News last year that Ford will soon discontinue its Crown Victoria sedan sent police forces across North America reeling. The big, rear-wheel-drive Crown Vic has long been the go-to police cruiser. It’s relatively cheap (at under $30,000), built like a tank, and is easy to fix. So before the car disappears for good, the police in Austin, Texas, are asking the city government for US$4.5 million to buy a final supply of 176 Crown Victorias—enough to last them at least five years.
This hoarding of cop cars should end up saving the city a lot of money, say the police. Carmakers are rushing to market replacement cruisers, mostly based on today’s smaller sedans. But police in Austin argue they don’t yet know how much those cars will cost (likely a lot more than the old Fords), and switching would mean replacing their entire stock of replacement parts for the decades-old car. Most importantly, the police point out the newer cars just aren’t “tried and true” like their beloved Crown Vics.