Let’s rewind to last Saturday. After checking out five Crown Victoria Police Interceptors that had gone up on the auction block, I decided to bid on them. The first three were 2011 Vics with bi-fuel engines that ran on gasoline or propane. The last two were 2010 models with gasoline engines and in decent condition.
On the day of the bidding, I whiffed on all of them. No car. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise.
On the way home via public transit, I spotted a 2010 Crown Victoria in aluminum paint still equipped with its permissible external police gear - the spotlight, the push bumpers and fender guards. Mileage on the odometer was 100,000 miles.
It was beautiful. I texted the seller, and we arranged to meet at a local school to inspect the car. Since my newbie-ass couldn’t tell the difference between an oil line and a spark plug at the time, I did my best to examine it - which included a visual check for rust, missing or damaged parts, and having the owner start the engine with the hood open so I could observe it. Then had him give it a rev.
Despite my severe hearing loss, I liked what I saw and heard. I could not discern any odd sounds. I also gave it a quick test drive around the parking lot, forward and reverse. Then I voiced a commitment to buy for $3,250. We made arrangements for the next day, but issues with the bank delayed that to Monday.
During the wait, I dug into the car and asked the owner more questions. It turned out that the engine itself wasn’t the original. It had 77,000 miles on it, and was pulled from a Seattle Police Department car that had been auctioned. To me, that was a bonus - I’ve got an engine that I know won’t crap the bed since the Seattle PD’s maintenance is known to be among the best in the region.
When Monday came around, and the bank was open, we met in the lobby, did the transaction and the paperwork. I was now the owner of a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. It still had its original Firehawk GT Pursuit tires - which, I should add, are expensive tires with no mileage warranty at $330 per tire ($1600 for four, plus complimentary services and tax).
On Thursday, I took it in to a local Chevy dealership’s service department. I had the wheels aligned and a multi-point inspection done alongside it. Best $100 I’ve ever spent — it gave me renewed confidence in the car.
In short, the car was in fantastic condition for being a former law enforcement vehicle that was routinely doing 90+ MPH on the freeways in Pierce County. My gracious thanks to the good people at Chevrolet of Everett!
The service tech recommended that I get the belt drive, power steering line, transmission line, and the air filter replaced. All told, that’s about $745 of servicing. I’ve decided to break this up over a couple months so my bank account doesn’t get tapped out.
So in March, I’m going to have the transmission line and the trans fluid replaced as a matter of precaution. That’s a $500 service since the transmission fluid change is optional at this point. Then, later in the spring, I’ll deal with the power steering and the belt drive. Somewhere along the way, I’ll grab a cheap WIX air filter. Oh, and at some point, I’ll get a dual channel dash camera system installed.
Then, when May comes, I’m getting a new set of all-season tires. CooperTires CS5 Ultra Touring. It’s got the mileage warranty I want, and W-rated as well.
I cannot wait for a good day for driving to finally arrive after I’ve gotten all of the above done, so I can take it out on I-90 and go through Snoqualmie or Stampede Pass, and onward to the Columbia River Gorge. When that happens, I’m going to take pictures.
For now, I’m keeping her bone stock as I get accustomed to driving. Then, eventually, as my first step towards treating her with the love she deserves, I will take her to a local body shop to remove the rubber-plugged holes from the old police electronics. She’ll look brand-new afterward.
In conclusion, I leave you with this quote by a friend of mine:
Looks a bit worn in places, older model design, and never a luxury car. For a first car, it might as well be a golden chariot pulled by flaming steeds.
My wishlist for the future:
- Supercharger for the 4.6L V8, and a new air box to match.
- New exhaust system for a slightly more aggressive sound, but not “chest-whammying”. I’m not going to be a nuisance.
- New center console, probably will get one at a Pick & Pull.
- Cruise control system. This requires a new steering wheel and some research on installation.
- Dual Channel Dash Camera System.
- 10 years from now, I’ll probably get a 5.0L Coyote and a 10-speed automatic, along with a new drive train and rear differential.