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Video | I Bought the Cheapest Mercury Marauder in the USA By Mistake

Normally, I’m really excited when I buy a new car — especially one that’s rare and unusual, like my latest purchase, a 2003 Mercury Marauder. The feeling of shame and guilt usually starts some time afterward, like when I look at my bank account — or after I pay the first major repair bill. Unfortunately, this Marauder was the exception, as I felt ashamed of myself immediately after purchasing it.

I had zero plans of purchasing another car when this Marauder followed me home. I was actually trying to sell one, a basket-case 2004 Bentley Continental GT — and I wanted to see what Carmax would offer before dealing with the hassle of selling this nightmare project. While I was waiting, another person was also getting an appraisal for his 2003 Mercury Marauder. We struck up a conversation, mostly talking about each other’s cars, and compared our offers afterwards. While I came out with a hilariously low offer of only $4,000 on the Bentley, the appraisers at Carmax thought the Marauder was worth more, offering $4,500. This was still a low offer for this rare Mercury, so I struck a deal with the seller right there in the parking lot — and I shamelessly poached Carmax out of a deal.

My soft spot for land yachts has always drawn me to Ford’s Panther platform, which included the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, as the Panther was last of the real body-on-frame land yachts ever built. Before its discontinuation in 2011, the Panther cars were always my first choice for a rental car, as nothing else offered at rental desk could beat the comfort level of these old dinosaurs. The Marauder was also built on this platform from 2003 to 2004 — and many consider it he best car to come out of the Panther’s 30-year production span. Its biggest claim to fame was the engine — a 32-valve all-aluminum V8, sourced from the Mustang Mach 1 — but the Marauder had other neat bits to make it the perfect parts-bin special.

The front suspension and steering setup was sourced from the tighter-handling police interceptor Crown Victoria — but it also received the plush-riding rear air springs from the Lincoln Town Car. The steering wheel also came from the Town Car, while the nose was from the Grand Marquis, and the taillights were out of a Crown Victoria. Fitted to the interior from the factory are some very aftermarket-looking Auto Meter gauges, along with a weird grey-dotted dash trim that I imagine was supposed to look sporty. Despite all the shared bits from several models, Ford certainly didn’t want anyone to mistake this car for anything else, as "Marauder" badging is everywhere throughout the car. When the Marauder was offered new, Mercury was proud enough to also sell matching apparel, including a special Marauder leather jacket. I managed to locate and buy one of these jackets used online — and while it does seem like nice quality, it smells a little bit like cheap aftershave.

Now, I should be thrilled to own a rare car like this — but given my current state of affairs, buying one more car that I didn’t really want is just absurd. Over the last few months, I’ve purchased more than 12 cars for my still untitled TV show project — but I can’t tell you about those cars yet, as it will ruin the surprise. I will say this marathon car-buying spree has me worn out, and it has my mechanic booked until the year 2020. And since I already have six other luxury sedans, I can’t think of any justifiable reason to have one more. Still, at only $5,000, there’s some profit potential after a few minor repairs — but my lack of spare time and my hoarding issue means this will probably never happen. One thing’s for sure: I’m definitely going to stay away from Carmax parking lots for a while. Find a Mercury Marauder for sale

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9 COMMENTS

  1. KBB Trade in on a low mile (10,000 miles a year) 2003 Marauder in good condition has a range of $2,300 to $4,534 with an average value of $3,419.  Looks like Carmax was on the high side with their offer.
    You don’t think they should be buying someones car off the street and paying them retail do you? With that business model they’d be out of business in less than a week.
    They are a CAR DEALER. They buy cars at/near wholesale and if they make the grade, which MANY do not, they might put them on their lot and try and make some money. A 15 year old car with 150,000+ miles would likely go right to their dealer only auction, which they hold monthly, for cars that aren’t up to snuff or don’t fit the profile of what their market is.
    They aren’t a retailer for exotics, so don’t waste your or their time by bringing in a Ferrari, Maserati, etc.  They aren’t a specialty dealer specializing in special interest, ultra high end, or antique vehicles, so again, don’t waste their time.
    I just went to the Carmax site. They have 150 dealerships and over 45,000 cars currently for sale. 
    Total Bentleys for sale?  0
    Rolls Royce? 0
    Ferrari? 0
    Lamborghini? 0
    1966 GTOs? 0
    1967 AC Cobras? 0
    See a trend here?  They DON’T WANT your Exotic/Specialty/Ultra High end/Antique car. They have ZERO interest in them. Their average client, whom they rightfully are marketing and selling to, don’t buy those kind of cars.
    Do them a favor and quit wasting their time bringing them a basket-case 14 year old Bentley; trust me, they don’t want it. If they did happen to buy it they would immediately take it to the back lot where it would sit until it ran thru their monthly auction where it MIGHT be bought by some Buy here Pay here little dealer, but then again it might not even sell at all and they’d be stuck with it.

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