Interesting Facts - Well we think so!
- Our totally genuine Ford P71 "Police Interceptors " represent the final evolution of the most iconic and - by a long long way - the best-selling Law Enforcement car of all time, anywhere. Since the debut of its legendary "flathead" V8 in 1932, Ford fast became the vehicle of choice for police forces across North America. In 1950 Ford was the first carmaker to offer a dedicated 'police package', and the company has the distinction of being the only manufacturer to continuously offer – for 63 consecutive years – a police package in its car selection.
- The P71 has featured in virtually every American film and TV series produced in the last 25 years. Almost 20 million have been manufactured. (That figure surprises even us — we reckon the 'Die Hard' and 'Terminator' films alone trashed almost that many!)
Roles and Duties
- There are over 38,000 liveried variants of the P71 car with Agencies in the USA. Yes, that comma is in the correct place; 38,000+! That includes over 300 separate local, State and federal (i.e. national) Agencies including Sheriffs' Departments, Highway Patrols, City and Town Police forces, State Troopers, FBI, CIA, NSA, Rangers, Dept of Homeland Security, Border Protection, Food & Drugs Administration, Secret Services, NASA, U.S. Coastguard, NCIS etc. They are also the preferred 'general transportation' vehicle of choice for military organisations such as the Marines, US Army, US Air Force, US Navy, etc, and for many other regional and State Agencies (e.g. local Departments of Transport, Metropolitan/City Authorities etc) too.
They are – quite simply - a modern American icon.
The car will be seen for many years to come, not simply because of the huge numbers built (and many will achieve mileages in excess of 400-500,000 miles) but because many Agencies have stockpiled them. Many many thousands of new and unused P71s and P7Bs slumber in warehouses, awaiting the day when their call to duty comes.
In 2010 Ford - in their wisdom - decided that the P71 would become the P7B (rumours suggested that they were running out of VIN/Chassis numbers to continue the P71 sequence!). The more serious news for US law Agencies however was that production would end in 2011. Despite enormous pressure from customers for a change of heart (who says they're always right?) the die was cast and the factory in Ontario Canada (whisper that fact to Americans, they thought Uncle Sam built 'em!) was closed for ever.
Just by way of interest, Ford were unable to offer one car to fill the gap left by the P71. So they now have to offer two; namely the off-road capable Ford Explorer, but with inherent limitations on speed/acceleration/etc, and the other is the 'Taurus' - essentially an American version of Europe's Mondeo. The latter is a much smaller and lighter car than the P71, with front wheel drive (or a.w.d. as an option); nowhere near as popular as the lamented P71, the Taurus has an unpleasant knack of bouncing off heavier SUVs and pick-up trucks when performing the famous PIT maneouvres! In the hands of a trained Officer the sheer musclepower and weight of a P71 combined with its low centre of gravity and rear wheel drive 'grunt' slamming into the side of another (often heavier) vehicle could literally roll the victim onto its side, or even roof.
We doubt too that the new Models have the same 'street cred' as the P71 - check out the pictures above; which of the three cars above would grab YOUR attention if they rolled into view?!!
Distribution & Sales in North America
- P71s have never been sold in Europe and they have never been manufactured as a right-hand drive car. To ensure street-legality in the EU we must therefore specify many modifications to each car during its full refurbishment in the USA after they were retired from official duties a few months ago. Even after arrival here in Europe, where we finish them in the specified colours and markings of individual customers, we may have to incorporate some small changes to ensure compliance, but we bet you'll struggle to identify more than a couple of them!
- Marked P71's are NEVER sold to the public; not by Ford, nor as 'one careful owner' 'pre-useds' by Law Enforcement Agencies in North America, NEVER!
Think about it, and the reasons become obvious - the goodies don't want to be T-boned off the Turnpike at 120mph+ by a baddy in one of their old buddies pretending to be a goody, do they? So at the end of their service they are stripped back to become 'ordinary' cars.
