Enthusiastic hoon or no, you’re nevertheless surely familiar with the trademark panic caused when you spot the familiar headlight pattern of the Ford Crown Victoria in the rearview. If Ford’s large, V8-propelled sedan was noteworthy for no other reason, it was at least given a strong presence by the five-oh.
Thanks to the transitive property, that presence passed de facto to the car’s handful of badge-engineered counterparts, like the 2003-’04 Mercury Marauder. Of course, the Mercury Marauder would’ve achieved its own menace even without sharing its basic likeness with the car-of-choice of the po pos; in addition to being a large, V8-powered, RWD sedan, it came from the factory with a blacked-out grille, blacked-out non-reflective surfaces in the headlights, and tinted taillight lenses. “Marauder” was pressed into the rear bumper in large lettering, and of course, there’s the name itself:
Marauder. One who raids and pillages.
The folks at MotorWeek just uploaded their circa 2003 review of the Mercury Marauder as part of their “Retro Review” series, which got us to thinking: could Mercury’s murdered-out, muscular counterpart to the more-pedestrian Grand Marquis be called a modern classic? It certainly has the necessary credentials – a storied name; a 4.6-liter V8 tuned by SVT; comparatively limited production and sales numbers – and certainly, anything that ships from the factory with stock satellite gauges and white gauge faces on the main instrument panel is instantly at least a bit cool.
Or, perhaps the 2003-2004 Mercury Marauder simply needs to go back into the cellar and age a few more years before it quite reaches “classic” status.