America is a polarizing place. Wherever you are, this 50-state nation has affected your lifestyle one way or another because it invented the vast majority of the things you consume daily and influenced modern culture more than any other country in today's world. Technology, sugary drinks, fast food, music, movies, even porn, it all comes from the US.
Muscle cars, pick-up trucks and Nascar, this is what springs to mind when non-Americans think about American motoring but to me, THE American car is neither a muscle nor a pick-up truck. It's a sedan made by Ford, the Crown Vic.
Even though the name Crown Vic was first utilized over 60 years with the Fairlane, the modern version of the Crown Vic was introduced in 1980, as part of the LTD family which also included the Brougham and the Galaxie. It was a full-size sedan or coupe, the SW came later, powered by a Ford Small Block Windsor V8 available as a 4.9 L or a 5.8 L. It shared the same basic architecture as the Ford Panther but it was equipped with live axle suspension at the back and independent double wishbone at the front. The Crown Vic was an immediate success, selling over 140,000 units in its first year (1980), and by the time the second gen came along in the late 1990s, Ford had sold around 1,5 million Crown Vics.
The second generation Crown Vic is the one we're all familiar with. It's the New York City taxicab and it's the police interceptor, even the French and Russian (yes) armed forces have bought Intereceptors at some point. You've probably seen this car in a million police procedural shows.
It was introduced in 1997, closely related to the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Marauder and Grand Marquis, and it was powered by a 4.6 L Ford V8 coupled with a 4-speed automatic. It was still based on the underpinnings of the Ford Panther and remained more or less unchanged until 2003, when it was redesigned with the addition of rack and pinion steering and new suspension. As it often was the case with American cars of the era, it was fundamentally underpowered because the 4.6 L V8 only made 250 hp in its most powerful variant. The fastest ever Crown Vic Police Interceptor, the M.Y. 2008, was able to cover a quarter-mile from a standing start in 16.29 seconds.
The Crown Vic was eventually discontinued in 2012, replaced by the Thaurus, and I know it sounds dumb but I've often thought about buying a Crown Vic as a personal vehicle, even though it would obviously made zero sense where I live. I still haven't and I probably never will so I guess the only thing that's left for me to do is break out my phone and open Instagram whenever I see one.