Black Edition cars and trucks are now common features of model ranges, but the 2003 Mercury Marauder remains one of the most celebrated examples.
Auction website Bring a Trailer currently has this example available for sale, and it represents a chance to grab some traditional body-on-frame construction.
Buying this V-8-powered rear-wheel drive sedan could be the perfect antidote if you are tired of SUVs and downsized engines.
Introduced for the 2003 model year, the Marauder was intended as a performance version of the existing Mercury Grand Marquis sedan. Mercury had used the Marauder nameplate twice before, but wanted to attract younger buyers to the brand.
A concept version of the Marauder was shown at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show, albeit as a two-door convertible with a supercharged engine. The Marauder garnered enough positive attention for Mercury management to greenlight production plans, but for a sedan model.
It was also deemed that the finished Marauder would dispense with the supercharger. Instead, power came from the 4.6-liter Modular V-8 engine, producing 302 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of torque.
“It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop brakes”
Good news came in the form of the Marauder benefitting from parts typically fitted to the infamous Police Interceptor version of the Ford Crown Victoria.
Heavy-duty suspension was added, along with uprated disc brakes, taken from the Police Interceptor. Also included was a four-speed automatic transmission, combined with a standard limited slip-differential and aluminum driveshaft.
The Marauder was also the recipient of a rack-and-pinion steering system, included as part of a number of upgrades applied to the Panther platform during 2003.
Dark and mysterious forces at work
What makes the Marauder special are the efforts made on styling and appearance. Ditching the chrome brightwork of the Grand Marquis, the defining feature of this sporting model is the black grille with body-colored surround.
The makeover included bespoke bumpers front and rear, plus dark-tinted lights and the fitment of a subtle rear spoiler. More noticeable are the 18-inch five spoke finished in chrome, and wearing center caps inspired by the Mercury logo from the 1960s.
Mercury offered a choice of paint colors for the two years of Marauder production. However, the Black option on this particular car works best for the stealth look. The seller notes that this car has had some touch-up paint applied, along with suffering a small corrosion spot.
Interior changes for the Marauder were more limited, with the front bench ditched in favour of bucket seats. Black leather was used for the upholstery, with satin aluminum trim used throughout. A pair of extra gauges were also fitted in front of the gear shifter.
Marauder buyers also received a special commemorative leather jacket, which the owner of this car has kept. All the original sales literature is included, along with two keys, a car cover, and a full-size spare wheel.
Having covered 41,000-miles since new, this Marauder has lived a relatively charmed life. Recent repair work includes replacement oxygen sensors being fitted, along with a new cooling fan.
Old skool is still cool
The Marauder fell short of sales expectations when new, with barely more than 11,000 produced between 2003 and 2004. The subsequent cancellation of it by Mercury has created a cult following that has only grown stronger with time.
Although it may not be the fastest sports sedan available, the Marauder is noted for impressive mid-range performance. It also offers the closest opportunity to experience a police-specification Ford Crown Victoria without buying an ex-service vehicle.
Bidding on this Marauder closes on Monday December 4th, with Bring a Trailer users already intrigued by this classic sedan.
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