The venerable Ford Crown Victoria—the police car for over a generationbefore production ended in 2011—has finally reached the end of the road at another one of our nation’s law enforcement agencies. This week, Vermont State Police announced the retirement of its last active-service Crown Vic, which is headed back into the shop for a thorough refresh before being auctioned off like the maple-scented collector’s item it will one day become.
There’s no doubt that the newest crop of police cruisers are far more efficient than the hulking Crown Victoria, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the old girl. The car’s three-decade reign on American roads left its perfect three-box form (not to mention those instantly recognizable headlights) embedded in our national consciousness. It’s still a visual shorthand for authority, and its dead-simple powertrain was one of the last bastions of easy serviceability in the automotive world.