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End of an Era: Ford Produces Last Crown Victoria Sedan

Some of us remember it as a trusty ride to the airport, a big sedan comfortable enough for even the most sensitive of grandparents, or a scary sight to see in your rearview mirror, with blue and red lights flashing. No matter how you remember the Ford Crown Victoria, perhaps you'll remember it a little more fondly today: Ford pushed its last Crown Vic off the assembly line yesterday, finishing the car's 19-year run.

Ford workers at the St. Thomas, Ontario plant finished making the last car, a white 2011 Crown Victoria sedan, at 12:30 PM yesterday. It now begins its trip to the buyer's driveway in either Mexico or Saudi Arabia, a Ford spokesman said.

The Crown Victoria as we know it may date back to late 1991, but its underpinnings--the revered Panther platform--date back to 1979. Throughout the years, the platform has sat beneath cars such as the Ford LTD, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, but also the Ford Country Squire and Mercury Colony Park station wagons.

Over the years, the Crown Victoria sat high atop modern culture: it's still the most popular model of taxicab in New York City, and its Lincoln Town Car sibling has carted countless business people and celebrities as "black cars" and limousines. For those of us with lead foots, however, we might know the Crown Victoria best for its beefier, faster Police Interceptor version. That model nabbed plenty of perpetrators and speeders throughout the years, and was said to enjoy a 70 percent share of the police car market before it was discontinued.

In any case, the big sedan has gone to the great taxi stand/speed trap/driveway in the sky. We'll be sure to toast it tonight--here's hoping you do, too.