«   CarDomain Blog Home   »

February 16, 2009

CarDomain Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot: the 1969 – 70 Mercury Marauder X-100

By Jim Brennan

UDMan

Welcome to the CarDomain Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a muscle car is, and maybe to change your thinking in the process. Up until now, there hasn’t been a Ford product covered in this series. Is it because almost almost all of the obvious performance Fords are accepted as true muscle cars, or is it because the obscure ones haven’t been discovered yet? It’s really the latter. While this car isn’t a Ford badged product, it was produced by the Ford Motor Company. Let me introduce you to the Mercury Marauder X-100.

Continue reading after the jump!

Lincoln Mercury’s management seemed to be beaming with excitement during the later 1/2 of the 60′s. They went on to state that the product line was their best ever. The changes in the full-size Mercurys, represented the most dramatic product changes in one year in the history of Ford Motor Co. These fine automobiles, along with the new 1969 Cougars, represent the fourth stage in the complete product revamping of the division, which began in 1967 with the Cougar, continued in 1968 with the Montego and the spring of 69 with the Continental Mark III. Indeed, The Mercury ad campaign for the 1969 Marauder X-100 read “In Case Luxury isn’t Enough.”

Ford had big expectations for the Mercury line that year. The Marauder, a distinct model in 1969, was made the flagship of the Mercury portfolio. The X-100 would consist of traditional full-size Mercury “luxury” but with the added power of a new power plant, the 360 horsepower 429. Priced in 1969 between $4000 and $5000, the intention was to contend with Buick Wildcat and Pontiac Grand Prix sales. The Marauder X-100 was typical of the muscle cars produced at the time. As the 1960s drew to a close, performance came in two basic forms: big engines in small packages and big engines in big packages. Large cars with big engines were performance specialty cars, and the X-100 fit right in.

The Marauder was a two-door hardtop based on a full sized Marquis chassis, chopped in wheelbase by three inches and shortened in the body by about five. The result was a roomy two-door hardtop with a long-hood/short-deck profile on a still-substantial 121-inch wheelbase. Curb weight started at two tons, and more with the right mix of options. The Marauder essentially was the same as Ford’s big Galaxie 500XL coupe with its flying buttress roofline and upright, tunneled backlight.

X-100 was the costlier of the two Marauders and came standard with rear fender skirts (optional on the base model), as well as a matte-black paint appearance called “Sport Tone” on the tunneled rear deck area. The last could be deleted for credit or by ordering the extra-cost vinyl roof. The dash was Marquis, and as such, gave a decidedly luxury car appearance, even if you ordered the optional buckets and console in place of the plushly padded front bench.

To move this considerable mass, the standard powerplant for the X-100 (and optional on the base model) was Ford’s new 429-cubic-inch V-8 in four-barrel form with 10.5:1 compression, a rated 360 horsepower at 4600 rpm, and 480 pounds/feet of torque at 2800. A three-speed Select-Shift automatic was the only transmission and an 2.80:1 rear axle ratio was standard. With the optional 3.25:1 Traction-Lok gears, the X-100 could turn the quarter in the mid-15s at 86-92 mph. Other Performance Figures: 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec, 0-100 mph in 19.9 Sec, Top Speed of 126 MPH.

Car and Driver Magazine wrote; “We realize that this level of performance is perfectly adequate, but adequate for whom?” Certainly not all out performance mavens, it concluded. Surprisingly, the X-100 was a pretty competent performer though. Understeer was the rule and the power steering was unnervingly light, roadholding ability was better than the base Marauder, thanks in part to the X-100’s standard Goodyear H70×15 bias-belted tires on Kelsey-Hayes “MagStar” aluminum wheels. Handling could be further improved by the stiffer springs and shocks offered with the optional competition suspension. Overall, said Car and Driver, “it’s extremely controllable in a wide range of situations, which is more than we can say for most of its competitors.”

With a base price of $4091, the X-100 listed for $700 more than the base Marauder. Options made it more expensive, but the pricing didn’t stop Mercury from building 14,666 Marauders in ’69, 5635 of which were X-100s. The car came back little changed for 1970, and production was down to 6043 Marauders, just 2646 of them X-100s.

