The Mercury Marauder was the name of three different automobiles made by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. During the 1960s, the Marauder was introduced as the high-performance model of the full-size Mercury line; its Ford equivalent was the Galaxie. From 2003, the Marauder nameplate was revived as a high-performance variant of the full-size Grand Marquis. After lower than expected sales, the Marauder was discontinued at the end of the 2004 model year.
First generation (1963–1965)
The Marauder name first appeared as a 1963½ model in the full-size Mercury lineup. It was available as a 2-door hardtop with a forward-slanted "fastback" roofline; this was the reverse of the Breezeway roof introduced on other full-size Mercurys. This fastback roofline was developed for both the Mercury Marauder and the Ford Galaxie for NASCAR competition, and may have helped with the many 1963–64 Ford Mercury victories. In 1964, the Marauder became available in a four-door sedan, also with a fastback roofline. It was an option on the Monterey, Montclair, and Park Lane. Marauders also featured bucket seats, central consoles, and other trim items similar to those in the Ford Galaxie 500/XL.
As it was common practice during that time to share components between Ford and Mercury, powertrain choices for the Marauder were identical to the big Ford, including 390, 406, and 427 cubic-inch Thunderbird V8s, (which Mercury labeled Marauder and Super Marauder V-8s) and a choice of 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic transmissions.
After 1965, the Marauder name was discontinued. The nameplate lived on as the branding of the most powerful engine available in Mercurys in 1966 and 1967 and could be found in other full-size Mercurys including the Mercury S-55.
Second generation (1969–1970)
In 1969, the Marauder was re-introduced in the Mercury lineup. Instead of being a sub-model of other full-size Mercurys, the Marauder was now a stand-alone model intended to compete in the personal luxury market. Its front end and interior components were shared with the Marquis, but the back end was unique. The Marauder had its own look with distinctive non-functional louvered side air intakes in the quarter panels and a tunneled rear window. Well-appointed versions had bucket seats with a floor console housing a U-shaped automatic transmission shift handle, and sporty Kelsey-Hayes stylized road wheels complete with rear fender skirts.
The market for sporty full-size cars had disappeared, though, and production was limited to about 15,000 cars for 1969 and barely a third of that for 1970.
Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over 1969-78. This makes it the tenth best selling automobile platform in history.
Standard versions of the Marauder were equipped with a 390 cubic inch engine; the Marauder X-100 was normally equipped with a larger 360 hp (268 kW) 429 cubic inch engine.