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It's time to tip our hats to an old warhorse.

Ford is retiring the Crown Victoria police vehicle after almost 30 years of service. The Detroit automaker hopes to replace fleet sales to police departments with the new Ford Explorer SUV and smaller Taurus Police Interceptors.

But the Crown Vic (as it is referred to with affection by taxi drivers and policemen alike) was a very successful model as a police car. It represents about 70 percent of the police car market in the United States and sales have been up 64 percent this year as police departments stock up on one of their favorites before the car goes out of production.

Though, that might be about time.

The Crown Victoria, along with the Lincoln Town Car, was build on the Panther platform that is more than 30 years old. Tell that to a German engineer and watching him try to swallow his chuckle. 

Ford may not be as successful in the future with the Explorer and Taurus police vehicles as it was with the beloved Crown Vic. The automaker now faces competition from a new Chevrolet Caprice police vehicle from GM and a redesigned Dodge Charger cruiser from Chrysler.

Ford ended sales of the Crown Vic to private customers back in 2008.

Gallery: Nostalgia kick: Ford retires the Crown Victoria police car

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