Mercury Marauder

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Mercury Marauder
A Mercury Marauder in 2007
Manufacturer Mercury (Ford)
Production 1963–1965
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Layout FR layout

The Mercury Marauder is the name of three different automobiles that were made by Mercury. 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.

Origin of name[edit]

The Marauder name first appeared in 1958 on one of two MEL (Mercury, Edsel, Lincoln) engines sold by the division in the Montclair sedan and Colony Park station wagon. A 383 cubic-inch Marauder V8 was exclusive to the division, producing 322hp or 330hp depending on carburetion. As an option, the 430 cubic-inch Super Marauder V8 was also available; with two four-barrel carburetors, the Super Marauder V8 was the first American production car to break the 400-horsepower mark.

In both 1959 and 1960, engine output was gradually reduced, and in 1960, the Marauder V8s became an option in Park Lane, Monterey, and Commuter models.

As Ford reorganized the Mercury line for the 1961 model year, moving the brand away from Edsel-based models and closer to the Ford brand, Mercury discontined the Marauder/Super Marauder V8s; the Mercury Monterey adopted the Ford FE engines used by the Ford Galaxie.

First generation (1963–1965)[edit]

First generation
1964 Mercury Marauder -- 07-22-2010.jpg
1964 Mercury Marauder 2-door hardtop
Production 1963½–1965
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door hardtop
4-door sedan
Platform Full-size Ford
Related Mercury Monterey
Mercury Montclair
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
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
1964 Mercury Park Lane four-door hardtop with Marauder roofline option
1965 Mercury Montclair Marauder hardtop sedan

As a vehicle nameplate, the Mercury Marauder made its debut as a "1963½" model. Designating Monterey, Montclair, S-55 (1963 only) and Park Lane models equipped with a forward-slanted "fastback" roofline, the Marauder was essentially the direct opposite of the Lincoln-inspired "Breezeway" roofline also available on the same Mercury models at the time. Marauders also featured bucket seats, central consoles, and other trim items similar to those in the Ford Galaxie 500/XL.

In 1964, the Marauder became available in a four-door hardtop sedan, also with a fastback roofline.

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.

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.

For the 1966 model year, the Marauder was discontinued, although the role of the performance-oriented full-size Mercury would live on in a revived S-55, which was dropped in 1967 as Mercury began reorganizing its full-size cars as luxury-oriented. The Marauder name would again be used to brand the most powerful V8 engines sold in Mercurys until the 1968 model year.

Second generation (1969–1970)[edit]

Second generation
1969 Mercury Marauder X100.jpg
1969 Mercury Marauder X-100
Production 1969–1970
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door hardtop
Related Mercury Marquis
Engine 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
Transmission 3-speed FMX/SelectShift automatic
3-speed C6/SelectShift automatic
3-speed manual
Wheelbase 121.0 in (3,073 mm)[1]
Length 219.1 in (5,565 mm)[1]
Width 79.6 in (2,022 mm)[1]
Height 53.5 in (1,359 mm)[1]
Curb weight 4,328 lb (1,963 kg)[1]
Mercury Marauder X-100 rear roofline detail

In 1969, the Marauder was reintroduced into the Mercury lineup, largely as a replacement for the S-55. As a part of a shift from a performance model to a full-size personal luxury coupe, it was based upon the recently introduced Marquis, sharing its front clip and much of its interior.

From the windshield rearward, the Marauder wore a separate body from the Marquis. In a design similar to the Ford XL and Ford Galaxie 500 SportsRoof, it wore a "fastback" roofline with a tunneled rear window. To distinguish it from its Ford counterparts, the Marauder wore non-functional louvered side air intakes in the quarter panels. A performance trim level of the Marauder was sold as the Marauder X-100. Largely for appearance purposes, the X-100 wore bucket seats with a floor console housing a U-shaped automatic transmission shift handle. On the outside, X-100s were fitted with 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. While the market for personal luxury cars was expanding, the Marauder found itself competing against the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental Mark III; it was outsold by the Lincoln by nearly four to one.

Mechanical details[edit]

Standard versions of the Marauder were equipped with a 390 cubic inch engine; the Marauder X-100 was normally equipped with a larger 360 hp (268 kW) 429 cubic inch engine. With the 390, a 3-speed manual transmission was technically standard, with a 3-speed FMX automatic as an option. The sole transmissions for the 429 was the C6 automatic.

Revival (2003–2004)[edit]

Third generation
2003–2004 Mercury Marauder
Production 2003–2004
11,052 produced
Assembly St. Thomas Assembly Plant, St. Thomas, Canada
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan (muscle car)
Platform Ford Panther platform
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Ford Crown Victoria
Lincoln Town Car
Engine 302 hp 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).

