By on December 2, 2010

Memorable (def): 1. worth remembering 2. easily remembered

Maurauder (def): one who raids for booty

In yesterday’s Cougar CC, I claimed there were only three Mercuries truly worth remembering. The Marauder X-100 wasn’t on the list, and many of you protested. Fortunately, there are two definitions for the word, and the Marauder is certainly easily remembered; more like impossible to forget. And what exactly is it memorable for? Its booty. So how could we possibly not honor that?

Marauder is a bit of an unlikely name for a big Mercury. It appeared in 1963.5 to distinguish the semi-fastback roofed Mercs from the reverse-angled Breezeway models. NASCAR racing made it a necessity, and it presumably brought some suggestion of sportiness to the Monterey, Montclair and Park Lane. And if you were one of the maybe seven folks who paid big bucks to get a genuine eight-barrel 427 in your Marauder, you were obviously not into the herd mentality. But that’s not the key to success, and the name disappeared again in 1965, as the sporty affectation apparently didn’t exactly suit the staid Mercuries all that well after all: “I am so torn between buying a GTO or a Marauder…”

After a four year absence off raiding for booty, the Marauder reappeared in 1969, showing off its newly-acquired embarrassment of riches. It was an oddly timed and predictably unsuccessful attempt to compete in a market segment that was not only long in tooth, but utterly moribund. The full-sized “muscle-sporty” segment had its birth with the 1955 Chrysler 300, and within a few years expanded to the popular price segment in the early sixties, like the Impala SS, among others. It was a heavily GM-dominated field, as the original Marauder’s demise soon proved.

But when the new 1964 intermediate muscle cars appeared (GTO etc.), the full-sized progenitors quickly became dinosaurs, in more way than one. What little relevance they once had now evaporated. The segment leader, the Impala SS, was a distinct model from 1963 through 1967, but reduced to a trim option only through its final years in 1968 and 1969. That must have been the cue for Mercury to create the Marauder to glean the Super Sport crumbs.

I realize that this 1969-1970 Marauder holds an exalted place for lovers of big and distinctive booties, so I kind of hate to pop the big bubble. The Marauder, like so many easily remembered Mercuries was just another Ford with heavy makeup. Very heavy, in the case of the X-100.

Here are the two Blue Oval blood brothers: the Marauder on top, and its near-twin, the Galaxie XL below. The Marauder is nothing more than the XL with a Marquis front end, and a few trim details, like the fake vent and a cheap fake crackle-finish plastic slab that encases the tail lights.

But the most distinctive difference was the matte black paint applied to that whole rear of the X100 (optional on the base Marauder).

So why isn’t our featured Marauder wearing those black Lycra tights to really set off its hind assets? [Update: Our astute commentators figured out why: this is a 1970 model X-100, and the matte black paint on the rear deck was a delete option for 1970]

Beats me. I’ve been wondering about that since I found it, and I guess I was just too much in awe to ask its elderly and very proud owner. So is it a genuine X-100, or a plain Jane Marauder with X-100 emblems attached to the front fenders?

I found a spec sheet from a Marauder brochure, and except for the missing black ass, it rather appears to be the genuine article (X-100 standard equipment): rim-blow 3-spoke steering wheel – check; styled Alum. wheels – check; automatic parking brake release – I can’t tell; leather and vinyl upholstery standard – wait a minute.

Looking at these pictures, it appears that there are no animal hides here anywhere, unless there’s a dessicated dead mouse under the seat. Forty year old leather inevitably has some visible wear, or at least a certain distinct patina; only vinyl ages this well.  Between the that and the flesh-tone derriere, I’m switching my vote to fake. Or did the vat of matte black paint run low one Monday morning? And he seemed like such a sweet honest old guy. Any Marauding experts want to weigh in?

Here’s some more confusion: standard rear wheel fender skirts and bright wheel opening molding, front and rear – no fender skirts here, but the front opening molding is there (not on a base Marauder). But it’s not on the rear…

Genuine or not, let’s try to recreate an authentic picture in our minds what these big bad babies were like to drive. Now I could contribute my own memories of a summer’s worth of illicit marauding in a very similar ’69 Ford LTD coupe. But that didn’t have the Marauder’s standard performance handling package suspension or the Marauder X-100’s big 429 V8. Nevertheless, it’s hard to conjure up any memories of even a hint of sportiness in the perpetually understeering LTD, which was a hallmark of Ford products. It was their way of keeping you safe.

