Mercury Marauder X100
Today, the Mercury brand is as defunct as a cost-cutting measure by Ford. But back in the 1960’s, it was a luxury division above the working-class Fords and below the blue-blooded Lincolns. With their Cougars and Cyclones, Mercury was well embedded in the muscle car segment. However, luxury performance models were scarce until 1969 when Mercury introduced the next generation of the Marauder.
Mercury imagined it as a luxury coupe, giving the Marauder a fresh design with some interesting features. They included concealed headlights, a massive front end, and a sloping rear end with concave rear glass. And it was a big, heavy car for cruising, rather than street racing. However, Mercury needed something to fight the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Riviera GS.
They knew they needed to upgrade the Marauder to higher specifications if they wanted a piece of the action. So, they presented the Marauder X100. Behind the strange name was a regular 1969 Marauder, but with a 360-HP, 429 V8 engine. It also came with bucket seats, a heavy-duty suspension, blackout rear trim and fender skirts.
The performance was respectable, but it was still a massive car, so compared to some bare bones smaller and lighter muscle models, it was significantly slower. The Marauder line was relatively popular, but the X100 didn’t become a best-seller. In two years of production, Mercury made just over 8,000 of them.