Back in the ’60s, Mercury produced the Marauder, a high-performance version of their regular performance sedan. The model was popular but now, people have largely forgotten about it. In fact, more popular muscle cars from the same era have overshadowed it. But 40 years later, in 2003, Mercury introduced the final Marauder model they based on Ford’s Panther platform cars.
Ford’s Panther platform is one of longest serving platforms in the car industry. Ford used it from 1978 to 2011, underpinning many models like the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. This chassis was so sturdy and durable in extreme conditions, even police and taxi drivers used it. Today, six years after Ford discontinued it, millions of Panther-based models are still on the roads.
Even though Ford never intended the Grand Marquis to be a performance car, Mercury decided to turn it into one. They installed a highly tuned 4.6-liter V8 with 302 HP, as well as a revised suspension, gearbox and brakes. All those changes turned this sleepy, comfy sedan into a sharp muscle car. It came in three colors, but the black Marauder had menacing looks and an aggressive stance, differentiating it from its sedate cousins.
The performance was impressive for a big, heavy sedan. It could go from 0 to 60 mph in around seven seconds. However, the biggest asset was its appearance. Just the sight of this big, black sedan in the rearview mirror could make drivers want to pull over to the side of the road. It’s perfect for a road trip since nobody wants to mess with a black sedan with “undercover cop” looks.