Editor’s note: What started out as a joke has turned into a very real, totally functional — but still hilarious — builds. Meet Skyler Pittman, one of the geniuses behind the lifted Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors known as the Crown Hicks.
I was always into cars. My dad owns a business, Snap Rebuilders, which specializes in rebuilding and building custom alternators, starters, and distributors. As a kid, my mom would bring me there to visit my dad at work. During high school, I started helping out at the company until I started going to school for what I really wanted to do: collision work. That’s where Cameron Ramage and I met.
We both had long commutes to Utah Valley University. We’d meet at my place every morning at 6AM and carpool to make it to our class by 7AM. After a while, a 1986 Dodge Ram W250 getting 8 miles per gallon started to get really old, so I bought an OG Ford Crown Victoria. That old taxi ended up having 465,000 miles on the clock that I bought for $500 because I was a broke college student.
We used this car a lot for assignments in our labs. For our frame measuring and pulling class, we found out it got hit hard at some point in its life. It was shaped like a banana, so we set it up on the frame rack and got ready to pull it straight. Our instructor was also in charge the off-road and adventure club, so there were always random tires laying around. Some joker thought it’d be funny to stick some 37-inch tires in the wheel arches, and the idea was born: the off-road Crown Vic.
After the frame was straightened and a paint job, the first thing we did was head off-road completely stock. We immediately broke the radiator trying to go up a mountain. We wound up strap towing that garbage 10 miles to the closest town, abandoning it, and driving 2 hours to buy the closest radiator. We replaced it in a gas station parking lot. After that, lifts, tires, and shenanigans became the norm.
I’m currently driving a blue 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, and Cameron has a white 2006 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The 1.0 version of this build unfortunately got totaled after a crash. Both CVPIs have a 3-inch donk puck suspension lift, 2015 Ford F-350 rear shocks, and factory limited-slip differentials.
My car also has a cattle guard off of a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, plus an upgraded transmission and high stall converter. I also bought a take-off set of BFGoodrich® Mud Terrain T/A KMs (255/75R17) from the local classifieds and made them work. They’re quiet, smooth, and have great traction in the mud and snow.
I spend a lot of time at Five Mile Pass, while Cameron spends his time around Farmington Canyon. Sometimes we’ll caravan to the Bonneville Salt Flats. There’s so much to do off-road in Utah, it’s the perfect state for these cars.
These cars naturally get a lot of attention. It’s funny to watch people take pictures of us going down the freeway, or roll down their windows and give a thumbs up even though it’s 20-degrees outside. We get asked why we did this to our cars at every single gas station, and our response is always the same: “Why not?!” Crown Victorias are cheap, readily available, reliable, and they come with a V8. In our minds, they’re the perfect budget Raptors.
Follow the Crown Hicks on Instagram at @thecrownhicks.