, simple, and above all reliable that can haul me and both kids around town. Thanks to the ridiculous speed bumps at my son's school, it also needs a pretty generous amount of ground clearance. (Even the Neon scrapes.)

I've decided a nice Crown Victoria (P71 Interceptor, natch.) might be my best bet. With that decision made, the next step should be easy, but I thought I'd consult some experts in the field before going further. What should I be looking for? How cheaply can I get into a good example? Anybody want to trade theirs for a badass Rally Neon?

petegossett
petegossett Dork
9/16/09 2:20 p.m.

Well, if you're hauling children - especially smaller ones - I'd certainly recommend finding one that still has the cage.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/09 2:27 p.m.

advice number one: there are millions and millions of them out there, wait for a nice one.

Over a year ago mine cost me $3600. It's an all black 2002. Never had any holes drilled into it, nor decals. It had 90k miles. It has the Street appearance package (chrome trim). It was in excellent shape and I bought it from a dealership.

Advice number two: don't consider one older than 2001.

keethrax
keethrax Reader
9/16/09 2:36 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: Advice number two: don't consider one older than 2001.

Care to elaborate on that bit?

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/09 2:39 p.m.

A P71 made in 2000 or before has a Non-"Performance Improved" 4.6 motor. It will be more lethargic by, I don't remember, 30-40 hp? And hardly less money.

keethrax
keethrax Reader
9/16/09 2:55 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: A P71 made in 2000 or before has a Non-"Performance Improved" 4.6 motor. It will be more lethargic by, I don't remember, 30-40 hp? And hardly less money.

Thanks.

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous New Reader
9/16/09 2:59 p.m.

'03 and newer used aluminum lower control arms and rack and pinion steering as well as wheels with a different offset.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Marketing / Club Coordinator
9/16/09 3:14 p.m.

Thanks, I knew you folks had some good advice. Keep it coming!

RossD
RossD HalfDork
9/16/09 3:20 p.m.

Did the P71 ever have a center console with shifter?

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
9/16/09 3:27 p.m.

Get a LT1 Roadmaster Station Wagon then put a T-56 behind it (my dream)...* Runs and hides *

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
9/16/09 3:35 p.m.

In reply to RossD:

no, but the crown vic LX sport did, same drivetrain and plush interior. find a wrecked one and pull the interior ftw

RossD
RossD HalfDork
9/16/09 3:48 p.m.
Strizzo wrote: In reply to RossD: no, but the crown vic LX sport did, same drivetrain and plush interior. find a wrecked one and pull the interior ftw

Ohh...or just find a Maurader...for 3x as much probably...

keethrax
keethrax Reader
9/16/09 3:52 p.m.
Greg Voth wrote: Get a LT1 Roadmaster Station Wagon then put a T-56 behind it (my dream)...* Runs and hides *

I'm right there with you in that dream...

patgizz
patgizz Dork
9/16/09 4:10 p.m.

really nice cared for p71's have asking prices akin to those of the marauder of equal mileage and condition.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel New Reader
9/16/09 4:59 p.m.

It's not exactly local to the Sunshine State, but I've been impressed with the attitudes (and the inventory) on the website of Emergency Remarketing in Ohio.
There is obviously a cost involved, but having somebody else clean and refurbish your ex-police car has a lot to recommend it. Why try to distinguish between donut sugar and cocaine in your own driveway?

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
9/16/09 5:03 p.m.

Its easy to distinguish. One you lick, one you sniff.

paul
paul New Reader
9/16/09 5:27 p.m.

I wouldn't even consider the 99 or before (with the non PI heads).

I've driven 5-speed non-PI Mustang gt's, and they're downright anemic, I can only imagine what a crown vic would be like...

Appleseed
Appleseed Dork
9/16/09 6:34 p.m.
keethrax wrote:
Greg Voth wrote: Get a LT1 Roadmaster Station Wagon then put a T-56 behind it (my dream)...* Runs and hides *

I'm right there with you in that dream...

Change that to 9C1 and I'm there, too.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
9/16/09 6:49 p.m.

Detective cars are a good thing. no holes, no cage, full cloth interior, hidden radio wiring.

Be very scared of some wiring hack jobs, take caution

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/09 7:02 p.m.
paul wrote: I wouldn't even consider the 99 or before (with the non PI heads). I've driven 5-speed non-PI Mustang gt's, and they're downright anemic, I can only imagine what a crown vic would be like...

with crown vic's it's 2000 and before, they lagged the mustangs on that upgrade.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/09 7:03 p.m.
patgizz wrote: really nice cared for p71's have asking prices akin to those of the marauder of equal mileage and condition.

that has not been my experience. in fact, imo I would expect to pay at least 50% more for an MM than a P71.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
9/16/09 7:07 p.m.

The suspension/steering/brake upgrade is in 2003 and up. I have been extremely satisfied with the brakes on my 2002. Additionally there is a Bilstien HD application for the 2002 and older and not for 2003 and up. They're pretty cheap too. So that leaves only the steering design as superior on the newer examples. I kinda like the wheel offset on the 2002 and older, it allows much more dish (see pictures in profile).

patgizz
patgizz Dork
9/16/09 7:37 p.m.
Stealthtercel wrote: It's not exactly local to the Sunshine State, but I've been impressed with the attitudes (and the inventory) on the website of Emergency Remarketing in Ohio. There is obviously a cost involved, but having somebody else clean and refurbish your ex-police car has a lot to recommend it. Why try to distinguish between donut sugar and cocaine in your own driveway?

i bought my 99 from them, it was in their "economy cruisers" listing and he took a good bit off because i got to it before they cleaned it up

plance1
plance1 HalfDork
9/16/09 7:44 p.m.

I looked at these myself but never took the plunge. I have been told the same thing by others get a 2003 or newer car, cloth interior usually means the car was owned by a chief, detective, etc. and was not used as a patrol car. Even if it was a patrol car, it probably had good, regular fleet maintence so don't worry too much.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
9/16/09 7:49 p.m.

98 and 99 had the stupid plastic thermostat housing, make sure it was replaced in the recall.

Seriously go with 03 or newer

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