Intrepidation

Thoughts about the Panther

15 posts in this topic

So we've had the Grand Marquis for 3 months now and racked up about 3,500 miles on it. After living with a Panther I have composed some thoughts of it.

I didn't really care for the Panther cars much before owning one. They were everywhere, they've looked the same for years, and they seemed pretty boring. Oh and the interiors of the newer ones are ugly. The back set a was not a fun place to be because the times I road in one the seatbelt rubbed uncomfortably against my neck. Oh and the V8 doesn't sound like a V8.

Time has passed and I've grown to respect and appreciate them for what they are, plus or minus a couple things.

Let's start with reliability. In terms of important things braking, the only thing that has had to be replaced was the Oil Sending Unit. There are little things that have broken, like 3 of the 4 windows don't roll down...need to fix them still. Oh and when using a cassette adapter for the stereo only the passenger speakers work.

Driving it: It handles like the RWD boat that it is, complete with light steering and body roll. That being said, it doesn't float around as badly as the Town Cars of the era, and so long as you take it easy it handles fairly well. It ride great though, as expected. It absorbs bumps and imperfections quietly without interrupting the cabin. It's a great highway Cursing car. Since my brother goes to College now we use it to make the four hour round trip to pick him up and again bring him back on weekends. The cabin even at 70 is very quiet considering the age of the car, a little more wind noise than the Intrepid but nothing that you need to turn the music up or yell over. It also shifts very well. The shifting, particularly downshifting, is smoother and quicker than both the Intrepid and the Cobalt I had for 2 months.

Respect it: I very much enjoy having a RWD V8 powered car in the fleet. It makes for something different to drive. It's been very reliable so far, and it's always fun to punch it every now and then and get a kick from the V8. It still doesn't sound like a loud `n proud V8, but the car's mission was as a Mercury to be more classy, I appropriate that the V8 is quiet. I can see why they are still popular choices for cars, especially used, through all the years.

There's another kind of respect though. A kind of a respect no other car currently on the road can match. The Fear Factor. Driving at night on the highway people who would normally fly past you going 80 or 90 are afraid to pass that oh so familiar silhouette...because they think it's a cop car. This has happened so many time where cars will fly right up to us the slow down and keep pace just as they get near us...afraid to pass it until they finally realize that it isn't a cop. What's more, Taxi cabs who are normally total douche bags will stop and let you go. You cannot buy respect like that...and it never gets old. :D

Complaints are few: the bench seats are expected, offering little in terms of support. The back seat belt still sucks, and of course, this beinga Ford product, there are some retarded ways the car is put together. The headlights for example or not secured with normal screws or bolts, but some special plastic bolt that is not shaped like a bolt at all and requires a special tool you have to buy to get it off. Year to year changes are small but annoying when getting parts, like how the sun visor holders are slightly more narrow on cars a year newer than the older ones. I think overdrive should be off by default, and there should be a light for on and off, not just when it's off. Oh and the ignition is kinda screwy.

Other thoughts: I love the automatic headlight feature. I loved it in the Cobalt and love it in the GM. It's very convenient. The trunk is truly massive. The Intrepid has a huge trunk but it is more shallow with a smaller opening. The Mercury's trunk is deep with a huge opening. This allows it to swallow bikes and entire car doors and be able to still close.

And despite the size and power, it still returns respectable mpg. The lowest was 18mpg in all city. in mixed it got a very respectable 26mpg, and that one time it got 38mpg. While some members brag about getting mid to upper teens, this thing regularly gets mid 20s. You really can have your cake and eat it too.

It doesn't handle as well as my car, it doesn't ride quite as well, and can't compare with the Dodge's more modern interior, overall I have been swayed, and yes I would have no problem owning another Panther in the future (most likely a GM, as I prefer their subtle styling differences).

Just some thoughts.

Edited by Dodgefan
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I actually think it would be awesomely cool to own one.

This and the Intrepid are the best cars in your fleet.

Chris

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i have a venom against panthers now since another old fart (with a crown vic and IOWAY plates) came with a fraction of an inch of backing into my new T Rex at the outlet mall yesterday. that would have made me a victim of the AARP crowd twice within one month of ownership on the new ride.

Between old farts in crown vics and coppers and taxis, no love here recently for them. just me maybe.

