It ain't grandpa's old Mercury.
The Mercury Marauder nameplate dates all the way back to 1963, but most of us remember it best from its 2003 to 2004 revival. A CarBuzz favorite, this high-performance version of the relatively dull Mercury Grand Marquis, sister ship to the cop car favorite Ford Crown Victoria, arrived a few years before the Grand Marquis itself sailed off into the sunset. The Marauder was also the last new rear-wheel-drive sedan Ford launched.
Like the regular Grand Marquis and Crown Vic, the Marauder rode on the Panther platform. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 tuned to deliver 302 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of torque, which were excellent figures for the time. To compare, the outgoing Ford Fusion Sport has 325 hp. Fuel economy? Try just 17/23 mpg city/highway. Power went to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic connected to a limited-slip differential.
The original plan called for the Marauder to have a supercharged V8 with 335 hp. However, the production-spec Marauder shared many heavy-duty components, specifically the brakes and suspension, with the Crown Vic Police Interceptor. Think of it as a cop car for civilians. Amazingly, the Marauder represented the first time since 1960 where Mercury sold a full-size sedan without a Ford counterpart.
From the outside, Marauders were easy to spot thanks to standard 18-inch five-spoke chrome wheels and old school 60s era Mercury logos. Additional chrome trim can be found around the windows. Four exterior colors were available: Black, Silver Birch, Dark Pearly Blue, and Dark Toreador Red. The latter two colors were offered only in 2003 and 2004, respectively. It's worth noting more than 75 percent of all Marauders sold were black.
The interior also had some unique touches, such as a console-mounted shifter instead of the typical steering column design, allowing for the removal of the bench seat. Leather seating came standard and satin aluminum replaced the more traditional wood trim. There was also a Marauder-only 140-mph speedometer and tachometer. The oil pressure and voltmeter gauges were therefore moved to the front of the shifter.
A total of 11,052 units were built over the course of two model years. Sadly, sales had dipped to a point where Mercury and Ford could no longer justify keeping the Marauder around and that was that. The Mercury division was also struggling to stay afloat, though it didn't meet its demise until early 2011.
It's not extremely difficult to find used Marauder examples out there, but very few have mileage as low as this 2004 example currently up for sale on Autotrader.
With only 4,617 miles on its clock, it's in near-pristine condition and equipped with every factory option available, with the sole exception of the moonroof. It's also one of the last Marauders to roll off the assembly line in 2004 and the seller is the original owner. They claim to have ordered it on the last day possible. Needless to say, the seller knows what they've got and is asking $69,500 accordingly.
The car is located in Santa Clarita, California and its next owner will definitely have a cool classic in their garage. Whether it's worth the asking price is another matter entirely.