By on March 3, 2020

We all recall the Panther-based Mercury Marauder as the last gasp of large, sporty motoring from Mercury. Today’s Rare Ride is the predecessor everyone forgot — the 219-inch Marauder X-100.

The Marauder name started out as a Mercury trim package midway through the 1963 model year. A development for the brand’s full-size cars, there were Marauder badges applied to the Park Lane, Monterey, Montclair, and the short-lived S-55 coupe. Cars built to Marauder spec had hardtop or notchback roof styles (no Breezeway here), bucket seats, and a center console. Generally, it brought the more relaxed Mercury offerings in line with Ford’s Galaxie models.

Those first Marauders didn’t last for long; consumers wanted to hear more about luxury than sporting pretensions. After 1965 Marauder offerings disappeared from Mercury, only to reappear four years later.

That brings us to today’s Rare Ride — the two-door hardtop that shared its styling with the full-size Marquis. In 1969 the Marauder replaced the slow-selling S-55, after it was extinguished for the second time in 1967. Positioned as a personal luxury car, the Marauder shared its front-end styling and interior with the Marquis. But underneath, it was not the same car. Marauder used the chassis from Ford’s XL range and the Mercury Colony Park wagon, with a wheelbase of 121 inches. Marquis models of two- and four-doors used the chassis from the LTD, and had a 124-inch wheelbase. Marauder came standard with the generously-sized 390 cubic inch (6.4L) FE V8, and was available with a three-speed manual or automatic.

Available with only two doors this time, the fastback Marauder went head to head against the Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado. And for the real performance luxury enthusiast who turned up at the Mercury showroom, there was the special X-100 variant. X-100s were fitted with a larger 429 cubic inch (7.0L) 385 V8, paired only to a three-speed automatic. Inside, twin lounge seats were optional over standard bucket fare. The center console contained a basket handle shifter, as was appropriate for the era. The X-100’s unique Kelsey-Hayes wheels were partially obscured by rear fender skirts, also not found on standard Marauder.

Customers shied away from the new Marauder. It was just too performance-oriented. While Mercury moved around 20,000 Marauders in 1969 and 1970, the same dealers shifted 173,000 Cougars. Lincoln dealers also sold twice as many Continental Mark IIIs. Marauder went away after 1970, and was quickly forgotten.

Today’s Rare Ride is a black-over-black beauty. Originally purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Fresno, California, it’s loaded up with Church-approved luxury options. For sale on Bring a Trailer, it sits at $16,500 with 22 hours left in the auction.

[Images: seller]

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56 Comments on “Rare Rides: The Extra THICC 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100...”


  • avatar

    Final sale price was $18,250.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      That is a great price. One could not restore it for that price. We will start to see cars like this rise in price since Mustangs and the more collectible cars have become unobtanium to the huddled masses.
      On the subject of Marauders, I saw a 1966 Galaxie 500 for sale that had an 2000’s era Marauder drivetrain and interior installed. It was an excellent hybridization of the two for a similar price to this.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why somebody at Mercury thought the “hot” car should get….fender skirts…???? To me, nothing says fuddy-duddy grandpa car more than fenderskirts. Ugh!

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    There will be a “gush fest” over this one on here……………

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Beautiful but rare car. This car was well worth its price.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I would love to find a good condition 1972 Montego, then wait patiently in hopes Ford Performance releases a crate 7.3.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    It is fascinating how closely the quarter panel and roofline styling so closely mimic (copy!) the Buick Wildcat coupe of the same period. Ford should be ashamed!

    The Buick: https://funkyimg.com/i/32N7W.jpg

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I actually believe that the purchaser of this vehicle ‘got a deal’. Lovely interior and hide away headlights, which we all know make a car look much better and go faster.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I forgot all about those. They were great looking cars. I wasn’t a Ford guy at that point in time, but I would love to drive one of those today, if only just to remind myself how much better new cars are. I can smell that interior from here.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    It is not easy to shoehorn a 121-inch wheelbase into a 219-inch overall length.

  • avatar
    mzr

    Purchased by a Catholic Diocese? Wonder how many altar boys have been in the back seat. A Marauder for a priest isn’t very pious.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    LOGIN TO REPLY

    LOGIN TO REPLY

    …ugh. Now that I finally managed to log in…

    I just can’t reconcile myself to Ford styling from circa 1969 to 1973. All the cars look to me like they were designed to look as heavy and clunky as possible, and this one is no exception. To me, this looks like a classic Riviera spent way too long in the feeding yard.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “look to me like they were designed to look as heavy and clunky as possible” Agreed, I much preferred Detroit’s crisp designs of just a half decade earlier. See http://www.vaultcars.com/1965-mercury-marauder (I’m ignoring the goofy Breezeway profile, which was form following function . . . and that function’s being a strange gimmick.)

