My recent travels to the Sunshine State gave me a chance to explore some of the really fascinating car stuff that goes on in the area. During my explorations I came across a particularly interesting business in the Orlando area.
We’ve all had the experience of traveling in the fast lane on an Interstate and see the black grill of the police version of Ford’s Crown Victoria come up in our rear view mirror. The reaction you have is repeated as traffic quickly moves to the right letting the marked or unmarked sedan move along virtually unimpeded.
The car in question is Ford’s Police Interceptor, also known as the P71 version of the Crown Vic. The end of last year also brought the end of production of this heavy duty sedan as Ford is replacing it with a totally new chassis. Yet there are plenty still in use by local and state police agencies.
But when they accumulate mileage or just reach an age that is considered old to these agencies these P71 models become available. It may be through a state’s surplus program or an auction. Many end up being taxis as they are prized for their heavy duty equipment that translates into many years of service as a hack.
There are also a few companies that scarf up these cars and, after various levels of refurbishment, will offer them for sale to the public.
The company that I visited also does this, but to a level that is exclusive to them. They start out with hand picked examples with relatively low mileage and backed up by excellent service documentation. Then they not only make certain that the cars are in reliable mechanical form, they completely repaint the bodies and clean and upgrade the interiors. Much more can, and is done, depending upon the requirements of the buyers. While about 40% of their cars go to civilian use the balance is purchased by security agencies and local government users.
The cost is reasonable for these refurbished and upgraded P71s. The videos on their web site are impressive. This is a huge step above what the Blues Brothers did with their used police car (virtually nothing).
The cars in the photos above are the starting point.
If you are hoping to pick up one of their P71s and have flashing blue and red lights installed, forget it. These guys play by the rules. But if you would like a fine example of a P71 for your road trip cruiser this is the place. You will have a fine example of the best heavy duty sedan that was ever provided to law enforcement only much better. The quality of the paint is in the flawless range. The interiors have been cleaned and refurbished to a level far higher than when the car was originally delivered to its first owner. No exhausted drivers seat or the smell of prisoners in the back seat such as you would get from a state auctioned P71. No dents or remnants of stickers and badging.
No, its not a BMW, but I can almost guarantee that if you travel in the left lane in one of these you won’t have a lot of problems with cars hogging the lane.