But who’s going to want to believe the drug-addled memories of an eighteen-year old joy-riding the back roads of Baltimore County with no fewer than three girls sharing the endlessly-wide front seat with him? (details revealed when I find a ’69 LTD coupe). But wait! I happen to have a December 1968 issue of Car and Driver which curiously features two road tests of the two most polar opposite cars available that year: the tiny 1.1 L 60 hp Corolla Sprinter coupe and the 7.0 L 360 hp Marauder x-100. These ultimate extremes of trying to turn pedestrian sedans into “sporty” coupes both had predictable results.

The reputation of C/D in the old days of ripping apart cars (literally and metaphorically) in their tests is rather over-stated. The Marauder is treated rather gently, despite the predictable shortcomings of its sporty pretensions. Considering that the brand new canted-valve 429 engine was still in its smog-tainted sunshine years, with high compression heads, a big four barrel carb and un-catalyzed genuine dual exhausts, performance might be expected to be…memorable. It wasn’t. Zero to sixty came in 7.8 seconds, and the quarter mile in a leisurely 16.0 secs @ 86.0 mph.

And it gets better yet: C/D’s observed fuel mileage: 10 – 13 mpg on premium fuel. Yes, the good old days. Hey, it was fun having to stop every two hundred miles to refill the 24 gallon tank – the gas jockey did it for you. The Marauder’s 4400 lbs test weight undoubtedly played a role.

But there is a pleasant surprise: the Marauder handles reasonably well, for what it is: a big fat Ford two-door sedan; not a sporty car. C/D makes that clear: “rather than being a two-ton sports car as the ad men would have you believe, the Marauder is fashionable transportation – which is not the same thing”. While sporty characteristics might at least be somewhat timeless, fashion hardly ever is, all to obviously.

But the steering comes in for heavy-handed criticism: numb and slow; requiring a full four turns lock to lock. And it loses its power assist when parking, no less. How inconvenient! C/D helpfully suggests that Ford consider buying their power steering components from GM.

And C/D and I share a similar complaint with the Marauder’s instrument panel. It looks like it should be on an Econoline or a Maverick. What a cheap, love-less, and uninspired block of plastic and vinyl-wood. A couple of tiny, pathetic instruments are lost in a smattering of randomly mis-placed knobs and buttons. The seventies were off to a good start.

It was all-too obvious where the cost-cutting was taking place compared to the 1964 Marauder’s dash (above).  The ’63-’64 Marauder may not have been the muscle car extraordinaire, but at least this interior looks like a rape and pillaging sort of guy might actually be at home behind the wheel. The X-100? Grandpa heading to the Knights of Columbus.

C/D sums it up: “The Marauder just goes to show you can’t judge a car by its name. Strip away the scheming of market researchers and the babbling of ad writers and you end up with a huge, semi-lethargic, but reasonably competent Detroit cruiser…”  Well, the Ford  market researchers got it wrong, if they thought the market was looking for this: sales were tepid (15k) in 1969, and dropped off the cliff in 1970, before it was sent packing.

Of course, Marauders can’t be kept at bay forever, and sure enough it returned for its third plundering in 2003. Also weighing 4400 lbs, the blacked-out Grand Marquis now sported a warmed-over 302 hp 4.6, and enough other goodies to knock off seven second runs to sixty, and a fifteen second quarter mile (stock), still none too overly impressive.

I know it’s a favorite among the Panther crowd, which is well represented in these parts. But it also bombed out in the sales charts, and after a run of 11,053 of them, the Marauder was put to rest, for the third and final time. And our booties are safe at last.

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45 Comments on “Curbside Classic: The Bootylicious 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    A friend of mine and I came across one of the 1964-ish models on the same shopping center parking lot parked not too far from the red Olds Cutlass 442, similar to what TTAC CC highlighted awhile back. This Merc was also quite stunning: Gold exterior, gold interior, absolutely pristine throughout, although 5 years old by that time. Whoever owned it sure took care of it and we certainly wish we had the cash to buy one of those sixties classics, but being 17-18 years old, all I had to show for my efforts was a very rusted, rod-knocking 235 and worn-out ’61 Bel-Air 2 dr. sedan.

    Sigh.

    The CC example highlighted today shows just how far Ford was behind GM and Chevy. Dashboard looked very similar to a Fairmont. The chrome (“bright”) edge trim along the top of the rear fenders went out of fashion at least six years before and this car had absolutely nothing to recommend it over anything Chevy offered at the time, let alone Ford or even Chrysler. Mercury became Pontiac long before Pontiac became a more expensive Chevy. I’m surprised both brands didn’t die long before this.

