This Is the Sneakiest Panther-Platform Hot Rod Ever Built

It makes about 450 horsepower at the wheels thanks to a modified Terminator engine.

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2003 Lincoln Town Car hot rod
Photo: Cars & Bids

As far as Panther bodies go, it’s hard to get much cooler than the Mercury Marauder. 302 horsepower, an upgraded suspension, a louder exhaust, a 3.55:1 rear axle, a limited-slip differential, and other improvements? What’s not to like? But this Lincoln Town Car arguably has the Marauder beat, largely because it looks so close to stock. If you didn’t notice the hood vents, you’d probably just assume it was a regular ole Town Car with some new wheels.

Peek under the hood, though, it’s immediately clear that this particular Town Car, currently for sale on Cars & Bids, is anything but regular. It now has the engine from a Terminator Cobra, which originally made 390 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. But thanks to further engine modifications such as an upgraded supercharger and aluminum block, the seller estimates it now makes about 450 hp. At the wheels.

The wheels, by the way, are from a Shelby GT500. That allowed the owner to add wider tires for better grip. Other modifications include the suspension upgrades from the Police Interceptor, KYB dampers, a catback exhaust, the hood vents that were mentioned earlier, the Marauder’s sway bars, auxiliary gauges, a touchscreen head unit with navigation and a rear-view camera, and not much else.


Sure, you could nit-pick and point out other changes such as the chrome delete and aftermarket headlights, but those are far from the main focus here. We’re talking about a ridiculously powerful hot-rodded Lincoln Town Car that’s been so tastefully modified, few people would ever give it a second glance. At least as long as they don’t hear the exhaust note or the whine from the supercharger.

The whole package really does look incredible. Especially since the owner said they intentionally avoided adding a significantly stiffer suspension to preserve the Town Car’s cushy ride. And while we’re typically big fans of manual transmissions, swapping out the automatic here would have also felt wrong. This thing was built to cruise (and cruise under the radar), not carve canyons, and it’s all the better for it.


It’s also so clean and perfectly executed. As Doug Demuro said in his review of the Terminator Town Car below, “Everything in this car basically feels like it should have been like this from the factory, with the exception of a few aftermarket gauges that are kind of important, like a tach... But other than that, this car looks and feels OE.” Incredible.

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