That the car didn’t sell in huge numbers and wouldn’t run with the intermediate fire breathers of the day is not really the point. As a broad-shouldered heavyweight with the biggest engine in the stable, the Marauder X-100 was typical of one branch of the muscle car family. Ford pulled the plug on the Marauder in 1970. It wouldn’t be until 2003 that Ford’s Mercury division would re-introduce the Marauder name.

CarDomain Members and their X-100′s

The Black Marauder shown in these pages belong to a CarDomain Member, Ed Zukusky of Bradenton, Florida. It had been featured in a number of articles, and was a featured car on Speed Channel. Take a look at Ed’s page, and leave him a comment. Here’s Ed’s Marauder on Google Video for the Speed Channel.

This next Marauder is owned by Chase, from Kitchener, Ontario. It’s a beautiful Orange and Black machine, and it highlights the Black “Sport Tone” of the tunnelback. Take a look at Chases’ Ride, and leave him a shout out.

Well, there you have it. Is a Full Sized Mercury, one with a Big Block 429 hooked up to a C-6 automatic, an obscure Muscle Car, or is it just a Boulevard Cruiser pretending to be one? Remember, there was a market for full sized bruisers like this one. Does it belong in the Parking Lot? leave your comments, and let your voice be heard.

Comments

Rotpus_Eyeball
Jun 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Amazing!

7killacap9
Jun 30, 2009 at 8:43 am

thats a muscle car for sure. To find parts for one is another thing your going to have problems on

Austin
Feb 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm

definitely a muscle car.

Top Posts « WordPress.com
Feb 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm

[...] CarDomain Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot: the 1969 – 70 Mercury Marauder X-100 Welcome to the CarDomain Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a [...] [...]

Tired Of LS6 Chevelles And Hemi ‘Cudas? Check Out UDMan’s Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot! [Retro] | The genuine priest survey.
Feb 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

[...] able to see obsessively documented and illustrated studies of such greats as the 1958 Packard Hawk, 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100, 1957 Rambler Rebel, and 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am. We say check it out! [CarDomain [...]

Tired Of LS6 Chevelles And Hemi ‘Cudas? Check Out UDMan’s Obscure Muscle Car Parking Lot! [Retro] | Car Advisory
Feb 22, 2009 at 2:40 am

[...] able to see obsessively documented and illustrated studies of such greats as the 1958 Packard Hawk, 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100, 1957 Rambler Rebel, and 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am. We say check it out! [CarDomain [...]

v8fiero
Feb 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

my 11 year old said he would totaly rock that merc! so would i. love obscure muscle!!!

RAD
Feb 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Its a muscle car that wears nicer clothes

Sabby
Feb 20, 2009 at 5:50 am

very big car

Jerry
Feb 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Wow! I would love to mob around in that bad boy!

Mark
Feb 18, 2009 at 7:20 am

All I said was “you’re a cocky motherfucker” nothing meant to insult, what you wrote was a blatant display of a cocky attitude. Because you obviously can’t detect sarcarsm you fire back with “I read magazines that nakes me super smart!”. So of course I couldn’t resist by pointing out how stupid you sound and continue to sound with your latest drivel. You’re either a teenager or an idiot.

O'brien
Feb 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Massive muscle bitch!

Brett
Feb 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I think the X-100 was neat. And 1988Montecarloss this isn’t a blog to find a car you don’t know about and seriously dude you drive a Monte all the cars he’s written about have been cool what do you have to say for yourself? Nice post UDman.

1988montecarloss
Feb 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Mark
Feb 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

You flaunt your alleged knowledge like its suppose to impress everyone on the internet. No one cares what you may or may not know. Save the keyboard commando bullshit, bud.

-
-
thats weird you said nobody would care…..because it seemed like you did

Devo
Feb 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Good lookin car. Not a fan of the rear skirts, I bet it would look alot better without them. Great post Udman.

Brent
Feb 17, 2009 at 1:07 am

The new Marauder is also only available in a four door. “COP CAR BODY”

Sed
Feb 17, 2009 at 1:04 am

Big mean machine! I’d drive it.

7ur7le
Feb 16, 2009 at 9:38 pm

nice.lovin this car

Mark
Feb 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

You flaunt your alleged knowledge like its suppose to impress everyone on the internet. No one cares what you may or may not know. Save the keyboard commando bullshit, bud.

