Not too long ago Ford pulled the plug on its “Panther” platform ending production of one of the oldest vehicle architectures in North America. While the Crown Vic/Marquis/Town Car were never the darlings of the hot rod or hoopty crowd, the 2003-2005 Mercury Marauder probably came closest to a factory “Panther” hot rod. With a torque challenged 4.6 mod motor borrowed from the Lincoln Mark VIII and Aviator, it was nice try but hardly the stuff of legend and was euthanized after a short production run. Fast forward to this 1999 V-10 Crown Vic advertised on Craigslist in the Maryland/DC area, and it makes you wonder what the Marauder could have been with a factory gonzo motor.
Starting from what looks to be a police spec Crown Vic Interceptor, the car was ginned up with a 6.8 liter Triton mod motor making over 300 HP and boatloads of torque. The install looks very “factory,” aside from some trickery with the air intake plumbing and KN air filter. From there, power is run through a 4R100 automatic transmission to a 3.55 rear axle via a carbon fiber drive shaft.
These old full size Fords always looked very sinister, especially if you’ve had one in your rear view mirror or pacing you on the freeway. This car plays up the bad boy thing with a slightly slammed stance, Bilstein shocks and Vadar-esque powder coated Eagle alloys with 255/50 ZR17 Nitto Extremes. A big, black car is hard to keep shiny and swirl free and either this car was parked at the donut shop most it’s life or it’s had a fairly competent respray.
Last but not least, the car also comes with a propane conversion kit (with fuel tank) included in the asking price of $8500. With all the mechanical upgrades and go fast goodies, the estimated 130K miles doesn’t seem like much of a deal breaker considering you end up with the most “Marauding” Panther on the planet.