Mercury Marauder performance sedan with full-size gusto

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Mercury
The black Marauder looks sinister on its factory-lowered suspension

Ford’s answer to the successful rebirth of the Chevrolet Impala SS in the early 2000s was the Mercury Marauder, repurposing a performance nameplate from the 1960s.  The beefy full-size sedan was dialed-in with sport suspension and a 4.6-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 from the Mustang Mach 1.

The Pick of the Day is a 2003 Mercury Marauder advertised by a Holland, Connecticut, dealer on ClassicCars.com as a one-owner car driven just 43,000 miles.

Mercury
Marauder’s dual exhaust has chrome outlets

“Beautiful car, excellent condition, very well-maintained by owner/mechanic who used to own his own service station until he retired,” the seller says in the ad. “The owner purchased this car brand new in 2003 as he was looking for a performance car he could get in and out of easily/comfortably.”

The Marauder was basically a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor with the same heavy-duty suspension and brakes, anti-sway bars and dual exhaust, although perked up with sporty gauges, leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires.

The V8 was good for 302 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque, which provided solid acceleration for the two-ton car, fed through a 4-speed automatic transmission and limited-slip differential.

Mercury
The 18-inch alloy wheels dress up the monochrome exterior

The monochromatic paint scheme in dark colors gave Marauder the same sort of sinister appearance as the Impala SS, although in the rear-view mirror, it looks more or less like a patrol car on your tail.  The sedan is well-equipped with adaptive climate control, 8-way power seats and white-faced Autometer Pro Comp analog gauges.

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Unlike the Impala, the Marauder was not a great success, with just over 11,000 of them sold in 2003-04, after which they were discontinued.  About 7,000 were produced in Black, and this is one of them.

These are good-driving cars, the solid police-cruiser underpinnings providing much crisper handling than the civilian-class Mercury Grand Marquis.  Acceleration is not exactly in muscle-car territory, but the overall package is well done.

Mercury
The interior features white-faced sport gauges and leather seats

The seller says the Mercury is in great condition “with absolutely no rust” and ready to drive.

The specialty sedan is priced at just $16,000, and while these cars have had scant notice from collectors thus far, who knows?  It just might be a future classic.

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

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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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. These were and remain good looking
    Cars , especially if you pay close attention. I recall seeing 3 new units at at the dealership back then and would have liked to take one home, but settled for an Eddie Bauer Bronco instead . Rather rare to see these days
    Thank You for posting

    • I am and always will be a GM guy- Holden GTOs for me; Dad worked at the Delco Remy plant in Anderson, IN. his entire life. My childhood in the ’60’s was a parade of big motor Impala SS’s, Buick Wildcats, and SS Chevelles.
      But. This Marauder thing reminds me of my paternal grampa’s ’64 S500 427 2×4, 4 spd, red on red Merc; a real Marauder with a chrome knob on the Hurst, and a ridiculous 4.56 rear axle. Hey, it was a heavy car. And loud.
      That said, this new Marauder thing was a brilliant use of the platforms and engines Ford had at the time. Not every one with a couple bucks wants to fold themselves into a Rustang, and big motor big cars are an American thing.
      There’s so much aftermarket potential for this it’s scary.
      I hope it goes to a good home.

      • I c one every day the neighbors across the street have one an drive it once a wk. Other than that it just sits there saying I want 2 b driven the hell out of.

  2. It saddens me to think that there really aren’t any full-size rear wheel drive, V8 powered sedans manufactured by US automakers anymore..I guess they are now obsolete…relics from a bygone era…well, as long as I can still purchase parts for my Merc, I’m gonna keep driving it till the wheels fall off….Thank God for fleet vehicles.

  3. A lot of people think of these as just optioned versions of the P71 but these had the four cam 32 valve engine and that makes it special. No P71 ever had that. The numbers look modest but it is both rare and special.

  4. There was no rebirth of the impala ss after 2000. 6 cylinder front wheel drive don’t count. Ford’s answer was almost a decade late. The last Impala SS died in the second half of 1996

  5. I always liked the Ford Panther platform cars anyway for what they were, the last of the big American, full-size, V8 sedan. The type of sedan that America used to do so well before the Big # had to go and try and be all Euro-trash. Anyway, I had the opportunity to drive a 2004 Marauder once. It really was a very well done package and surprisingly quick for its size!
    This was purely a parts-bin vehicle for Ford at the time also. Think of a Police Interceptor with a Mustang Mach 1 motor and a Mach 1-like interior treatment; and you’re just about there. I always thought Ford should have offered this with the T-5 from the Mustang, but that’s just me.

  6. The 3rd gen Marauder wasn’t meant to be a true ‘performance’ car but more of a ‘Boutique’ car IMO. It’s dressed to dance but not quite ready for ‘prime time’. Add some ‘tried and true’ modifications (some inexpensive) and Marauder will rock the dance floor with many true high performance cars.

    A quality leather jacket was part of the sale; fill out a card at the selling dealer stating which size, delivery address and it would usually arrive about 6 weeks later. The Marauder Collection offered jackets, shirts, caps, cigarette lighters, whiskey flasks, thermos cups, ball point writing pens and numerous other items through mail order.

    All of these items are prized by collectors today, as are the Marauder automobiles. Low mileage, well maintained examples are getting harder to find, but do turn up when least expected. The Mercury Marauder Experience is truly unique.

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