As you may have heard, Ford has ended production of the venerable Crown Victoria, the mainstay vehicle of American police and taxi fleets for decades.
The Crown Vic assembly line shut down last September, so we found ourselves wondering: What will replace the Crown Victoria in the California Highway Patrol's fleet? Hoping to find an answer, we dropped by the CHP's Fleet Operations facility in West Sacramento, California last weekend, hoping to see what the CHP has purchased now that the Crown Vic is no more.
On one level, our visit was a failure: Instead of finding the CHP's replacement vehicle -- the Interwebs say the Dodge Charger is a likely candidate -- we instead discovered that the CHP is hoarding hundreds of Crown Victorias for future use. (Notice that the ones in the background still have the manufacturer's inventory stickers displayed on the windows.)
But as metaphor, the trip was a stunning success. We happened to arrive in West Sacramento at dusk, just as a firey sunset was exploding in the sky behind the CHP's motor pool parking lot. It was oddly beautiful.
There are still be plenty of Crown Vics on hand at the California Highway Patrol. But no more are coming, and the demise of the type is now a question of when and not if. Sunset, indeed.
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics