To some, they're gas-guzzling relics of an antiquated past. To others, they're as New York as a bagel with a coffee in an "Anthora" cup. But come next year the Ford Crown Victoria will be no more. Ford Motor Company is planning to shut the Canadian plant that manufactures both the Crown Vic and the Lincoln Town Car, leaving the city's cops, cab drivers and elite to find new way to shuttle themselves around. TLC Commissioner David Yassky told the Times, "These cars are a facet of people’s everyday experience. Whatever takes their place will have a real and tangible influence on the city’s aesthetic."
Created in 1955, the Crown Vic adopted its current shape in 1992, and since 2008 has been available only in fleet sales. The city currently has 8.200 Crown Vic taxis, but the TLC is holding a "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest to find "vehicle possibilities that more appropriately reflect the needs of its diverse stakeholders." Crown Vic sales have dropped off as more states required police and livery vehicles to meet stricter environmental standards—the 2004 Crown Vic gets about 14 MPG.
Despite the cost of gas, many cab drivers say the Crown Vic and the Town Car are perfect vehicles. John Acierno, president of the Executive Transportation Group, said, “It is large, it is safe, it is easily repairable." Others complain that new, popular hybrids offer uncomfortable rides to passengers. Ronald Sherman of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade said many people bypass small cars to wait for the spacious Crown Vic. He said, "These minis are ridiculous; passengers do not get into them." Well, RIP guys. We can only hope you'll be livin' it up with that Checker Cab in Old New York heaven.