13. Mercury Marauder
Back in the 60’s, Mercury produced the Marauder, a high-performance version of the regular Mercury performance sedan. The model was popular, but now, it is largely forgotten and shadowed by more popular muscle cars from the same era. But 40 years later, in 2003, Mercury decided to introduce the final Marauder model. They wanted to base it on Ford’s venerable Panther platform cars.
Ford’s Panther platform is one of the longest-serving platforms in the car industry. They first used it in 1978 and it served until 2011, underpinning many models like the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. This chassis proved sturdy in extreme conditions, so they used it as the basis for many police cars and taxis. Even today, six years after they discontinued it, millions of Panther-based models are still on the roads.
Even though they never intended the Grand Marquis to be a performance car, Mercury decided to turn it into one by installing a highly tuned 4.6-liter V8 with 302 HP. They revised the suspension, gearbox and brakes, too. All those changes turned this sleepy, comfy sedan into a sharp muscle car. One of three color options, the black option gave the Marauder menacing looks and an aggressive stance, differentiating it from its sedate cousins.
The performance was impressive for such a big, heavy sedan with 0 to 60 mph times in around seven seconds. But the Marauder’s biggest asset was its appearance. Just the sight of a big black sedan in your rearview mirror made most people move over – and fast.