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Crown Victoria Association hosts meeting in Worthington

WORTHINGTON — In the next few days, Worthington will experience an explosion in its Ford Crown Victoria population — but there won’t be a gaggle of former police cars making their way about town. The Upper Midwest Chapter of the Crown Victoria Association will be hosting its annual meeting at the Travelodge Hotel in Worthington today, Saturday and Sunday.

“Our region includes the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Nebraska,” said Bill Jepson, the association’s Regional Director. “There will also be people here from Kansas, Illinois, Montana, and even a couple from Australia who are visiting friends from Kansas.”

The Crown Victoria Association was started in 1977 after a group of like-minded Ford enthusiasts came together.

“There were two guys that were instrumental in starting the association, Toby Gorny and Mick Moore. They had the same idea at the same time — they both put ads in Hemming’s Motor News, saw each other’s ads, and decided to pool their resources,” explained Jepson. “The association grew and grew from there.”

In 2014, the association boasts 2,700 members worldwide, with adherents across Europe, South America, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand. The members’ cars, however, are not quite as diverse as their geographical locations.

“Our association is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all ’54-’55-’56 Ford and Mercury automobiles and trucks,” Jepson said. “The name is actually a bit of a misnomer, by virtue of the fact that the term Crown Victoria is actually a body style.”

“The original Crown Victoria was only produced in ’55-’56, and we decided to include ’54 vehicles because that was the first year for an overhead valve V8 engine,” Jepson explained.

“At the very beginning, only ’55-’56 Ford Crown Victoria cars were included in the association, but soon after all Ford body styles from ’54-’56 were incorporated. Ford revived the Crown Victoria nameplate in the 1980s to designate full-sized Ford automobiles, so the police car and taxi mainstays of the last few decades are definitely not included in the association.”

Jepson is looking forward to a healthy turnout for the Worthington meeting.

“I am expecting about 40 old Crown Vics, with 45 people registered and 96 total coming,” said Jepson.