HomePick of the DayRare high-performance Mercury with Super Marauder engine

Rare high-performance Mercury with Super Marauder engine


For one year only, Ford’s upscale Mercury brand offered a production V8 lauded as the first to hit the magical output of 400 horsepower.

Called the Super Marauder, the 430cid engine fed by triple two-barrel Holly carburetors was a rare option for 1958 models, with estimates that only 100 were produced.  For 1959, the engine was detuned and lost its standing as most-powerful U.S. V8.

A power rear window is a bygone feature of the big Mercurys

The Pick of the Day is a 1958 Mercury Montclair  two-door hardtop with full period regalia, a “breezeway” power rear window, fender skirts, and one of those seldom-seen Super Marauder V8 engines.

“A truly amazing example of a fabulous fifties cruiser!” exclaims the Orlando, Florida, dealer advertising the Merc on ClassicCars.com.

Marauder was the name of a family of V8 big-block engines that went into Mercurys, Edsels and Lincolns, with sizes ranging from 383 to 430 cubic inches, and horsepower rated from 330 to 360.  But only Mercury got the full-on triple-Holly version that peaked at a thunderous 400 horses.

A unique aluminum air-cleaner housing is mounted on the Super Marauder V8

Covering those carbs is an aluminum air-cleaner housing unique to the Super Marauder that proclaims in bold lettering “400 H.P” at the top, and “Super MARAUDER” at the bottom.  If nothing else, the housing is a beautiful piece of engine-compartment jewelry.

Besides the powerful engine, this Montclair is fully dressed in period fashion, with the rear fender skirts, a massive continental-kit spare in back and wide whitewalls, ornamenting the already over-the-top chrome-plated styling features of the ’58 Mercury.  The hardtop looks exceedingly long, low and very sparkly, definitely an attention getter wherever it goes.

The Mercury is equipped with full power features for the steering, brakes, windows and seats, including the optional memory driver seat, the seller says.   Twin radio antennas slide out from the upper corners of the windshield.

The seats and dashboard look immaculate

While there’s no mention in the ad of mileage or restoration history, this car looks like it has been at least cosmetically refurbished, with the paint, trim and interior looking fresh in the photos. The ad does include a number of photos of a vintage magazine article about the Super Marauder V8, which is quite cool.

The rare performance-engine option and overall fine condition moves this Mercury up the value ladder, the dealer asking a significant $65,000, which is about the top of the pricing range, according to the value guides.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I grow-up in the PITTSBURGH area an had the chance to see a 400 horsepower MAUDER race a
    CHEVY the highway was 4 lanes out in the country and the Chevy beat the MERCURY. Too much weight for a 400 horsepower engine. True Story.
    Always enjoy your knowledge and autos for sale keep up the good work. An HAPPY and safe NEW YEARS to all car lovers.



  2. That’s a very nice looking car..but if you know the Super Marauder story, it looks like the matching custom-designed aluminum valve covers aren’t there. I’d love to see the codes plate on this car to see if it’s really a Marauder, had the 3×2’s added, or isn’t even a 430. If it is and is under-dressed but still a 430 it could be the ultimate cruising sleeper if its owner remembered where the gas pedal should be: on the floor, denting the firewall.

    • Actually the 383 was a much faster engine than the 430, due to the almost 1/2 inch shorter stroke, it would rev like a small block Chevy with no danger of coming unglued! I ran a 383 in a stock car for over 3 years, then rebuilt it to put in my Convertible when I restored it. The shop that did the engine work couldn’t believe it had been running over 7,000 rpm for most of it’s past life, there was no measurable wear on the crankshaft at all!

  3. I think this may be the Turnpike Cruiser model. The regular Montclairs didn’t have the Breezeway rear window or the vents above the windshield. Also, the 400 hp rating might be more a product of the advertising dept, rather than an actual Dyno rating.

    • It’s documented as the first American production car with 400 hp and Mercury produced about 100 of them. If this car is the real deal, I’d say that was a very fair price, even if it was based only on the scarcity of them.

  4. don’t forget that’s a GROSS rating HP for these days so.. for today ratings it would be a lot less power. sad but true.

  5. A letter “J” for the engine code in the VIN would indicate a factory-built Super Marauder car. It’s a moot point because the original ad states the SM option was dealer installed on this vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, aluminum valve covers were not part of the SM kit. They were available from the dealer, though. Also, Mercury was not alone with the SM tri-carb option, as late in the 1958 model year, Lincoln had a nearly identical option you could order from your friendly Lincoln-Mercury-Edsel dealer parts counter. The Lincoln version had a slightly different air cleaner with no mention of 400 hp or “Super Marauder.” The dealer installed Lincoln version is even rarer than the Mercury because it was never advertised in the factory literature and has no corresponding engine code. It was kind of a secret, outside of a few hot rodding magazines of the time. The Mercury and Lincoln Super Marauder kits are listed separately in late-1958 factory parts books. I know a little about the Super Marauders because I have an all original Lincoln kit on my 1959 Lincoln. 😁

  6. J code is correct for the maurader & it is supposed to have the matching valve covers. I have 2 Lincoln’s. A 1960 Mark V with the very rarely 430 Maurauder. It was an option on Mercury, Lincoln & Thunderbird. 1 Thunderbird got the Maurader, my Lincoln + 1 or 2 others got the option. The 1960 is fully loaded with the 430 & overdrive it was my grandfather’s car he special ordered. The 67 convertible has a 462 bored & stroked to 545ci. My other grandfather had the 462 rebuilt by Ford after it spun a bearing. Was under warranty. The dealer did the stroker kit, machine work & build. The dealer had an Edlebrock top end kit of heads cam & intake. The intake is an EXTREMELY rare tri power set up by Edlebrock. A little port matching was done and topped by the carb cover & valve covers. Overdrive was added for more cruising comfort. All done by Lincoln Mercury under warrant. Smooth idle, up to 5000 rpm capacity. 500 rear wheel horsepower for 27mpg


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