||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Body and chassis|
The Mercury Marauder was the name of three different automobiles made by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. During the 1960s, the Marauder was introduced as the high-performance model of the full-size Mercury line; its Ford equivalent was the Galaxie. From 2003, the Marauder nameplate was revived as a high-performance variant of the full-size Grand Marquis. After lower than expected sales, the Marauder was discontinued at the end of the 2004 model year.
First generation (1963–1965)
1964 Mercury Marauder 2-door hardtop
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door hardtop
Mercury Park Lane
|Engine||390 cu in (6.4 L) V8
406 cu in (6.7 L) V8
427 cu in (7.0 L) V8
The Marauder name first appeared as a 1963½ model in the full-size Mercury lineup. It was available as a 2-door hardtop with a forward-slanted "fastback" roofline; this was the reverse of the Breezeway roof introduced on other full-size Mercurys. This fastback roofline was developed for both the Mercury Marauder and the Ford Galaxie for NASCAR competition, and may have helped with the many 1963–64 Ford Mercury victories. In 1964, the Marauder became available in a four-door sedan, also with a fastback roofline. It was an option on the Monterey, Montclair, and Park Lane. Marauders also featured bucket seats, central consoles, and other trim items similar to those in the Ford Galaxie 500/XL.
As it was common practice during that time to share components between Ford and Mercury, powertrain choices for the Marauder were identical to the big Ford, including 390, 406, and 427 cubic-inch Thunderbird V8s, (which Mercury labeled Marauder and Super Marauder V-8s) and a choice of 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic transmissions.
After 1965, the Marauder name was discontinued. The nameplate lived on as the branding of the most powerful engine available in Mercurys in 1966 and 1967 and could be found in other full-size Mercurys including the Mercury S-55.
Second generation (1969–1970)
1969 Mercury Marauder X-100
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door hardtop|
|Engine||390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
|Length||221.1 in (5,616 mm)|
|Width||79.6 in (2,022 mm)|
In 1969, the Marauder was re-introduced in the Mercury lineup. Instead of being a sub-model of other full-size Mercurys, the Marauder was now a stand-alone model intended to compete in the personal luxury market. Its front end and interior components were shared with the Marquis, but the back end was unique. The Marauder had its own look with distinctive non-functional louvered side air intakes in the quarter panels and a tunneled rear window. Well-appointed versions had bucket seats with a floor console housing a U-shaped automatic transmission shift handle, and sporty Kelsey-Hayes stylized road wheels complete with rear fender skirts.
The market for sporty full-size cars had disappeared, though, and production was limited to about 15,000 cars for 1969 and barely a third of that for 1970.
2003–2004 Mercury Marauder
|Assembly||Canada: St. Thomas, Ontario
(St. Thomas Assembly Plant)
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Ford Panther platform|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis
Ford Crown Victoria
Lincoln Town Car
|Engine||4.6 L Modular DOHC V8|
|Transmission||4-speed 4R70W automatic (2003)
4-speed 4R75W automatic (2004)
|Wheelbase||114.7 in (2,913 mm).|
|Length||212.0 in (5,385 mm).|
|Width||78.2 in (1,986 mm).|
|Height||56.8 in (1,443 mm).|
From 2003 to 2004, Ford resurrected the Marauder name as a high-performance version of the Mercury Grand Marquis sedan. Although the Mercury division was most directly a competitor to Buick (and before that, Oldsmobile), the design of this Marauder drew many parallels to the 1994–1996 Chevrolet Impala SS in being a contemporary full-size "muscle sedan", and both being derived from a police vehicle (the Marauder from the Ford Crown Victoria, and the Impala SS from the Chevrolet Caprice).
To differentiate itself from the Grand Marquis, the Marauder borrowed and customized trim parts from both its Ford and Mercury stablemates. The headlights and corner lights, from the Grand Marquis, had all non-reflective surfaces blacked out and wore a body-color grille instead of chrome. Side trim and the B-pillars are painted body-color like the Crown Victoria, which donated its trunklid, and tail lights tinted to just within DOT standards. The Marauder wore its own front and rear bumpers, with the front featuring Cibié fog lamps and "Marauder" embossed on the rear. The car's five-spoke 18" wheels feature Mercury's classic "god-head" (Mercury's silhouette) emblem on its center caps.
