This image was lost some time after publication.

The Mercury Marauder, FoMoCo's recently discontinued high-performance version of the Mercury Marquis, didn't just pop out of thin air and into the hands of the Florida Police.

Mercury first offered the Marauder package in 1963 as a high-performance options set for its two-door Monterey. It included a muscular 427ci V8 with 410hp (net). In 1969, Mercury gave the Marauder its own nameplate, introducing the model as an executive coupe. In X-100 trim, the Marauder offered granddad a bit of motorsports pretension he could take to the office, in a package quick enough to get him to the swingers' key party in time for a shot at lovely Mrs. Philips. The two-door X-100 was one mondo hot rod, with bank-vault doors and Ford's 360hp (net) 429ci V8 under a hood the kids could play four-square on. (And it knocked back gallons of hi-test like Mrs. Philips put away single-malt on the rocks).

A 1969 Mercury Marauder X-100

This image was lost some time after publication.

Fast forward to 2002, when Mercury, feeling pressure from Chevrolet's Impala SS, introduced a 300hp version of its Marquis. The $30,000 sedanista was fitted with a double-overhead cam version of Ford's 4.6-liter V-8, a four-speed automatic tranny, 18-inch wheels and a stiff performance suspension. SS? Nuh-uh, hombre. The new Marauder lasted until 2004, when the story ends with a whimper. Selling only 8,000 Marauders, FoMoCo quietly discontinued it.


Still, the Florida Highway patrol got in under the wire, and now uses its Marauder "stealth" cruiser to catch overzealous highway racers.

And Mrs. Philips? She knits one hell of an afghan.

The late Mercury Marauder, a 2003 model

This image was lost some time after publication.

FHP's 'stealth' cars aim to slow down aggressive drivers [Miami Herald]

Mercury Marauder: The nearest thing to driving a police car [The Acorn]

Marauder X-100: Plundering in Style [Ford Muscle]

Ciao Polizia!: Lamborghini Justice in Italy [internal]