The idea of the so-called ‘personal luxury car’ really took off in the ’60s, although it had been around for quite a while before. The idea was simple: take a large, two-door coupe or hardtop, stick a powerful engine in it, and install as many labor-saving and time-saving gizmos and knick-knacks, and voila! Enter the 1969 Mercury Marauder. It was low-slung, wide and visually quite appealing, despite the fake side-scoops on the more expensive model. It also offered a level of performance rarely seen outside the excellent muscle cars that dotted the landscape. There was just one problem with the Mercury Marauder: it was too late. The market was already quite tired of these relatively non-user friendly behemoths. Oops.
The 1969 Mercury Marauder was available with a choice of two engines, both large and powerful. You could choose the 390 cubic inch (6.4-liter) V8, or go for the X-100 option package, which included a superlative 429 cubic inch (7-liter) V8. Equipped with the larger engine, this big car could reach a top speed of 126 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in a very respectable 7.5 seconds.
In retrospect, it’s too bad that the Mercury Marauder had the market pulled out from under them. They only survived to 1970. They were nice cars, and even though they were ultimately doomed because of the impending emissions legislation and oil crisis, it would have been nice if they’d made more. More would have survived to today.