3 Ford Crown Victoria

Last updated by CraigV

Categories: Trike Talk, Cross Country / XC, Big Fast Trikes, Weather

From emails exchanged and posted by a friend:

Craig's been battling winds and thunderstorms and all sorts of adventures, but here's my favorite email of his so far (he had been pinned down by winds in a tiny New Mexico town for days at this point. Each day, waking to the same thing, get up at dawn, try to fly, find you're stuck again) :


Yeah, you made me laugh David, it does feel a bit like "Groundhog
Day". With a bit of luck I'll get it right and get out of here

And Tony, that's a very good suggestion of being open to late
afternoon and early evening starts. I am prepared for that and welcome
that! Unfortunately these TS seem to peak late afternoons 'till well
after dark but I'm watching em.

I just realized I've been negligent in telling you about my airport
courtesy car. These are unheard of for many reasons in California and
probably the main one being is we don't know how to have fun. As one
flies outside of California however, cities and counties which own
many airports, provide old civic vehicles for pilots to use at their
airports for free. They are a good deal for the cities since everyone
knows all pilots are rich and we will spread all kinds of money around
town. For example, I'm staying at a very nice $21.95 per night motel
and yesterday I bought some carrots for $1.49 at the grocery store.
Spreadin' the wealth.

Since many cities feel some resentment towards airports and pilots and
budgets are tight everywhere, not a lot of money is put into these old
cast off airport cars. Mine is just a classic. It's a white Ford
Crown Victoria that at one time long ago was a police car. There's
quite a bit of rust but not near as much as you would expect on a car
this old. There is a hole through the driver's door frame where the
search light used to be and now provides a nice steady flow of air to
keep you cool whether you're moving or not. You can see where the
antennas used to be in the roof as well as the trunk lid because of
the holes that are still there. And it really was convenient
yesterday when it started raining and water started dripping on my
head. That hole was just big enough to put my finger in to stop that
drip...no problem.

There's a large crack in the windshield that's off to one side so I
hardly notice but I have to admit those two big cracks in the rear
windshield would really bother me if I had a rear view mirror to see
them with. There are all sorts of holes in the dashboard where the
shotgun and radios and such were mounted and there are four holes in
the drive shaft hump between the front seats where they must have
mounted the little desk thing for writing on, since this must have
been the time before computers.

There are a few holes cut into the ceiling liner for some kind of
police do-dads but everywhere else the liner has drooped and fallen
down. It's kind of fun to see that liner fabric waving all around in
the back and it made me laugh thinking of it ticking some prisoners
face. The back bench seat is kinda tore up where the handcuffs would
have been behind the prisoners backs' and there is just a big old
trunk. Big enough to throw a rowdy prisoner in (remember this is
rural NM many years ago) of even a bale of alfalfa for back home.
Probably couldn't fit both at the same time though.

You always have to start off slow when you first get into a new
airport car since they all have their own peculiarities. This one
rattles, clicks and wheezes but you're almost positive it will likely
make it the six miles into town at least one more time. The front
tires show some tread most of the way around and the mechanics were
kind enough to rotate the tires showing tire cord to the rear. You
got to watch them cattle guards though. I hit one doing about 50 and
it sure made me wish they had changed the shock absorbers at least
once since 1995. Don't have to worry about loosing a hub cap
though...those were gone long ago by the looks of the rusty wheels.

This old beauty has a definite pull to the right while driving but
it's not a problem because it auto-corrects with an equally strong
pull to the left when you brake. You mostly end up in the lane when
you stop at the one stop sign here in town.

But what I like best about this Crown Victoria is the looks of
admiration and respect I get from the folks here. There's often a
friendly wave then kind of a look of confusion as they wonder, "Who's
driving this city car?" You see, it still has a [edit city logo]
sticker with logo on each door except it doesn't really say "City of
[edit]". It's more like " ity f Tu um ri" and it's kind of hard
even to make that out. I'm not sure what the artistic logo is but
people here seem to know. They treat me real nice.

It's gonna be hard to give up this beauty!