Today Marks Ten Years Since Ford Killed the Panther Body
The Ford Crown Victoria ended its production exactly for ten years today after 33 years. You don’t build a car for three decades without learning a thing or two about durability. Throughout the last decade, these body-on-frame dinosaurs have stoically maintained their Built Ford Tough reputation. Considering that we treat these cars as disposable objects, it’s impressive that any Panther Body Ford sedans are left running in the dawn of the 2020s. These are cars that spent their time rarely avoiding potholes, logging hundreds of thousands of miles in idle hours, and used as cannon fodder for our entertainment in Hollywood.
In honor of the Ford Crown Victoria’s 10th anniversary, I wrote an extended piece about its history and why people, especially law enforcement, still care about these old sedans. You can read it on IMBOLDN.com. However, in this article, we are focusing on the sedan’s extensive IMDB catalog in cinema. The Crown Vic is as loyal as a pit bull protecting its owner – and just as tough. I have selected five scenes from popular movies that feature the Ford Crown Victoria in a significant role. In these movie clips, you’ll see the Panther Body sedan fight against John Wick, the Duke Boys, defeat cyber terrorists, and even defy the laws of gravity.
The Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) – Crown Vics Take Flight
In the sequel to the cult-classic hit from 1980, The Blues Brothers 2000 opens with Elwood Blues 9Dan Aykroyd) on his first day out of prison. Elwood quickly scams his way into some money to buy a set of wheels for $500 bucks – a 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. In this scene, Elwood and the entire Blues Brothers band are fleeing from a herd of police officers. As they make their getaway, the police end up in an outrageous pile-up that sees Panther Body sedans flying through the air like bottle rockets.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) – Crown Vic Play with Fire
In the 2005 reboot, Bo Duke is trying to win a race with the cops biting at the General Lee‘s heels. Luke and Uncle Jesse “borrow” Boss Hogg’s pimpmobile Cadillac Eldorado to lend a hand. What ensues is a ballet of dancing Crown Vics being turned into Fireball Whiskey shots. This is a great scene that features Willie Nelson, John Knoxville, and the legendary Burt Reynolds.
John Wick 2 (2017) – Crown Vic vs. Baba Yaga
How tough is the Ford Crown Vic? Tough enough to fight John Wick in bumper-to-bumper combat when he recovers his 1969 Mustang Boss 1 from the Russian Mafia. Throughout this entire sequence, you can see the Ford Crown Victoria somewhere in the background. This video alone could be considered a tribute to the car.
Live Free or Die Hard (2007) – CVPI Defeats Cyber Terrorists
Fonzie may have jumped the shark on Happy Days, but John McClane jumped a Crown Vic into a helicopter in the fourth film of the Die Hard franchise. In this video, YouTube Channel dubas x86 edited the best CVPI scene in the movie with the song I Live for That Energy by Armin Van Buren, remixed by Exis. The music may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does fit the Crown Vic’s action scenes nicely.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) – Crown Vics Play Bumper Cars with John Connor
This scene features autonomously controlled LAPD Crown Vics in a lethal hot pursuit of John Connor in a first-gen Toyota Tundra. The stunt coordination in this chase scene shows the Tundra being shunted like a ping pong ball throughout downtown Los Angeles with Terminators quickly closing the gap.
Respect the Crown
You still see a lot of Ford Crown Vics on the road today. A select few are still on-duty in law enforcement agencies throughout North America. Anyone of a certain age will instinctively look down at their speedometer when they see the silhouette of a Crown Vic in their rearview mirror.
I recently joined the car’s fandom by purchasing a 2009 CVPI, and let me tell you – these cars live up to the hype. It’s a no-nonsense machine that gives you complete control with a comfortable ride. Unfortunately, every year the old sedan looks more dated than a protective case for an iPod. But, unlike internet challenges, these four-door tanks will endure the test of time because that is what they were built to do. I expect to continue seeing the Crown Vic on the road for several years to come.
Long live the King!