Here's a rundown on me picking up the Vic.
I picked up my car around 11:15 am on Saturday, May 10th, 2003. Iím in Austin, about 400 miles from where I live, and I drive up to this car I bought off of eBay. It was dirty, really dirty, smelled, and had grime all over the door panels, dash, and steering wheel. Not to mention the cheapo Wal-Mart steering wheel wrap that completely matched NOTHING in the vehicle. I popped the hood, and verified that this í99 did have a NEW engine from the Ford dealer. He showed me the Texas Dept. of Safety records, and it verified this also. It also had a new $399 paint job. From 10 feet it looks really good, and even at 5 itís not bad, but up close, itís only acceptable. I cranked the car, and it made this horrible metal rattle for about 2 seconds, that sounded much like a bad starter bearing.
Now, youíre probably thinking that Iím unhappy with all of this. Well, I am not. I am one of those people that always see the potential in vehicles. What I see is a fairly straight car considering that it was a former Police Vehicle. It has a new engine that cost the Texas Dept. of Safety over $4000 to replace. This was very crucial in my decision. In the grand plan of things, I am hoping to budget myself a Supercharger in the next year, so a new engine is very important to this. It also has fairly new brakes (with documents to prove this), very cold A/C, bucket seats, and all of the other cool stuff that comes with ex-police cars. I guess Iíve seen The Blues Brothers movie one too many times, but I think it is plain cool to drive a Cop car. This is not something that the average citizen gets to do unless he joins a law enforcement agency.
So after a month of research, and a month of waiting on my funds, I picked a car, and finally was handed the keys. Now, originally I wanted a 2001 because of the Performance Improved heads, but the price tags on 2001ís are fairly high compared to what you can get a good í98 or í99. I picked up this í99 for a mere $6000. Now this may not seem like the cheapest P71 around, but how many of them have 93k miles on them with only 8k miles on the engine? Also, since I couldnít afford a Mercury Marauder yet (oooh, maybe next year my pretty, yes next year you will be mineÖ.), I wanted a black P71. For some reason, every other freak in the country like me that wants an ex-police car wants a Black one. So this drives up the price a bit. Not to mention this car is a cloth/cloth car, no spotlight, no light-bar, no push-bar, and didnít have any traditional COP CRAP on it but the hole in the headliner (soon to be fitted with a nice tan map-light to match). This is about, as close to owning an unmolested P71 straight from the lot, as you can get without paying $23k+.
Ok, so we sign the papers, trade the funds, and my wife and I are on our way. We decide to spend the night in San Antonio, about 80 miles from here. I start driving along, and this random, metallic vibrating sound is emanating from where my wifeís feet are. I get nervous, but decide not to worry about it. So, Iím driving along, no license plate, just a fist full of papers that say I bought this car, and that Iím insured, and guess what? No one wants to pass us. An all black car, with black metal wheels, and the small chrome caps in the middle, I guess they must have though we were cops LOL. I wanted to take pictures it was so funny. Sometimes we had 3 lanes of traffic 4 car lengths behind us, all staying at the same speed we were traveling at. I have to admit one thing though, this NEVER did get old, LOL. I stopped to fuel up with some 93 octane, because I knew the car had been sitting a couple of months, and I needed to get some filth off of the outside of the car ASAP. I could barely see though the dust on the windshield. After filling up, and knocking all of the major dirt off in the brush-less carwash at the gas station, I was feeling much better about the car. I even when and filled up the empty washer fluid bottle, and aired up all of the tires to a nice 44lbs. This made a huge improvement. The pressures were all whacked, so after leveling them out, the car drove great. The steering is tight, the handling is crisp, and you can feel the road. Iím so used to driving the civilian version of the CV. The P73ís travel OVER the road, and the P71 travels WITH the road. I could make sharp corners at high speeds where the other P73ís would float, and bob around uncontrollably. I was very pleased. Uh, well except for that damn metallic rattling noise. My wife finally got tired of me complaining about this, so she found us a good radio station and turned it up. Hmmm, fixed that problem. I was happy now. Our night in San Antonio was wonderful. I highly recommend anyone to plan a vacation here. After only staying one night, I can assure you that we will be coming back when we have much more time to spend. We drank, we walked, we watched, we even went to Dickís Last Resort, and got the best worst service ever. This restaurant prides itself on giving you bad service. It is very funny to watch everything that is going on. After losing two tries on the Lobster Claw Machine, I came back to my table only to find a cook climbing over it, and a waiter asking a girl if she wanted to get porked tonight, because their pork strips were particularly good. The food was really good, once they decided to give you silverware.
Ok, so the next morning, weíre up and moving early. The car operates flawlessly all the way home. It was quite uneventful actually. Weíre enjoying everyone creeping up to us slowly, only to see me in my Hawaiian shirt, and figuring out I am not a cop. Now, there were a few times when I had the cruise set at 74mph, and had to pass another vehicle and I stomped the throttle. Normally by the time I get past the vehicle, I am pushing 80-84mph. Well, not in this bad boy. If Iím not careful, a full throttle stomp will throw me well over 95mph easily before Iím ahead of the other car in their lane. This was simply awesome. At this point, can you tell Iíve grown quite fond of this vehicle?
The best stuff happened after we arrived home. I decided to scrub the bug guts off of the car, and clean the windows. This got the car looking good. I also got the overspray off of the door sticker. I've got a 3.55 posi (or whatever Ford calls it) rear axle!!! Yay! I was hoping that this car came with the 3.55. This also surprised me, because I got 19.3mpg on the way home. Not too shabby. I then jacked up the car to figure out what the hell that metallic noise was. Well, one of the welds on the heat shield of the catalytic converter on the passenger side had broken free. Instead of tack welding this back, I took the quick and easy route of getting out the big pliers and bending some clearance. Guess what? Not only did this get rid of my metallic vibration sound while driving, this was also the noise that was emanating when I cranked the engine. This was a HUGE relief. No new starter, and something minor to boot. Wonderful. Ok, on to bigger and better things now. I then mounted the brand new 17Ē Tires and Wheels that had arrived here on Friday. I couldnít believe that my Rims and Tires came in before I even picked up the car, but hey, this worked out great. The rims really set the car off. It all of a sudden took on a new personality. It looks tough, and pissed. Ready to take on the horrible Louisiana roads. So, now after looking at this great machine in my driveway, I am really happy I bought it. I grab my bottle of SIMPLE GREEN, and head inside the car. Now, I had read a few posts that mentioned SIMPLE GREEN. I completely underestimated this stuff. I figured anything that was non-toxic, and biodegradable had to be crap. Well I was wrong. This stuff kicks butt. It made those dingy door panels, and steering wheel look almost new again. Well, except for those couple of small bite marks out of the steering wheel that is. I now drive around and show a few friends my new car. Two of my friendsí thought I had went out and bought a Marauder at first. They know Iíve wanted one for a while now, and they thought I went out and sold my soul. This made me even happier J
Tomorrow I will finish getting it legal, and tint the windows. Iím still waiting on my clear corner lights to come, along with a map light to fill that hole in the headliner. I also scored a matching tan 1995 SHO Taurus console off of eBay for $5 (before shipping), and will be putting that in very soon. So all in all, everything is wonderful with the car, and I will post some pictures tomorrow after I get it tinted.
I know this was kinda long winded, so if anyone actually makes it this far, thanks for reading. I just wanted to share my wonderful experience.
I just wish I had been able to hook up with Wes, with Innovative Interceptors and pick up a set of those Marauder Tips. I will just have to order them next paycheck I guess.
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