The Crown Victoria shared the Ford Panther platform and major powertrain and suspension components with the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. Along with its rebadged Mercury and Lincoln variants, the Crown Victoria was the only full-frame rear-wheel-drive passenger sedan having been built in North America and was popularly used in taxicab, fleet, and police service vehicles.
The first "Crown Victoria" appeared in 1955; it was a two-door six-seater coupe, part of the Ford Fairlane range, that differed from the regular Victoria model (named after a type of carriage) by having a stainless steel band that 'crowned' the roofline, passing right over the car, as an extension of the B-pillar line. The model was produced in 1955 and 1956. In 1956, Ford added its Lifeguard (Automobile safety) safety package.
One version called Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner had the front part of the roof, in front of the steel band, in acrylic glass.This made the car difficult to sell, especially in the southern states in USA. Thus few Skyliners were made. Most of them ended up in Sweden, possibly because the climate was more suitable for an acrylic glass roof.
LTD Crown Victoria
Downsized two years after its main rival, the Chevrolet Impala, the new 1979 LTD was fifteen inches shorter than the old one, and ten inches shorter than the LTD II. The platform was named the Panther. The interior remained just as large as the previous LTD though, and the whole design became more efficient; the reduced width, size, and bulk all led to improved road manners and maneuverability, which had been major drawbacks in the previous LTD. Ride quality improved as well with the new car, as did fuel economy. Originally, the LTD was offered with the 4.9 L (302 cu in) and 5.8 L (351 cu in) V8s. The deluxe version of the LTD was the LTD Landau, as in previous years. In 1980 the LTD Landau was renamed LTD Crown Victoria. It replaced the previous year's Landau model, and used a stainless steel band over the roof at the B-pillar (the "crown") to evoke the 1950s model. Crown Victoria had been a decor package for the Landau models since 1975. For 1981 and 1982, Ford offered a 4.2 L (255 cu in) V8. The 4.2 L (255 cu in) and 4.9 L (302 cu in) V8 were supplied with the Variable Venturi Carburetor which was able to deliver highway efficiency in excess of 27 mpg-US (11 km/L), but the complexity of the system and wear of its moving parts required re-building at regular intervals; typically about 70,000 mi (110,000 km). Most 1979-1980 LTDs were sold with the three-speed automatic transmission, with the AOD four-speed optional.
In 1983, the LTD range was split in two as part of a shift in its product lineup. The standard LTD was "downsized" into a mid-size car as it replaced the Granada; the 1983 LTD was facelifted version of its predecessor. For 1983, full-size Ford sedans took on the LTD Crown Victoria nameplate. Civilian models were powered by a fuel-injected 302 cu in (5.0L) in V8, while police vehicles used a 351 cu in (5.8L) V8 with Ford's Variable venturi carburetor. Station wagons were available as both LTD Crown Victoria and Country Squire models.
As the 1980s progressed, various other changes were made to the LTD Crown Victoria. 1983 saw the introduction of central fuel injection (CFI) on the 302 cu in (5.0L) models (identifiable by a fender badge reading "Electronic Fuel Injection"), which was replaced with sequential electronic fuel injection (SEFI) in 1986 (accompanied by the deletion of said fender badge). Many mechanical changes were made during this time as well, but most important, it should be noted that all 302 cu in (5.0L) engines from 1985-on were equipped with a hydraulic roller valvetrain that allowed the use of improved camshaft profiles across the production line. 1987 marked the final year of production of two-door sedans. The Crown Victoria, along with its cousin, the Mercury Grand Marquis, received exterior facelifts for the 1988 model year to improve aerodynamics, followed by an all-new dash, door panels, standard power windows, and standard driver's side airbag and revised steering column in 1990. This was the last American car to offer functional vent windows as an option.