Mercury Marauder – 1969

The Marauder name appealed to the good folk at Mercury, for they chose it for the big Ford engines the company used in the 1960s. Suitably enthused, they also applied the name to some early 1960s fastback versions of the Monterey, Montclair and Park Lane models. And in 1969 they went all the way, launching the Mercury Marauder as a fully-fledged model in its own right.

This large, two-door coupe was a hopeful entry into the personal luxury car market, where self-indulgent quality cars tended to offer long fronts, short tails with fastback styling, luxury cabins and high performance. There were two types — those with big engines in smallish cars or alternatively big engines in biggish cars. The latter category included speedsters like the Ford T-bird, Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix and they were the ones in Mercury’s sights.

The roomy Marauder certainly conformed to the latter stereotype, with a choice of versions — the standard offering having a 6.4 litre engine and the X-100 a larger 7 litre alternative. Despite being based on the Mercury Marquis — the pair had the same thrusting front end and shared interior components — the Marauder had a distinctive back end with fake side air intakes. It could be made more individual by ordering options like rear fender skirts (standard on the X-100), vinyl roof, bucket seats and a floor console for the gearshift.

Sadly (and not for the first time when Mercury was trying to cash in on perceived market trends) the Marauder failed to hit the spot, because the market for full-sized sporty cars had already started to evaporate – fast. Just 15,000 Marauders were sold in 1969, with the figure slumping to 6,000 the following year. Two years were enough for embarrassed management, and the Marauder swiftly passed into history.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

USA

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1969 (until 1970)

ENGINE:

6.4 I (390 cid) or 7.0 I (429 cid) V8

PERFORMANCE:

With 7.0 I engine – top speed of 126 mph (km/h), 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.5 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Ford resurrected the Marauder name from 2003 to 2004, when it became the badge worn by a high performance version of the Mercury Grand Marquis line, which was marketed as a ‘muscle sedan’.

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