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Hooniverse Panther Edition Weekend – A 1992 or a 1989 Crown Victoria (A Box or a Bubble?)

Jim Brennan September 18, 2011 For Sale, Weekend Edition 30 Comments

Continuing on with our Panther Edition Weekend, here is a couple of vintage Ford Crown Victorias, one just before the complete body redesign, and one just afterwards. Which one of these Panther Classics would you want to call your own?


First up is this 1989 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX, finished in what I can only describe as Wine, with a Bordello Red Velour interior. This car was a facelift of the original 1979 body style, but it didn’t receive the updated dash with a driver side airbag. It shows off the lines well, and is fairly well equipped for the time, including the Turbine Alloy Wheels, and the 1/2 Vinyl Roof Covering.

Inside this car received an aftermarket Pioneer Audio System during some part of its lifetime, but it’s not as obtrusive as having this system installed in an older car. This particular car looks complete, and it shows 106,000 miles on the odometer. The price is right at $999, so would this red on red Crown Vic be the Panther for you? See the listing here.

This is a 1992 Ford Crown Victoria LX, and is the first year of the complete restyle of the line. Due to the new look, the Wagon was the first casualty (The 2-door was done a long time ago), but was that really much of a loss? This LX comes “Fully Loaded” with Alloys, Leather, Electric Everything, the 4.6L V-8, and more. This is the body style that had the windows embedded within the “C” pillar for better visibility, and the grill-less front end treatment.

This car had travelled only 77,000 miles, and the price reflects that at $4,000. I’m not sure if that is too high, but where else can you get a relatively low mileage, full sized, fully equipped car for less? See the listing here.

So, are these Panthers anyting to write home about? Let me know how you are enjoying (or not enjoying) the Panther weekend so far.

  • JoeDunlap

    Im aFORD I cant aFORD either of these, although if I could, they might be useful for FORDing streams and such. Can we stop FORDing around now and post something other than FORDs?

    • UDman

      Joe, Since I try and do Themed Weekends, I chose the Ford Panther Platform as the theme for this weekend because the Crown Victoria was discontinued this past Thursday.

      These "Themed" weekends is what separates us from the other car based blogs like Jalopcrap, and Autoboring. The others don't seem to post much during the weekends. Anyway, there will be non Ford weekends in the very near future.

      • JoeDunlap

        Sorry UD, I hope I didnt offend. All of the posts were great! My comment was meant entirely in jest.

      • tonyola

        I have no problem with themed weekends myself, and for a bunch of old-car-loving gearheads, a Panther weekend is appropriate because of the historical import. Keep them coming.

  • B72

    And what do Panthers eat? Impalas?

    How about a post on the cars the panthers want up against. Has one aged better than the others?

  • Ill admit it I was never a big fan of Fords until the 2000s when they started introducing interesting designs like the EDGE and the Focus and the new Focus hatch is the first one in recent history that I have openly lusted after. The only exceptions was the 65 Mustang convertible I wanted in high school and the first gen Bronco that I want now.

    That being said my dad has owned an Expedition and I remember it was a pretty good ride. In the 90s my dad had to take his Buick in for service (surprise , surprise) they gave him a loaner Crown Vic like the 88 up there and I remembered that it barely fit in our garage.
    It was a huge boat of a car but it was also very plush. It was the era when you had lighters and ashtrays in each door and dangit you used em too. The ride was soft and we didnt care about body roll. We wanted comfort to the golf course.

    If I had to choose I would pick the 88. It has more personality and is a better base to do mods if you wanted to. Im not talking donked out or anything but some tasteful chrome wheels and some sleeper ready engine work.

    • Maymar

      You know, my grandparents' Crown Vic had the ashtrays in each door (and one in the dash of course), but they were never put to use. Then again, whenever my grandfather smoked (Camels, exclusively), it was always outside the house anyhow.

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    Ordinarily, I'm a sucker for the '92-only aero-nose, but I really don't care for beige and really do care for merlot, cranberry, maroon, and so forth. The '89 wins this round; it's fortunate that it isn't closer and that I don't need a car…

  • Alff

    I'll take box #1. Ford's bubbly cars of the '90s don't do it for me.

