The first "Crown Victoria" appeared
in 1955 as a 2-door 6-seater hardtop coupe. Being part
of the Ford Fairlane range, it differed from the regular
Victoria model by having a lower, sleeker roofline
and much more stainless steel trim, incuding a stainless
steel band that 'crowned' the roofline, passing right
over the car, as an extension of the B-pillar line.
In 1979, Ford brought back the name on a deluxe version of the LTD full-size
car line. It was recognizeable by its four headlights with amber turn signals
There was a 2-door coupe (all steel top this time),
4 door sedan and a wagon- the wagon became a "Country
if fake-wood trim was ordered. Most had 5.0L V8s, all
By 1982 the LTD designation was dropped along with the base model. The coupe
did not last past 1985. In 1992 the sedan body (production of the [station wagon]
having ceased in 1991) was completely redesigned to the round, six-window shape,
and there was a new 4.6L "Triton" engine.
There was a further facelift in 1998 and chassis modifications for 2002. This
car, its slightly more luxurious twin the Mercury Grand Marquis, and the more
expensive Lincoln Town Car are just about the only mass-produced passenger cars
left in the world with a fully separate chassis as opposed to the more modern "unibody" contruction
style where the body panels are load bearing members.
Some 90% of police cars in the US and Canada are Crown Victorias. Current and
former police versions (the latter are often used as taxis) handily outnumber
civilian models. There has been some controversy and lawsuits in recent years
over the car's tendency to explode when rear-ended due to its retention of the
gas tank in the once-industry-standard position of behind the rear axle, rather
than the now more common location of in front of the rear axle.
The condition was exacerbated by the positioning of a sharp bolt on the rear
axle, which would puncture the tank in certain types of accidents. Measures have
been taken to correct the worst of the problems.