1964 Mercury Marauder
The 1964 Mercury Marauder was part of Mercury's 25th Anniversary. In partial observance of its anniversary, Mercury returned to its four-series big-car model group of the late 1950s, with price-leader Monterey, midrange Montclair, and posh Park Lane, plus a parallel Station Wagon line.
Marauders multiplied to six, with a hardtop coupe and new hardtop sedan in each series. Styling for the 1964 Mercury Marauder was elegantly evolved from 1963, with a redesigned front end being the biggest change. S-55s took a vacation, but a new Sports Package option made two-door Park Lanes, including the Marauder, into something similar.
Any 1964 Mercury Marauder could be a real rocket, as engine options expanded to include new big-block 427s with 410 or 425 horsepower. But, of course, these were mainly for racing. For most Mercury buyers, the smooth, durable 390, still offering from 250 up to 330 horses, was more than adequate.
Racing Marauders began asserting themselves in 1964, winning five NASCAR and seven USAC events. But again, the slantback Fords did better still, both on the track (30 victories in NASCAR alone) and in the showroom. The Ford garnered nearly 73,000 sales compared to less than 34,000 for Marauder. Of course, the Mercurys cost more than the Fords, though not a lot, but Marauders still cost no more than comparable Breezeways.
Though long overshadowed by contemporary big Fords, the full-size 1963-1964 Mercurys exhibit similar sterling qualities (no surprise, as all used the same basic platform). Chief among these are robust construction, superb ride, competent handling, and strong, silent V-8 performance.
Even a mild 390-cid Mercury Marauder could pull 0-60 mph in 8-9 seconds; the 427 could lower that to near seven seconds -- thrilling even today. A pity these cars don't get the collector recognition they deserve, but it is often thus with Mercurys versus Fords.
The Mercury Marauder story pretty much ends with 1964 and for two obvious reasons. Sporty full-size cars were fast giving way to mid-size muscle on street and track alike, and the all-new big 1965 Mercurys abruptly retreated from overt performance toward a luxury orientation "in the Lincoln Continental tradition." After a token presence on 1965 Montclair and Park Lane hardtops, the Marauder name was again confined to Mercury engine compartments.
See the 1963 and 1964 Mercury Marauder specifications on the next page.