    I do give credit where credit is due, however – this is a nice example pretty well preserved. I’m thinking the owner had the flat black rear end painted to match the rest of the car to improve the appearance to him, perhaps.

    Oh, for those who believe us old guys love all the old iron, don’t be fooled – this thing was pretty much junk in spite of being (dear to my heart) a pillarless hardtop!

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I can’t quite buy that the chrome-edged quarter panels were passe by that time. The look that became quickly dated was the “fuselage” styling that Chrysler used for its 1969 full-size cars. Those cars had mediocre sales from day one, and looked tired within two years. The 1969 Dodge Polara/Monaco – this car’s most direct competitor from Chrysler – looks bland and boring, with a deck that is too long relation to the rest of the body.

      But then, I was never impressed by any full-size Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth after 1968. Build quality was bad, the styling was either awkward or boring and they just weren’t as reliable as their Big Two counterparts.

      The front of the 1969 Mercury – both the Monterey (no hidden headlights) and Marquis – were more predictive of future styling trends. The front of the 1974 Chrysler Newport/New Yorker and Imperial were inspired by the Mercury, and the upper ends of the rear quarter panels of the 1974 Imperial have ridges, much like this car (although not trimmed with chrome). And Mercury sales were actually quite good in the 1970s, until Ford downsized the full-size cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      I gotta go with Geeber on the style issue.  Not so much the Marauder coupe, but the Marquis sedans of 1969-70 were very predicive of the style trends of the 70s, perhaps moreso than any other cars.  The Marquis was very conservative and looked important.  I guess what I like about this Marauder is that this is one of the very few flamboyant big cars from 1969-70. 

      I did not spend much time in one of these Mercurys, but my dad had a 69 LTD that I found had a much more solid and quality feel than the 69 Catalina that my Grandma had, both being bought new.  But little did we know at the time that the 69-70 big Fords would take the gold medal in the rusting olympics. 

  • avatar
    fincar1

    This car reminded me of the 1970 Chrysler 300H (Hurst) which was exactly the same type of car, a standard 300 2-door hardtop with special paint, wheels, and (maybe, can’t remember for sure) interior trim. They were a big deal among a lot of the Chrysler fans I knew – one guy I knew had three of them – and for the life of me I never understood why. I went so far as to point out that if I had customized a 300 in the exact same way no one would look at it twice, but my words were as flies buzzing in their ears.

  • avatar

    The 429 is 7.0L, the 7.5L is the 460, not available in this car. When Mercury brought out the 2003-04 Marauder, they compared it to the 63-65 models in all the promotional materials, they never mentioned the 1969-70 X-100s at all. Even Merucy was embarassed by it.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Doh! Will fix. Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      mazder3

      Actually, although they didn’t mention the X-100 they did mention the 1969-70, albeit briefly, in the 2003 Mercury Marauder promotional DVD. They spent exactly 20 seconds on the ’69-70 model year with some stock photography, seemingly an afterthought. The ’69 “was the elegant way to go all out”.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Anyone throwing stones at the 69-70 Mercury dashboard has not spent much time behind the dashes of other 1969-70 US cars.  The Pontiac dash of that era is awful.  Whether it was rampant cost cutting, early safety regs or just a change in style (EVERYTHING was soft black vinyl) this was not a great era for car interiors.

    Actually, I always kind lf liked the look of these big Mercurys.  It is the end of the line for the big, sporty car.  And althought it lacked the engines and suspensions to back up the talk (it was certainly no letter 300, or even a Total Performance Ford), this was a nicely styled car for what it was.  At least in those years, Mercury was not sharing the Ford sheet metal.  Other than the roof panels, I don’t believe there is a single shared body panel.  IIRC, these were on a longer wheelbase (123 or 124 inches?) than the Ford (121), as well.  The length of the car allowed the designers to do some cool things with long swoops that would soon become impossible as cars got smaller.

    As an 11 yr old kid I had the 70 Mercury  sales literature that I got from my Dad.  The X100 was by far my fave (who would buy one of those boring Monterey sedans, anyway?)  So maybe this CC is just reminding me of a long-ago car crush. 

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      jp; the Mercury four-doors had an extra 3 inches of wheelbase. The Marauder sat on the Galaxie 121″ wb, and as I pointed in the article, except for some surface details, the body is a dead ringer for the Galaxie XL, except for the Marquis front end, which of course matched up to the rest of the Galaxie body so nicely. Did you take a close look at the comparison photo of the two in the article?

