When ordered with the vinyl roof, the 1969 Mercury Marauder X-100 didn't feature the matte-black rear deck of other X-100s.

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The 1969 Mercury Marauder was billed as having "the prowling instincts of Cougar, the elegance of Continental." At 79.5 inches wide and a minimum of two tons, it was hardly pony-car-lithe, but it was definitely Lincoln-lush. Base Marauders boasted deep-pile carpeting, simulated burl-walnut accents, and cloth/vinyl upholstery fit for a sofa -- which aptly describes the standard front bench seat.

X-100s offered additional woodgraining, "Rim-Blow" steering wheel, and three seat/trim packages: leather/vinyl front bench with dual center armrests; a split "Twin Comfort" bench with optional reclining right backrest; and all-vinyl or optional leather trim with front buckets and a center console mounting a horseshoe-shaped transmission selector.

Most Marauders were equipped with SelectShift automatic, though a three-speed manual was standard. Engine choices numbered four V-8s. X-100s carried Dearborn's big new 429 with four-barrel carb, 10.5:1 compression, a conservative 360-horsepower rating, and a massive 480 pounds/feet of torque. This was optional for base Marauders, which came with Ford's workhorse two-barrel 390, good for 265 bhp on 9.5:1 compression. There was also a pair of two-barrel base-model options: a high-compression 280-bhp "390P" and a 320-bhp 429.

Performance naturally depended on equipment. Despite a loping 2.80:1 rear axle, the X-100 was capable of about eight seconds 0-60 mph, standing quarter-miles of just under 16 seconds at 86-88 mph, and upwards of 125 mph flat out. Mileage was predictably piggish -- Motor Trend's X-100 returned only 10.8 mpg -- making the big 24-gallon fuel tank more necessity than luxury.

Heavy-duty Autolite shocks were standard, and X-100s rolled on wide-tread fiberglass-belted tires, but press-on types ordered the cheap ($31.10) "competition suspension," which Car and Driver said provided "very reassuring" shock control. Still, understeer and body roll were prominent regardless of chassis tuning, but the ride was typical Mercury, thanks in part to a new perimeter frame with four torque boxes.

For the 1969 Mercury Marauder's specifications, go to the next page.

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