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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

Ford Crown Victoria - Iconic yellow taxi and police car

When we think of American automotive icons, one of the first images that come to mind is the Ford Crown Victoria. This extraordinary car is more than just a means of transportation; it is a piece of history that will remain forever in the culture and landscape of American cities.

Ford Crown Victoria is not just a car, it is a symbol of an era that has become inextricably linked with American policemen and yellow taxis, constituting an important element of the landscape of large metropolises such as New York.

In this article, we will look not only at the history and evolution of this iconic model, but also at its role as an indispensable element of American police services and an inseparable companion of city rides in yellow taxis. We will consider what makes the Crown Victoria so special and why, despite the end of production, it still remains an important element of American popular culture.

We will also present the fascinating history of the creation of yellow taxis, which have become almost synonymous with the New York urban landscape, and in which the Ford Crown Victoria played a key role.

We invite you to a journey back in time that will reveal the history of the Ford Crown Victoria - from its beginnings, through its golden years of service on the streets, to its immortal legacy in American culture.

It's a story about a car that became more than just a vehicle - it became a legend, witnessing and participating in a changing world, reflecting the spirit and character of the era in which it dominated. Let's get to know the Ford Crown Victoria - a car that has become an American classic and an inseparable element of automotive history.

Ford Crown Victoria in New York

Ford Crown Victoria and its place as an iconic car in the USA

Ford Crown Victoria, although introduced in 1992, has a rich history dating back to earlier Ford models. Its genesis is closely related to the development of the Ford LTD series, from which it evolved, providing a classic, yet modern design and innovative technologies.

Over the years, the Crown Victoria has undergone a variety of changes, from engine refinements to safety and comfort improvements, making it an ideal choice not only for individual owners, but also for taxi and public service fleets.

The history of taxis in the United States is as fascinating as the history of the Crown Victoria itself. From the first vehicles, such as the legendary Checker Cabs, which were synonymous with New York taxis for decades, to modern models.

The transition from Checker Cabs to other models was gradual, with the Ford Crown Victoria quickly gaining popularity as a worthy successor - thanks to its reliability, spaciousness and cost efficiency. It became a favorite of taxi drivers, dominating the market and becoming almost as recognizable an element of the city landscape as its predecessors.

A traditional yellow taxi, the so-called Checker Cabs

In the new millennium, Crown Victoria continued its evolution, introducing new technologies and improvements to meet changing market needs. Recent models offered advanced safety features, better fuel economy and increased comfort for both driver and passengers.

The Crown Victoria was also compared to new eco-friendly taxi models such as hybrid and electric vehicles that began to appear in the 21st century, but its classic charm and proven reliability remained unwavering.

The Ford Crown Victoria not only gained iconic status on American streets, but also played a key role in the Ford Motor Company portfolio. This model has become a symbol of durability, reliability and American automotive craftsmanship.

His impact on the Ford brand was enormous, contributing not only to the company's solid image but also to significant sales results, especially in the fleet sector. A favorite of many police departments and taxi companies, the Crown Victoria has helped solidify Ford's position as a leader in public service and commercial vehicles.

The Crown Victoria's legacy in Ford's automotive history is undeniable. Its influence on future models, both technically and aesthetically, is visible in many aspects. The Ford Crown Victoria not only shaped the look and features of today's company cars, but also contributed to the evolution of safety and comfort standards, inspiring subsequent generations of designers and engineers.

Ford Crown Victoria As one of the symbols of New York City

 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) what would an action movie be without this police car?

The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI), a police version of the popular Ford Crown Victoria, was a key player in the police vehicle market in the United States and Canada, especially after the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice. The CVPI, produced from 1992 to 2011, was the first Ford vehicle to use the "Police Interceptor" name.

Based on the Crown Victoria design, the CVPI initially closely resembled the civilian version of the model, including the 1995 facelift. However, from 1998, when the CVPI received its second generation, it began to differ noticeably from its civilian counterpart, especially by removing the chrome elements and replacing them with a unique honeycomb grill.

To still provide a civilian appearance to unmarked police cars, a 'Street Appearance Package' option was introduced, which was intended to make the CVPI look like a standard Crown Victoria.

In the following years, CVPI underwent a number of modifications and improvements. In 2004, this model was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 250 horsepower and 297 lb-ft of torque. There is also a new electronic throttle control system, which improves engine response and fuel efficiency, as well as enabling better integration with other electronic systems in the vehicle.

For 2005, the CVPI received minor appearance changes, including a new grille, front end and headlights, as well as improved side airbags and an updated suspension system. The option of an electronic stabilization system and an advanced steering system that adjusted the steering response depending on the vehicle speed was also introduced.

In 2006, a new "Street Appearance Package" appeared; for CVPI, which included features such as 17-inch styled steel wheels, chrome exhaust tips, a gloss black honeycomb grille, and body-colored mirrors. For 2007, the CVPI received several additional changes, including the addition of a passenger-side airbag, making it the first Crown Victoria with this feature.

Other modifications included new seat upholstery, redesigned cup holders and updated door panels.

In summary, the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was not only a continuation of the Crown Victoria legend, but also a stand-alone and innovative police vehicle solution, combining performance, safety and functionality in one reliable package.

Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as a cult vehicle in American action films

Why are taxis yellow?

The history of yellow taxis in New York has several possible threads that explain why this color has become so recognizable and characteristic of the city. One of the most likely stories concerns Albert Rockwell, founder of the Yellow Taxicab Company, which began operations in 1908.

According to the story, while traveling in Europe, Rockwell and his wife Nettie noticed the crucial role of taxis in European cities. Nettie, who preferred the color yellow, suggested that their taxis be painted this color and that the doors of the vehicles be decorated with the elegant letter "R". By 1910, these vehicles were known as "yellow taxis", and Rockwell founded the Yellow Taxicab Company in 1912.

In 1937, New York established the medallion system under the Haas Act, which limited the number of taxicab licenses and only allowed passengers to be picked up by licensed and supervised taxicabs. In Manhattan, yellow taxis were common, but they were not the only taxi color in the city (other common colors were orange, red, and gold as recently as 1968).

To help passengers distinguish taxis with the medal from those without the medal, a law was introduced requiring all taxis with the medal to be painted yellow​​.

Today, the official color of the New York yellow taxi is Dupont M6284 yellow or its equivalent. In addition to the yellow taxis, light green taxis have also appeared and can only pick up passengers in the suburbs and northern Manhattan​​.

Yellow taxis have become not only a practical element of urban transport, but also an icon of New York, recognized all over the world. Their characteristic color, making it easier to recognize and stand out in the urban crowd, has become an integral part of the city's image, reflecting its dynamic and diverse character.


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