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      I will admit, Paul, to squinting at the photos and concluded that I couldn’t tell if there was an extra couple inches in wheelbase or not.  I will defer to your research on the wb question.  Clearly the cars share the same shell, but I believe that all sheetmetal other than that very unique greenhouse, was distinctive for Mercury.  In addition to the front cap, the rears are very different, the quarter panels too with the big Mercury scoops.  Even the front fenders and doors – the Mercury’s are smooth and lack the crease (under the chrome strip) on the Ford doors.  The hood had a much wider power bulge as well.  Small changes, but they cost just as much just the same, and did give the car a unique look.

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    …with no less than three girls sharing the endlessly-wide front seat with him?
    Since you can count the three lovely ladies, it should be no fewer than three girls. Use less than when you’re describing things that cannot be counted. Just a little nitpick. :)

  • avatar
    rtfact32

    GM is the master of this…
    http://images2.carsforsale.com/320912/05310E9E-A9DC-475B-9BCD-410E55EF6500_1.jpg
    http://www.lonnebergas.com/bonneville_68.jpg
    If they could have gotten away with putting the B-body under all divisions it would have. So why does Ford get a bad rap for doing the same damn thing? Slap a different front and rear on it, and call it a day…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      GM got away with it because they did it so well and apparently the car-buying public agreed with their wallets.

      With apologies to geeber and jpcavanaugh, I didn’t mean to appear I was trashing Ford’s style – I like bright trim, I admired many of their models in those years, especially the 1968-69 Torino, it’s just that GM’s styling in general, especially Chevrolet’s, was more advanced and looked more modern to me. The dashboard of the subject in question wasn’t ugly, just not “sporty” looking like the earlier models, but that was true across all the automaker’s carlines, and styling was moving more towards faux luxury – remember velour seats? I think safety issues/requirements drove some of this as well.

  • avatar
    Richr

    As one of the “maybe seven folks” who actually bought a 64 427 8v Marauder brand new, I thought I better check in. I was about 20 at the time and working as a L-M tech so I got it for dealer cost of around $3300 (list $4100+). It’s now in good hands with it’s third owner and often seen at local cruise nights.
    PS. If I wasn’t working at a L-M dealer I probably would have bought a GTO like everyone else.
     

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    The full-sized “muscle-sporty” segment had its birth with the 1957 Bonneville
     
    I disagree with that statement.  This segment started with the 1955 Chrysler 300.
     
    Similar to other fullsize muscle cars however, the last year for the “letter model” Chrysler 300s was 1965.  Even then, available horsepower was down and you could order-up a non-letter 300 or Newport with the same performance equipment.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      You’re right. Here’s what I meant to say “popular priced full-sized muscle-sporty”. I erroneously assumed the Bonneville wasn’t as expensive as it was when I looked it up; it was as much or more than a Chrysler 300. So I will amend the text. Thanks.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I don’t know, I’m going with genuine. I mean, who would bother to fake a Marauder? Especially that particular model? We’re talking about a obscure model, where there is no (or little at least) financial or esteem gained by faking the higher model. Maybe the car is a special order? That would suit Occam’s razor the best I think…
     
    My parents had a 1963 Breezeway, but the then contemporary Marauder was way cooler. I took part in the early marketing surveys for the late Marauder. When the final specs were announced, I was disappointed to say the least. I knew Mercury was dead, back then.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    According to musclecars.howstuffworks.com:
    “X-100 was the costlier of the two Marauders and came standard with rear fender skirts (optional on the base model), as well as “sports tone” matte-black paint on the tunneled rear deck area. The last could be deleted for credit or by ordering the extra-cost vinyl roof.”

    A look at the 1969 full-size Mercury brochure on TOCMP confirms this. Underneath the Marauder description is a footnote: “*Sports tone may be deleted and cost deducted from base price.”

  • avatar
    tonyola

    The same brochure says that vinyl “Twin Comfort Lounge Seats” were a no-cost option on the X100.
    http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Mercury/1969%20Mercury/1969_Mercury_Full_Size_Brochure/dirindex.html

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      tonyola: You’ve got it. These are clearly those. Odd that they’re not leather trimmed. So that makes this a genuine X-100 with the rear black paint delete option.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Vinyl, or “leatherette”, was very common in this era.