1988montecarloss
Feb 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Mark
Feb 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm

You’re a cocky motherfucker aren’t you monte…

no asshole….actually i have a stack of hemmings muscle machines over 2 ft thick and have subscribed to multiple magazines over the years and have read every goddamn one from cover-to-cover and have been fascinated with and have researched muscle cars of all types as long as i can remember.

UDMan
Feb 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm

This comment is for 1988montecarloss. I feel that you haven’t explored all of my posts yet. You haven’t commented on the Jetfire, the R-2 Studebakers, the Jensen, or the Rebel, at least yet. These are true obscure Muscle, at least that’s what I think.
Stay tuned for a lot more obscure cars. There’s more AMC’s, Mopars, Ford (and Mercury), and of course more from the General. I even have a few coming up from Toyota, Nissan, Subaru (yes there’s at least one), Mercedes-Benz, and others. So stay tuned, and I hope the rest of you are enjoying the series.

i like the series i was just sayin’

Mark
Feb 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm

You’re a cocky motherfucker aren’t you monte…

UDMan
Feb 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm

This comment is for 1988montecarloss. I feel that you haven’t explored all of my posts yet. You haven’t commented on the Jetfire, the R-2 Studebakers, the Jensen, or the Rebel, at least yet. These are true obscure Muscle, at least that’s what I think.
Stay tuned for a lot more obscure cars. There’s more AMC’s, Mopars, Ford (and Mercury), and of course more from the General. I even have a few coming up from Toyota, Nissan, Subaru (yes there’s at least one), Mercedes-Benz, and others. So stay tuned, and I hope the rest of you are enjoying the series.

UDMan
Feb 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

This comment is directed at 1988montecarloss: I see that I’m dealing with an expert in all things Muscle Car. I was wondering though, why you haven’t left a comment in any of the following posts:
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/02/13/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-1957-rambler-rebel/
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/02/05/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-jensen-interceptor/
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/01/30/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-1963-studebaker-r2-super-lark-and-super-hawk/
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/01/27/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-1962-63-oldsmobile-f-85-jetfire/
Are they too obscure for you, or not really a Muscle Car by your definition? Anyway, I have at least another 15 weeks of this series. What are some of the cars coming up? I’ll give you (and everyone here) a hint on the next few….
How about a 1957 car, equipped with Fuel Injection, but is not a Chevrolet?
How about a mid 60′s Mid Sized Fastback Coupe built to compete with the Pony Cars?
Do you know of a big 70′s 2 door doupe that was built in conjunction with a famous shifter manufacturer?
lastly, how about a car that may still be available on the lots, Brand New, with a 5.3L V-8 under the hood, and driving only the front wheels?
Thanks for commenting 1988montecarloss, but please, show just a little humility. I hope the rest of you are enjoying the series.

Jim Brennan
Feb 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

This is for 1988Montecarloss: I guess you’re just smarter than I am as far as coming up with obscure Muscle. Did you have a chance to read this yet?
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/02/13/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-1957-rambler-rebel/
Or haw about this little number?
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/02/05/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-jensen-interceptor/
How about these?
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/01/30/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-the-1963-studebaker-r2-super-lark-and-super-hawk/
or this one?
http://blog.cardomain.com/2009/01/27/cardomain-obscure-muscle-car-parking-lot-1962-63-oldsmobile-f-85-jetfire/

The only reason why I’m asking is that I don’t seem to see your comments in any of them. Oh, and I have a few more coming up that will surprise even you. I’ll give everyone here a few hints:
- A large 1970′s Coupe, built in conjunction with a famous Shifter Kit Builder.
- A 1960′s Mid Size Fastback Coupe to compete with the Pony Cars at that time.
- A Car that was just discontinued, with a V-8 driving the front wheels.
- A 1957 Car that was Fuel Injected (and it doesn’t have a bow-tie!)

And a lot more.

1988montecarloss
Feb 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

they have yet to put a car on here that i dont already know about…….i know quite a bit about musclecars

Matt
Feb 16, 2009 at 8:55 am

Wow! Those are rare. They are pretty much a 2 door fast back version of the Grand Marquis. AWSOME!

Josh
Feb 16, 2009 at 6:49 am

Maybe if Mercury went retro with the new Marauder, instead of making it look like a Crown Vic, it looks too much like an under-cover cop car.

Maffew
Feb 16, 2009 at 5:29 am

This is quickly becoming my favorite “column” on the blog.

Post a comment

Please login to CarDomain to post a comment.