So how can we offer genuine P71 "Police Interceptors" to you? Well that's like the ingredients for Coke – it's a secret, but it is essentially because of "Who we know" and "What we know"!
We also provide a detailed Info Pack with each car which includes comprehensive facts and information to further reassure customers, and indeed the law enforcement authorities 'on the beat' in Europe, that these cars are perfectly safe to own and operate here. We have over three years' experience driving them across mainland Europe and Scandinavia and, whilst they certainly attract admiring looks from 'native' police forces, we have never encountered problems with them, nor have our Continental customers.
|Eastern Europe||'No YOU move aside!"||Scandinavian Reflection|
- The intended life-span of these cars is a minimum 250,000 miles. Some States demand that their Emergency-response P71's cover at least 150,000 miles before they are moved on, and their non-emergency P71's must cover 200,000 miles before they are put out to pastures new. Needless to say, our cars have proven mileages which are nothing approaching those sorts of distances – in fact by US Standards our P71s are barely 'run-in'!
- As a fleet operator vehicle, spares and parts are relatively cheap and simple to replace, even in Europe, where there are plenty of OEM parts in common with many other cars.
By way of examples, P71s use many standard Ford Europe 'Motorcraft' oil filters, and the European-legal rear light clusters supplied by us cost much less than a comparable part for a smaller Mondeo manufactured in Europe!
- Our cars originate from a 'dry State' in southern USA, where they have never seen salt or snow. In northern US States and Canada the winters can be tough; when snow falls roads are salted or even sanded. In the southern States the closest a P71 gets to salt is when the officer makes a comfort stop at the local McDonalds! So it don't have rust, no way, no sir!
- A couple of civilian versions of the Crown Victoria ('C/V') were also manufactured until 2008, but never with the unique features of our 'Interceptor' package. Unlike the list of special high speed pursuit and other features found in the P71s, C/Vs were the road-going equivalent of your favourite Sunday afternoon armchair!
- Ford Fleet Division manufactured an even longer wheelbase version of the Crown Victoria car for taxi fleets for some years — known as a 'P72'. Although some body shell panels were common amongst the 'C/V', P71 and P72 types of vehicles, that is where any similarity between them ended. Designed and constructed for a completely different working environment, the P72 incorporated components, assemblies and gearing ratios intended for slow speed and intensive stop/start inner city taxi work. So, for example, it was usually assembled with a 'CNG' (compressed natural gas) powered engine. CNG is similar, but not the same, as the liquid petroleum gas (i.e. 'LPG') which is more commonly found here in Europe.
(We even heard a rumour that NASA sent one up to the International Space Station with that guy Latka from the 'Taxi' TV series, and that it's attached to the other side of the ISS as an emergency 'lifeboat' to return the crew to Earth should the need ever arise. We doubt that can be true, but we haven't seen that guy on TV for a long time, and these Ford Fleet cars are so strong that we do sometimes wonder if these P71s and P72s may be built from recycled and recently-retired space shuttles!)
Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV)
From 2008, all 'Police Interceptors' are manufactured with flexible fuel (E85) capability. This means they can operate on BOTH unleaded fuel (i.e. 97 RON), AND also E85 (Biofuel), or any combination of the two.
E85 is a fuel that contains up to 85% ethanol mixed with at least 15% gasoline/unleaded petrol. Ethanol is a derivative of crops such as wheat and maize produced in the USA, Canada and increasingly Europe too. Where available, E85 cuts emissions by 20%-30%. Whether running on ethanol or petrol, the 'Police Interceptor' provides outstanding performance, durability and reliability.
Many American States now have some of the toughest emissions standards in the world. In 2008 Ford achieved 50-state certification for its 'Police Interceptors'. In order to differentiate its flexible fuel vehicles from standard gasoline/petrol vehicles, Ford began equipping all its E-85 capable vehicles with distinctive yellow gas/petrol caps in 2008, so check out our filler caps!