      Ah, “twin comfort lounge seats”.  I shall look forward to sitting in those on the ride home tonight.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’m laughing at the fact that we may indeed be looking at a genuine Marauder but the most oddly optioned one to leave the factory.  (Wonder if it was special order or the guy at the dealer placing orders that day was smoking a hell of a lot of weed?)
     
    On the subject of bootylicious, obviously Paul those girls needed nicer, rounder rears if you could get that many of them in the front seat.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Educator Dan, you bring up a good point and one that unfortunately is all too common, that of dealers who simply don’t know how to attractively spec out cars.   It used to rile me up how some dealers would not add “X” option on a certain car, which would have made it a ton more attractive to customers and only cost, say, $20.  Some are lazy and don’t bother to look at the ordering guides and then miss out on great options.  And trust me, sometimes a low-cost option can be the main difference between a car that gets sold off the lot within a week of arrival and one that gathers spiderwebs inside its wheel spokes for a year or more.

      Edit: as an example, I just noticed that this particular Marauder has -gasp- crank windows? That would have been a big mistake on a car of such stature. Plus, that baby-doo-brown interior color, sure didn’t help matters. Unless that was a car ordered to a particular pre-paying customer’s specs, I bet it just DIED on the lot equipped like that. The only Marauder I ever saw back in the 70’s-80’s (seriously, I only knew of ONE, until many years later when I began seeing them at old car auto shows) was a white-on-white X100 that a neighbor owned, loaded to the gills and equipped with buckets. THAT was an attractive and well spec’d out car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Marauder, like so many easily remembered Mercuries was just another Ford with heavy makeup. Very heavy, in the case of the X-100.
     
    Makeup is what turns Robert Englund into Freddy Kruger.
     
    A dark red/blue/black/green X100 is downright imposing.  It isn’t beautiful like a Rivera or Grand Prix, it isn’t streetrod-y like the Galaxie and Impala,  and isn’t overtly luxurious like the Eldorado and Continental.  It’s just mean.  Other than maybe the Toronado, the X100 is what Satan would drive if he came to Earth.
     
    Plus, it’s called “Marauder”, how cool is that?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Everybody beat me to commenting on the matte black rear paint delete option… but:

    The car in the pics is a 1970, not a 1969.  Unless the 1969 X-100 was a uniquie forward-looking vehicle, then one can tell because for all Ford and Mercury products, the rear side marker lamp is large and inset vs 1969 which was small and protruding from the class-A surface.  BTW, in 1970, the side marker lamps also flashed along with the turn signals … great feature which only lasted a couple of years…

  • avatar
    jimbo1126

    Hi Paul – I was trying to solve the mystery using tonyola’s brochure link. This is a 1970 car, not a 1969. The interior door panels, and the three-box front turn signals, are the giveaways. The 1970 brochure doesn’t show matte black paint on the back of the X-100 (I didn’t check the fine print though).

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The explanation of the strippo X-100 is easy. For starters, profits are much higher on the loaded option, top-tier models. But, towards the end of a model run that wasn’t the success hoped for and will likely soon be discontinued, the manufacturer will start using up whatever less lucrative option packages are left on the production line just to close out the run. The late sixties X-100 certainly would seem to fit the bill on that one.

    So, while it might be a little difficult to find an ‘incognito’ 1969 X-100, in the second (and final) year, maybe not so tough.

    In fact, by extension, this could be a new TTAC series, i.e, little-known, unique options that quickly died (for whatever reason). One of my faves was the ‘Vacuum Operated Exhaust’ (VOE, aka “The Humbler”), a short-lived option on the 1970 GTO. A commercial for ‘The Humbler’ only ran once (during the 1970 Super Bowl), after which GM brass quickly pulled the plug for its obvious street-racing intent.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Bingo. We recently saw this option package trickledown at the end of the previous F150 model’s life cycle in 2008, when the mid-cycle FX2 package, originally only available on the supercab and supercrew models, appeared on regular cab long bed and short bed models. Those are likely to be fairly collectible in the future.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Something is wrong with the time stamps in the system here (and I don’t mean 1969 vs. 1970) … EdofTeDan’s post seems to be ‘stickyed’ to the bottom of the column …

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I owned this car’s Ford analogue, a garish 1969 Ford XL-GT (note that the XL became its own model, distinct from Galaxie and LTD, that year) convertible.  390-2v, the same shade of metallic turquoise shared with  early-1990s Hondas and Geos.  White top, white C-stripes, white vinyl buckets, and white console with a U-handle floor shift. Same wheel covers as the base 1968 Shelbys.  Despite the GT nomenclature, I do not remember it having the slightest pretension to dynamic sportiness, except by styling, and I suppose it’s the same with this X-100. It was utterly unique. To this day, I’ve never seen another one like it and that’s something you can’t say about much Detroit iron.
     