    • Agreed. I have no love for the bubbles, but do enjoy the boxes.

    • The Professor

      Yes, myself also. The bubble cars look like all the other bubble cars on the road, while the old TCs were distinctive in their looks. And big and roomy, and depending on the year, adequately powerful.

  • Smells_Homeless

    Duh, for one large the 89 is an excellent starting point for something really cool. Unfortunately, it'll likely meet its end quickly with a hatchetman sticker in the center of the rear window.

  • Devin

    I've got to admit, Panther weekend has made me realize I really am not a Panther fan. Suddenly very happy trends moved on and this kind of thing just doesn't exist anymore.

    If I were forced, I'd have to take the cheaper one, just because then I could find a second car and make a retro cop movie on a budget.

    • loren

      F you man I was born 88 my ltd crown Victoria was made November 88 it's actually the 89 yr model not many people can say my cat is as old as me and it had good hp this my third ltd I've owned three 89 all lx in 07 my first ltd did doughnuts in the fields graduating high school and that sure was fun the one I have now my pride and joy

  • tonyola

    The 1992 Crown Vic was the very best looking of all the Ford-branded Panthers in my opinion. The Touring Sedan version was particularly nice. Sadly, Ford started to water it down with glitzy grilles beginning in 1993, though the gullwing-tailllight rear introduced for 1995 was attractive. I think Ford made a mistake by dropping the six-window roof for the more-formal Mercury greenhouse in 1998. Also, the rear styling was now nearly identical between the two cars. These moves took away the major styling distinctions between the Ford and Mercury Panthers, helping to cement the perception that the Mercury was just a deluxe Ford. One more nail in Mercury's coffin.

    The 1988 Ford pictured here is a good buy at a grand and the color is attractive. It's hard to pass up for the price – hell, the parts alone are probably worth at least a grand. However, while I'm not enamored by metallic beige, the 1992 is the better-looking car inside and out. As for whether one can buy a relatively low mileage, full sized, fully equipped car for less, 1992 and later H-body Olds, Pontiacs, and Buicks are still cheap and plentiful. Very worthy cars in their own right.

    • loren

      92 is not the better of the two your joking my 89 has a 5.0 v8 and the 92 has a 4.6 v8 which get the better gas in my opinion 89 I know what she can get off droven properly and 89 has more style and I've owned the red one up their similar anyways

  • facelvega

    Price apart, it's a tough call between the mature squared-off styling and the tightest, early version of the rounded styling on these. The Crown Vic had a more successful interior update than the Town Car around this time, and the new interior isn't half bad though with 2011 eyes the '88 still speaks to me more. But as everyone says, the color is the clincher here, and the older car has to get the nod. Sadly in the 90s Ford dropped a lot of its bordello color options, or at least nobody was ordering them anymore.

    • Maymar

      Sadly, a lot of colour options started dropping off like flies in the mid-90s. I had a '90 F-150 and a '99 Escort, with bordello red and baby blue interiors, respectively. My parents had an '89 Grand Caravan with an equally blue interior, while one set of grandparents had an '88 Voyager, and the other had an '86 Crown Vic, both with a similar shade of red to the interior. As I recall, the Contour or Mystique was even available with a green interior for a while. Whither colour in the face of simplicity and quality control, I guess.

      • Devin

        You could get the forest green on the '99 Escort too, I saw it in a ZX2 once. My ZX2, alas, had the depression grey interior.

        I can get why people want an interior that's not controversial, but I don't get why depression grey became the go-to color scheme.

  • The Crown Vic pretty much fuelled my love for American cars through the 90s.

    Age 12, in '93 I visited FLA for the generic Disney vacation. Being your regualar pubescent car nut, my Dad agreed to take me on a tour of Orange Blossom Trail, where I could visit car dealerships 'til my hearts content. All in the comfort of our Alamo Lumina Euro. I by-passed all the Jap-derived brands (not "exotic" enough) and made straight for GM, Ford and Chrysler.

    Well, sadly I didn't do that well, missing out on a good few marques. But I did get to spend an hour or so in a Ford showroom, where some poor guy seemed only too happy to speak to my Dad and I. And two cars, the Crown Vic and, of course, the Thunderbird absolutely captivated me. The CV because of its sheer scale compared to the Ford Granada, their then flagship in the UK and a car we thought of as pretty vast, and the Thunderbird for being a big, V8 (or supercharged V6) coupe at a time where Ford offered absolutely nothing like that in Europe.