      And no car with optional fender skirts ever looked better with them. Something like a Citroën SM, where they’re integral to the design? Sure. But in something where they’re optional? They just make the car look busier and heavier. Granted, “heavier” and “busier” seem to be prized qualities to a lot of American consumers.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Reminds me that my Maternal Grandfather’s only new car during his life was Ford XL coupe – rootbeer brown though.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    That IS thicc…

    Check out the dash – it appears that the aftermarket is making vintage-looking modern radios AND A/C units (the one on this car is labeled “Vintage Air”).

    (Having said that, though, I’d MUCH prefer a slightly older Riv or Toronado.)

  • avatar
    ajla

    What was the price difference between this and the also gnarly looking Cyclone?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Fender skirts actually work on this car.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    So this nice Mercury Marauder was sold new to the Fresno Catholic Diocese.
    Father Flanagan went to the Lincoln-Mercury dealer to purchase a new car. The Lincoln models were a bit too upscale and the parishioners might get the impression that the good father was purloining from the collection plate. The entry full sized Monterey seemed a bit too pedestrian, more appropriate for the parish nuns. The Colony Park wagon was more appropriate for the CYO basketball team.
    Padre’s Irish eyes caught a glimpse of the sporty Marauder and he was hooked like a fish on Lent. Sporty but respectable,not like those muscle car Cougars the young lads were eyeing on the other end of the showroom.
    He signed the deal on the Marauder and drove it out of the showroom. As he stomped the accelerator the 4 barrel carburetor on the 429 V8 sang with the joy of angels.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Any priest I know would be embarrassed to drive something this flashy. The ones I know drive cars like Honda Accords, or Subaru Foresters.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        One of the one’s working at the Cathedral here had a 1st Gen Toyota Solara coupe with tan leather, V6, and pearlescent paint.

        The priests where I attend are driving used Malibus, Corollas, and (if purchased new) the occasional Mitsubishi.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        In the early 70’s the rabbi at our reform congregation drove a nice brown 72 Toronado. By the late 70’s gas crisis he was driving a Plymouth Arrow Fire Arrow edition in white with the black graphics.
        In Sunday school we discussed the ethical implications of driving a German auto since some of the members drove VW’s or moved up the economic ladder to W122-W123 Mercedes Benzs.
        The hippy priest at the parish down the block rocked a Harley Sportster.

        • 0 avatar
          SilverCoupe

          I don’t know what kind of car our reform rabbi drove (though my mom drove a ’70 Toronado.)

          A young neighbor parroted his parents by saying he would never own a German car, when I came home from college in my ’75 Scirocco. I asked him what kind of car he would like to drive, and he said, “A Porsche!”

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It could have been for a raffle, but I would think that a dealership owned by a well-heeled parishioner would just donate the car.

    According to one link I found, a loaded example could sticker for close to $5,000. They could have got it at invoice and still cleared close to $6,000 if they sold 2,000 tickets at $5 each.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Those are outstanding fenders and quarter panels.

    What a beauty.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I owned this car’s Ford analogue, a 1969 Ford XL-GT, also with the 390. Same console with the same shifter. You sounded the horn by squeezing the rim of the wheel. The big block 429 was optional on these cars, as was a four speed manual–together. Mine was a convertible (metallic turquoise with white C-stripes) and I purchased a running parts car, a hardtop XL, that would have been almost as easy to restore. The 1980s South was full of these full size Fords, cheaply bought well used. Wish I’d kept it. Full size convertibles–and cars didn’t get much more full-size than this one–are more like powerboats than sports cars. It was an enjoyable driving experience utterly unlike anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Vanillasludge

      The hilariously named “Rim Blow” horn. A classic feature that could drive you bonkers in a panic maneuver. The random honking while swerving made for lot of yucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Hate those horns. Was nearly killed while driving a vehicle so equipped on Dufferin Street just north of Toronto when the Drive-Inn theatre was still located there and the road was 2 lanes gravel.

        Some idiot tried to pass the line-up waiting to get into the theatre, by going into the oncoming lane, heading straight at me.

        I pushed down everywhere I could to try to sound the horn. It as my first night driving this model of Ford and to this day I shudder when I think about that incident and the sanity of the idiot who approved this design.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Pretty neat .

    I’d like to give it a test drive…..

    -Nate

  • avatar

    What is the purpose of that huge front overhang (and rear too). It is RWD car after all, it should not have it. It looks unwieldy for coupe. Kind of oversized for no good reason.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Front overhangs on cars were on many of the 60’s and 70’s cars. Much easier to criticize something decades later especially if you were not around during that time. At least this car and others of the same era had some style which few of today’s new vehicles have. There is about as much styling and uniqueness in most of today’s new vehicles as a washing machine especially crossovers. I might not want to drive a vehicle from the 70’s daily but I appreciate that there are those who do preserve them.

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