    I traded it for a brand-new high-end computer about 1990, which today is worth about $20 to a collector. Not one of my better automotive investments, unless you count the fact that I practically stole the convertible from its previous owner for $350 and the computer got me through a master’s degree and thesis without one lost byte of data or a single printing crisis. I suppose that’s worth something, but I do wonder what the XLGT convertible would be worth today.
     
    The XL excelled at beach trips and evening cruises. It was well muffled and utterly silent, which made for neat whooshing sound effects under bridges and in tunnels. Since nothing about it made me want to flog it, it did everything I ever asked of it without complaint and never broke down. All in all, very fond memories. I don’t think it’s possible to be disappointed by such cars as long as you don’t make unreasonable demands of them.  My new Acura Integra, concurrently owned–now, that got flogged.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Aside from the original Cougar and the “James Dean” Merc, their only other iconic car was McGarrett’s Park Lane.
     
    The later 1974 de Sade is a frumpmaster by comparison but is included in the current reprise as an hommage to the orig McGarrett and show.

    CBS admitted Five-O was their strongest show for a decade+. It showcased Mercury better than any other “vehicle” in the brand’s history.

    http://www.memoriesofhawaiifive-0.com/mcgarrettscar.htm

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    @ geeber, I happen to own a 78 new yorker brougham, which is the same car as the 74 Imperial. I see absolutely nothing in the design of the front clip that looks like it was borrowed from the marquis. Sure, the hood is raised in the center , but lots of cars had that feature. The peaks on the rear fenders of the chrysler look nothing like the mercury’s, and do not even start at the roofline like on the mercury.
    The tops of the quarter panels on the chrysler start out almost flat at the roof, and raise up gradually to blend in with the tear drop taillights. These cars are considered by many to be the smoothest and most cleanly styled large cars of the mid 70’s.
    Motor trend picked the imperial as the winner over the lincoln and caddy in july of 75. The reasons they chose it were for (1) solidness (2) instruments/gauges (3) ease of night-time operation of controls (40 comfort (5) type of leather used (6) fit and finish of upholstery (7) braking ability and (8) trunk capacity
    At the same time cunsumer quide annual picked it as ‘the best overall luxury car in america.” Second worldwide only to the mercedes benz.
    I realize that styling is a matter of personal taste, but I can think of other cars that I would think became dated before the fuselage chryslers, such as the 69-70 chevy. Sure, the build quality left a bit to be desired on the fuselage cars, but as far as durability and performane and handling go, there was a reason they became legendary with the california highway patrol. In closing, I do have to say that they screwed up the fuselage cars in 73 when they hung that big bumper and hideous grill on the front. I also agree that the polara was ugly, but like many of the ugly mopars it sure made for a cool looking police cruiser!

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Paul, great review as always.  This Marauder may perhaps be a true X100, even if the seats don’t match the literature.  Three possible scenarios: A) that the original leather seats crapped out with time (not unlikely with leather of that era) and the owner found suitable replacements from a lesser model with the same interior color, B) That it’s a misbuilt (not an unusual thing, I worked in the auto industry) or C) that the X-100 interior was on material restriction when the car was ordered and it was built with the base model seats.  It happens.

    I do hope one day you find and do a review on a Pontiac Grand Ville, probably the closest thing to a Marauder competitor during that era.  But those are about as rare as Betamaxes nowadays.  Grand Villes could haul ass though, one of my buddies owned a ’71 and that thing was a torque monster.

  • avatar
    Pikadon

    The article reads:

    “The Marauder is nothing more than the XL with a Marquis front end, and a few trim details, like the fake vent and a cheap fake crackle-finish plastic slab that encases the tail lights.”

    Okay. And similarly, the Marquis was essentially an LTD with hidden headlights — and the LTD, in turn, was nothing but a Galaxie with a nicer interior. So what? That’s how American cars in sibling divisions are created, and has been for decades.

    If the Marauder had a fault, it’s that Ford didn’t take the opportunity to give it a sporty, distinctive interior, one befitting a premium personal-luxury car. An interior with features such as standard rather than optional bucket seats and console, and especially a far more interesting dash with all the instruments commonly found in sporty cars.


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  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States