Monday, September 26, 2022

The Underrated Mercury Marauder Was The Legendary Crown Victoria’s Evil Twin

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The Crown Victoria was a ubiquitous sedan made by Ford since roughly the dawn of time. During its extremely long service life, the Crown Vic served as taxi cabs and police cars. Civilian models were comfortable Sunday drivers. Crown Vics ran forever, and their platform cousins, the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, are still driving around to this day with astronomical numbers on the odometer. 

Second-generation Crown Vics were powered by the Ford Modular 4.6L V8. It made about 230 horsepower with Police Interceptor models making 250 horsepower. The Crown Vic was not known for being a tire-burning public menace. But it wasn’t slow either. 

When it comes to looks, the Grand Marquis and Crown Vic aren’t exactly exciting. When you see a Grand Marquis in person, it’s usually driven by a retiree puttering to the grocery store. A Crown Vic is usually picking up a fare or serving as the mobile office for a detective. 

However, for a brief time from 2003 to 2004, Mercury made a souped-up Grand Marquis and dubbed it the Marauder. A Crown Vic was scary if you were speeding — A Marauder was downright terrifying no matter what you were doing. 

A mad Mercury

Designers took a page from Buick’s book and painted the Marauder jet black. Subtle chrome accents and wheels gave the Marauder a sinister presence. Marauders could be ordered in a deep red or silver, but black was the most common color. Sources do not confirm whether or not the Marauder came equipped with an evil mustache affixed to the grille. 

Under the hood was where the Marauder became frightening. It was powered by a Modular 4.6L V8. But this was no ordinary Town Car motor, this motor was tuned by Ford’s SVT (Special Vehicle Team), the same team that came up with the positively insane Ford Raptor. The newly tuned engine made north of 300 horsepower. 

The Marauder looked like a washing machine from hell and sounded like an angry muscle car from decades past. Reviews from the time testify that despite its villainous appearance, it handled incredibly well and offered a very comfortable ride to whatever malevolent entity was driving (via MotorWeek).

Today, Marauders pop up for sale whenever the owner gets tired of the ominous organ music and Latin chanting coming from the driveway. This Marauder sold for $21,500 last month. The listing does not say whether or not the engine bay hosts the spirit of an ancient warlock. 

The Marauder’s reign of terror only lasted two model years with just over 11,000 units sold. For such an evil car, one can be grateful that so few were sold. Although performance car fans may hold a candlelight vigil in the Marauder’s honor. 

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