For the 2003 model year, the Marauder name returned to the Mercury name after a 33-year absence. A full-size four-door sedan, the 2003 Marauder marked the first time since the discontinuation of the Monterey after 1974 that the division sold two distinct full-size model lines and the first time since 1960 that a Mercury full-size model was sold without a Ford equivalent.

In terms of configuration, the 2003 Marauder was similar to the 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS in being called a full-size "muscle sedan",[2] Although Mercury traditionally was marketed as a competitor to Buick (and the discontinued Oldsmobile division), the Chevrolet Impala SS was based on the 1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, the primary competitor of the Ford Crown Victoria. Additionally, both the Marauder and Impala SS derived many of their performance improvements over their base vehicles from police vehicles (the Marauder from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, and the Impala SS from the Chevrolet Caprice 9C1).


In 2000, Ford chose to approve the production of the Marauder as a sedan for the 2003 model year.[3]At the 2002 Chicago Auto Show, Ford introduced a concept version of the Marauder as a preview of the production car. In a major change, the vehicle displayed was not a sedan, but a two-door convertible. Powered by a 335hp supercharged 4.6L V8, the convertible (which began life as a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria LX) featured a five-passenger interior; similar to the Grand Marquis LSE, the interior featured a center console with a floor-mounted shifter for the transmission.[4] The 2002 Marauder concept was the first full-size Ford Motor Company convertible since the 1971 Mercury Marquis and Ford LTD and the first two-door full-size car since 1987.


For the 2003 model year, the chassis of the Ford Panther platform underwent extensive upgrades to improve structural rigidity, ride, and handling; the frame was completely redesigned. To improve its handling and to give the suspension a firmer ride than the Grand Marquis, many parts of the suspension were derived from the Ford Crown Victoria P71, along with its brakes. In a modification of the suspension design, the rear shock absorbers were moved outboard of the frame rails (a design later adopted across the Panther platform). As part of the chassis upgrades, the Marauder was fitted with rack-and-pinion steering, over the long-running recirculating-ball design used by the Grand Marquis.

Similar to the 1994-1996 Impala SS, the Mercury Marauder was fitted with a significantly more powerful engine than Grand Marquis. While still making use of a 4.6L Modular V8, the Marauder was fitted with a DOHC 4-valve version producing 302 hp; the same engine powered the 2003–2004 Mustang Mach 1 and the 2003–2005 Lincoln Aviator. The Marauder was fitted with the 4R70W 4-speed automatic in 2003 and received the upgraded 4R75W 4-speed automatic for 2004. The limited slip differential with a 3.55 rear axle ratio was standard fitment on all Marauders. The aluminum driveshaft from the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was standard equipment; in police use, it was designed for use for speeds above 150 mph.


Rear 3/4 view of a 2004 Mercury Marauder

As with the 1969-1970 Marauder, Mercury designers sought to give the 2003 Marauder its own image in spite of its relatively obvious origins. In doing so, the Marauder derives parts from both the Grand Marquis and the Crown Victoria, with several trim parts unique to the model. In its overall styling, the Marauder follows the monochromatic theme of the 1990s Impala SS; the only chrome trim on the vehicle is the window trim, wheels, and the Mercury grille and trunklid badges.

In the front, the Marauder shares most of its trim with the Grand Marquis; much of the rear and side trim is shared with the Crown Victoria. Both bumpers are unique to the Marauder; the rear features the model name embossed on the bumper and is redesigned to accommodate the larger MEGS tailpipe tips. The front bumper was redesigned for functional reasons along with styling differentiation; a central air intake was added to improve engine ventilation along with twin Cibié fog lamps.

The headlight and corner light lenses (from the Grand Marquis) had their non-reflective surfaces blacked out and the grille was painted black with a body-color surround; the taillight and reverse light lenses (from the Crown Victoria) were dark-tinted to the minimum of DOT standards. Unique to the Marauder, the center caps of wheels featured a revival of a 1960s Mercury logo (a silhouette of the Roman god Mercury).

Aside from the change from two-door convertible to four-door sedan, the interior of the Marauder strongly resembled the 2002 concept vehicle. Along with change to a center console transmission shifter, the simulated wood trim was replaced by simulated satin aluminum trim. To better suit the performance capabilities of the Marauder, Ford developed an instrument panel fitted specifically for the Marauder, with satin aluminum gauges. However, the largest change was the addition of a tachometer and a 140mph speedometer (the latter shared with the Crown Victoria P71); to accommodate the tachometer, the voltmeter and oil-pressure gauges were relocated forward of the transmission shifter.


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.[5] For comparison, Mercury produced 179,723 examples of its Grand Marquis counterpart during the same time. The number of Marauders produced per year in each color breaks down as follows:

Black Dark Pearl Blue Silver Birch Dark Toreador Red Total
2003 7,093 328 417 7838
2004 1,237 997 980 3214
Total 8,330 328 1,414 980 11,052


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]