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I Fell Down the Crown Vic PI Rabbit Hole Last Night

Illustration for article titled I Fell Down the Crown Vic PI Rabbit Hole Last Night

I like LOVE sleepers. A car that looks timid, is common, and is usually slow, but then rips its competitors a new bunghole off the line is a wonderful thing to me. So while researching some possibilities that are somewhat (not really) economical, I started looking at Ford Police Interceptors. Then shit went south.


There are a few 2011 models on the market for around $5k, but of course those are ragged out former cop cars that have seen heavy use and constant abuse. The 4.6 liter V8s that are slapped under the Crown Victorias’ gargantuan hoods (measured in acres) have been flogged like an insolent sailer back in the 1600's. The cars themselves weigh over two tons stripped, even with their sparsely designed interiors and barebones options. And don’t even get me started on the transmission or suspension wear-and-tear. These were purpose-built vehicles that were meant to stand up to the rigors of their intended use, and the ones for sale have been deemed used up by their departments.

But what could be done to these poor models, yearning to join yet another bad guy chase? How much would it cost to get them there, and then some? How do you turn a 4,2oo lb behemoth into a proper performance car? The answer: A shit ton of money.


Forget about that 4.6 liter dinosaur. We need a new engine for this venture. For sale on the interwebs is a second generation 5.0 Coyote V8/six speed auto/ECU package (435 HP, 400 torque things) for the low low price of $13,000. Since I don’t think 435 Pony-derived ponies are enough, there are some Whipple super chargers available for about $7,400. I’d also want the new air intake/headers package for $1,400. A new reprogramming of the ECU would be about $1,000. Since the transmission in the aforementioned package will take up to 700 lb-foot of grunt, these alterations shouldn’t mess it up as long as the forced induction isn’t turned up to 11.

Since I’m a snob when it comes to vehicle interiors, a new dash, seats, steering wheel, and gadgets are musts. That’ll set me back a couple grand. Do I NEED to do this? Of course not, but think about all the sweaty cop butts that have spent hours sitting in that seat, all the grime from their hands on the dash and wheel, and all the perp pee/vomit that the rear has seen. Lysol can clean it, but the history remains. Gotta chunk it for something nicer.

The rear axle will need at least a rebuild if not a full replacement, depending on which variant it has. The suspension will need new shocks and a full inspection to be deemed acceptable, and perhaps we’ll lower it an inch for science. Some cool HID headlights can be purchased for $300, and a mean cat-back exhaust system for maybe $1,200. Don’t forget about the wheels and tires! Slightly wider rubber with lighter and larger rims will be needed to properly put the power to the pavement. Carbon fiber driveshafts are cheaper than ever, so maybe $2,500 for that (unsprung weight, yo!). New, cool paint? HELL YES

Oh, and labor.

So, all in, my trip down the rabbit hole would cost me about $5,000 for the car and $65,000 for the new parts/labor (and I’m probably low-balling the labor). This, kiddies, is why I don’t act on my automotive whims. Why buy a GT350R when you could rock this Frankenstein Crown Vic for the same price?

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