In contrast to the Grand Marquis, the interior of the Marauder featured front bucket seats and a floor shifter with a center console; leather seats were standard. Instead of the simulated wood trim seen in the Grand Marquis, the Marauder substituted simulated satin aluminum trim in its place. The instrument cluster was Marauder-specific, with satin aluminum gauges (with a 140-mph speedometer borrowed from the Ford Police Interceptor) and the pressed electrical board to control them are model-exclusive. To make room for the tachometer, the oil-pressure gauges and voltmeter were moved to the center console. The Marauder is also the only Panther car after 1997 with a specific pin on the PCM for a tachometer.
While Ford showed a two-door, five-passenger convertible version of the Marauder with a supercharged engine as a concept car, it never saw production. Automotive commentators suggested the supercharged engine should have been made available for better performance.
The Mercury Marauder was based on an updated version of the Ford Panther platform that was introduced for 2003. The Marauder had a naturally aspirated 4.6 L V8 DOHC Ford Modular engine producing 302 hp (225 kW) and 318 ft·lbf (431 N·m) of torque; this engine had many parts — including heads, cams, block and rotating assembly — in common with the 2003–2004 Mustang Mach 1 Automatic and the 2003–2005 Lincoln Aviator. The Marauder featured a dual exhaust system with unique tailpipe tips, with newly developed chassis and suspension modifications – such as moving the rear shocks outboard of the frame rails, which were later made available for the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis. The Marauder was fitted with the 4R70W 4-speed automatic in 2003 and received the upgraded 4R75W 4-speed automatic for 2004. Both years featured the aluminum drive shaft from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The limited slip differential with a 3.55 rear axle ratio was standard fitment on all Marauders.
The 2003–2004 Marauder sales fell short of corporate forecasts, and after a production run of 11,052 vehicles, the Marauder was discontinued at the end of 2004. For comparison, Mercury produced 179,723 examples of its Grand Marquis counterpart during the same time. The Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport remained, bearing a monochrome appearance similar to the Marauder but powered by the standard 239 hp (178 kW) 4.6 L 2-valve SOHC V8. The LX Sport included 17" silver-finish wheels, firmer suspension (though softer than the Marauder), a taller 3.27 rear axle ratio (shorter than standard 2.73), but it had far less differentiation between it and the Crown Victoria than the Marauder did from the Grand Marquis. It is mechanically identical to the Grand Marquis LSE. By the mid-2000s, non-fleet sales of the Crown Victoria had all but disappeared; the LX Sport was discontinued after 2006 and all retail sales of the Crown Victoria in North America would end a year later. For 2007, the Crown Victoria LX could be equipped with the Premium Sport Handling and Performance Package, which included an upgraded suspension, 17" wheels from the LX Sport, and dual exhaust.
The number of Marauders produced per year in each color breaks down as follows:
2003 – Total: 7838 (328 Dark Pearl Blue, 417 Silver Birch, 7093 Black)
2004 – Total: 3214 (980 Dark Toreador Red, 997 Silver Birch, 1237 Black)
- Kowalke, Ron (1997). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-521-3.
- Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999)
- "Mercury follows Impala formula for Marauder". Automotive News. 5 November 2001.
- Jim Mateja. "Marauder 'muscle car' full of spirit". Deseret News. p. E1-E2.
- Ford Performance Group. "Ford Performance Group". Ford Performance Group. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- "2007 Ford Crown Victoria". edmunds.com. Edmunds Inc. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Edmunds.com, 2003 Marauder Review
- AutomobileMag.com, 2003–2004 Mercury Marauder, Joe Lorio
- Car and Driver, July 2002, 2003 Mercury Marauder - Reviews / Road Tests, John Phillips
- Car and Driver, 2004 Mercury Marauder, User Road Tests
- Motor Trend, July 2002, Merc Meets Merc, Marauder and S500: Two cool, bad-ass powerbrokers on the run, Todd Lassa
- JD Power Quality Survey, 2003 Mercury Marauder
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