    I yearned for ford to make a Scorpio coupe but it never happened for some reason…

  • grinder_74

    I dig the boxy '89. I used to drool over those when I'd see the detective cars running around town when I was a teen. Later I had a '90 Colony Park, so I'm kinda partial. Btw Bring back the showdown voting polls!!!!!!

  • BlackIce_GTS

    Wow, the colour (and interior) of the '89 really really remind me of my old Delta 88. I like it anyway. Prices don't get a whole lot righter, I'm glad it's very far away so I don't have to consider exactly how right it is.

    I have a feeling this makes me sound like an elderly seatbelt complainant, but I'm not entirely convinced of the utility of airbags. My current daily driver is the first car I've had so equipped. I don't usually think about them, but whenever I do I'm mildly disconcerted by the thought of the poofy cannon aimed at my face. I wouldn't avoid a car just because it had them (obviously), but my inclination is the opposite of normal. And possibly sensible.

  • I like the 80s box. If it's a 90s bubble make it a Caprice.

    My friend just got a 1995 Crown Vic for his daily and we roadtripped to VA beach and back this August. It's comfy, has plenty of passing power and cruises well, but the outside just looks like a big Taurus. I would prefer either a newer or older CV but it's really not a big deal. For the price of these two it's definitely the '89.

    A side note, We were driving through Richmond when the earthquake struck but didn't feel anything in the car. I'd like to chalk it up to the cushy ride but any rough riding car [like mine] would likely mask any added vibration equally well.

  • MusclesMarinara

    The '92 happens to be my favorite of the "Aero"-styled cars, but I've got to go with the '89 here – it's just perfect. Dark Toreador Red is one of the best Ford colors of all-time, and the super-clean Bordello Red CLOTH interior seals the deal. The Lo-Po 5.0 might be lacking in power, but nothing a few Mustang bolt-ons can't fix.

    The earlier "boxes" were completely devoid of style, a deficiency I think Ford remedied nicely with the refresh. And you can't beat the price. That is a great car for the money.

  • ptschett

    I remember when MotorWeek tested the '89 Crown Vic. I was in the habit of taping the show then (I might only have been 8, but I was the only person in the family who understood the VCR other than maybe my sister) and I rewatched that test so many times I think that part of that tape has notable wear. So for me the '89 gets my vote.

    If the '92 were instead a '95-'97 with the miniscule egg-crate grille and especially with the BBS-style wheels that some option packages had, I might reconsider.

    • MusclesMarinara

      The '92 Crown Victoria to have (actually, THE post-92 Vic to have, IMO) was the one year-only "Touring Sedan."

      The BBS-copy wheels really have a slimming effect on these cars, and the two-tone paint works in this color scheme. Also, the interior on this particular car is just exquisite.
      <img src="http://www.mcsmk8.com/92-P75/92P75-03.JPG"&gt;
      <img src="http://www.mcsmk8.com/92-P75/92P75-12.JPG"&gt;

      read about it here, and then spend the next 5 hrs ogling over this guy's ridiculous collection:
      <a href="http://www.mcsmk8.com/92-P75/92-P75.HTM” target=”_blank”>http://www.mcsmk8.com/92-P75/92-P75.HTM

      • scoutdude

        The wheels on the pictured car are not the OE touring sedan wheels. The only thing unique about the touring sedan is the badges and two tone paint. It was the same functionally as a LX with HPP.

        • Devin

          Pretty sure those are the OE touring sedan wheels, they were included on the handling package as well. I am going on memories of brochures from 20 years ago (collected 'em as a kid, though I wonder why I remember those specific wheels) but they're definitely OE Ford wheels.

  • Maymar

    [youtube z5rRZdiu1UE&ob=av3e http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rRZdiu1UE&ob=av3e youtube]
    I'm a big fan of the '92 Crown Vic. Still, $3000 buys a lot of polyester clothing and fake moustaches. Not that I can't grow my own, but my Scandinavian heritage renders it too pale, and not luxurious enough.