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I've rented several over the last decade when on vacation-- a couple Crown Vics, 1/2 dozen Grand Marquis, and a 1/2 dozen or so Town Cars... I like them. Big and spacious inside, great outward visibility on the CV and GM (which is big problem with many newer designs, IMHO)...smooth and comfy on the road. I want to own one sooner or later, maybe a Marauder or Town Car. And since I'm still in my 30s, so it's odd that they appeal to me, but I do like the classic Detroit style RWD big cars...(my Dad loved his Continentals and Town Cars, maybe that's rubbed off on me)...while at the same time, I like modern sporty and luxury RWD sedans (G8, CTS, BMWs, etc). Lots of contradictions, but that's me.

Edited by moltar
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The old Panther 2-doors have been appealing to me. Someone has a Grand Marquis at the campus parking lot. Seems like the right wheels could make it come alive.

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i have a venom against panthers now since another old fart (with a crown vic and IOWAY plates) came with a fraction of an inch of backing into my new T Rex at the outlet mall yesterday. that would have made me a victim of the AARP crowd twice within one month of ownership on the new ride.

Between old farts in crown vics and coppers and taxis, no love here recently for them. just me maybe.

That pretty much explains it - if you drive your T-Rex to Miccy D or Outlets which are prone to oldie farties running naked and wild regardless of their rides in our sunshine states do you expect your T-Rex to stay pristine?

:smilewide:

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Wait, Reg got a T-Rex? :P That's both awesome and hilarious.

DF; congrats, it's nice to have you come around to RWD car

ownership and enjoy it. while I have nothing against FoMoCo

Panthers, and indeed they're GREAT used car values, I am a

bit of a snob and have always paid a slight to considerable

premium to afford a B-body or other GM BOF/RWD/V8 boat.

Except this last time, when I bought a reliable and solid, but

cosmetically horrible Buick B-body for less than a junkyard

gives for a no-running wreck as long as it is towed in with a

catalytic converter. Granted this time around I have a 1992

sedan which means no LT1 motor but the TBI-350 in my

RodmOnster is actually less prone to annoying quirks like

the dreaded opti-spark failure.

And despite the size and power, it still returns respectable mpg. The lowest was 18mpg in all city. in mixed it got a very respectable 26mpg, and that one time it got 38mpg. While some members brag about getting mid to upper teens, this thing regularly gets mid 20s. You really can have your cake and eat it too.

26 is certainly possible if you drive like old mother Hubbard

around town and then coast at 60-70 mph on the highway.

But we're not really still on the 38mpg kick....? :blink:

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...24536&st=60

Edited by Sixty8panther
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With the way people drive around here, I'm thinking about getting a GM.....

Something 98+....

They are nice riding cars....

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With the way people drive around here, I'm thinking about getting a GM.....

Something 98+....

They are nice riding cars....

Yup, they are great cruisers.

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I rented a then new '03 GM in August of '03 for my road trip to Orlando, it was white with beige leather interior. It was a great riding car and very comfortable. I drove the entire way from NY to Orlando and back (both of my friends that I went with didn't drive at all) and I thought it was such a nice boat that I didn't even want to return it. This is coming from someone who generally hates Fords. I found the 4.6 to be pretty peppy in such a heavy car and I even raced a 4th gen Camaro down I-95 through South Carolina ( using the steering wheel mounted cruise control I might add) I had her up to around 110-120 for a good stretch of road before my fear of being pulled over out of state in a rental at that speed got the better of me, and I slowed to a nice 75MPH. Oh yeah and about the whole cop car thing.....picture doing 120 in a white GM in the left lane and you can bet your ass everyone moved to the right lane and slowed down :P

Edited by Delta Force79
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I'd love to have an 03+ Town Car or GM... they really are the last pure American cars out there (but then there's the incurred expense in snow tires).

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I'd love to have an 03+ Town Car or GM... they really are the last pure American cars out there (but then there's the incurred expense in snow tires).

Nah, you don't need snow tires in these babies......

If they're smart, they will stay out of your way...

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Nah, you don't need snow tires in these babies......

If they're smart, they will stay out of your way...

:lol:

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Oh yeah and about the whole cop car thing.....picture doing 120 in a white GM in the left lane and you can bet your ass everyone moved to the right lane and slowed down :P

Control issues much? :neenerneener:

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I was back home in Colorado this weekend for a wedding..perfect fall weather, gold and orange aspens, blue skies, snow capped mountains. I had a silver GM from Hertz, with a sunroof, not something I've seen on them outside of Hawaii. It was a comfy cruiser for the weekend, and roomy to carpool to the wedding.

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