Blast From the Past: A 2003 Ford Crown Victoria and the Fastest Drive in Reverse

Not all superheroes wear capes; some of them drive Ford Crown Victoria sedans. One of them is Canadian Rob Gibney, who set a new world record for the fastest drive in reverse way back in August 2004.
A Ford Crown Victoria set a new record for the fastest drive in reverse in 2004 10 photos
January is autoevolution’s Ford Month, and what would a proper celebration be without a quirky story whose brilliance got fogged up by the passing of time? In fact, this story is so fogged up and forgotten that we were able to find only few details about it, save for the mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Suffice it to say that today’s two heroes are Rob Gibney and a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria sedan that he used to call his favorite car in the world. On August 22, at the Race City Motorsports Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Gibney accomplished what one can only assume had been a lifelong dream. He drove the Ford backward at an average speed of 66.67 kph (41.42 mph), covering a distance of 807.39 km (501.69 miles).

One of his friends later told the media that the feat took him well over 12 hours, covering 1,220 laps and that, while he had markers ensuring he kept on the track, the feat still came with several challenges. One of them was the rain that had fallen that morning, making the track slippery. In fact, Gibney slipped out four times during the record attempt.

As is usually the case with records or record attempts, this too was the result of the work of an entire team. With the record, Gibney tried for something more than just fame and a place in the history books: he also raised money for STARS Ambulance services.

No word on whether the Ford Crown Victoria had been modified in any way. The massively popular sedan, discontinued in 2011, was based on the same platform as the Mercury Grand Marquise, and featured a 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. It had a reputation for being a cop car but, as it turns out, it was also a record-breaking car.

Editor's note: Pictured in the gallery, the non-record-breaking Ford Crown Victoria.


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