My 15 year old loves old cars which is, newsflash! Great by me! His taste in these things though is not nearly as broad as mine for when we both found this lovely beast in the parking of a strip mall in Elyria, he wanted no part of it what so ever. Oh, kids. They don't know what they're missing!
What is this? Well, let's start by saying that to say this is fine, fine old land yacht is rare is an understatement. "Ladies and gentlemen, a fossil from the age of the muscle car, please put your hands together for a 1969 Mercury Marauder!"
A what? A "Marauder", by definition, is one who plunders in search of booty. I think the only plundering this thing has done in its long, long, long-long lifetime has actually been more like plowing around in search of gas pumps. Nothing screams single digit fuel econony and frequent, painfully expensive fill ups like a two ton, 390 cubic inch, late sixites vintage Ford. Sorry. Mercury.
There are many cars that are syled derivatively; that meaning many (at the time) design influences. These days the upcoming Chevrolet Impala looks oddly like the current Ford Taurus. Mercedes Benz and BMWs are tough to differentiate. It's been going on for years. Here, this '69 'Rauder has plenty of '66 Dodge Charger or '67 Impala it. Most casual car observers probably couldn't tell you what it is other than "a hedious old bomb.
Love me some "sugar scoop" or "tunnel ram" too. Utterly pointless and whimsical but as the great Willie Wonka once said, "A little nonsense every now and then is relished by the wisest men."
Up front though it's all standard issue full size Merc with all the intrique of a cow pusher. I do like the slim, pre '74 bumpers that look almost delicate. But, ugh. Concealed headlights. Who knows how long those wretched head light doors have been stuck open. Y'know, there's only one thing worse than head light doors that get stuck open. Head light doors that get stuck down.
I've never been able to figure out exactly Mercury was supposed to be. Fancy Ford or down market Lincoln? Classic middle child (car) syndrome. Cars like this mixed up Marauder couldn't have helped either. Wonder how GM was able to field all those divisions and have the general public make sense of it all. Perhaps it was because they did such a good job of keeping those brands seperate from one another that they were able to pull it off. Until they too, like Ford and "Lincoln Mercury" blurred the lines between their makes and models. If you recall, Ford yanked Mercury at the end of 2010 model year. No doubt that middle child identity crisis had a lot to do with it. Too bad because Ford built some pretty cool Mercs over the years.
When I was a kid the block I grew up on teaming with big V-8 brutes like this. When junior would get his hands on dad's hand me down one of the first things he would do was by a cheap set of rims and modify the exhaust. To be different, some of the cooler cats would end their exhaust back here. The louder and more obnoxious the almost mufferless the exhaust the better. It was a right of passage to take the old man's ride and "fix it". Then the gas crisis hit and that was the end of that.
Depsite the interior that looks like the Russian army camped out in it and a body that could be in worse shape, this Rawder is in decent shape. Which is remarkable when you think about it because back in the day when this car was new, a forty two year old car would be a 1928 model year. You think 1928 model cars where roaming around parking lots in 1970 as daily drivers?
Still not impressing the 15 year old, though. Sigh. Kids today.