I got into cars as a hobby during my 4th year of college. I got my license when I turned 18 and passed the driving test, first try, without any real world driving experience (I played a ton of racing video games, which was good enough I guess). At the time this meant that I could borrow my parent’s cars for errands when it was convenient for them. It wasn’t until I started living out of hotels and struggling to manage my commute time to campus and home that I bought my first car.
The car was a boon to my overall college experience and I gained an immediate appreciation for it as an essential asset. Perhaps the scarcest resource we have is the number of hours in a single day. Owning a car meant avoiding the time inefficiency of depending on public transportation, which translated directly into additional usable time. For me Jenny represented most of my savings and the inception for my interest in cars and motor sports.
Officer Jenny (named after the policewoman in Pokémon: Indigo League) is a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. There is a cult following for these cars, and for good reason. If you’ve never owned one it can be a little hard to understand why at first glance. It’s a full-size American sedan made by Ford with decidedly late 90s styling.
So What? So it’s got the Ford Modular 4.6L V8 from the Mustang GT of similar era making 250hp and 300lb/ft of torque, true duel exhaust, stiff suspension for capable handling and excellent ride quality, aggressive ECU tuning for later shifts through its 4 speed + overdrive automatic transmission, and a ride height conducive to hopping curbs. The interior is spacious and comfortable even with 5 adults inside, and the trunk is cavernous in its capacity. And the cars are bulletproof. Figuratively in most cases but some of them actually have ballistic door panels made of Kevlar that are literally bulletproof. The police drive these cars up to a certain mileage then auction them off to the public where they are often times purchased by cab companies and driven hundreds of thousands of miles without issues.
Fast and reliable, they must be expensive right? Not really. Cheap to buy, fix, and work on; it features a body on frame design with widely available parts from a variety of similar models. Additionally they get okay gas mileage at 18mpg City and up to 27mpg Highway (they’re fairly heavy at about ~4,000lbs). They really are fun cars, and for the money you could do a whole lot worse.