2003 Mercury Marauder
I never intended to get rid of the Cougar, until it would no longer move under it's own power... But, then, something happened, and I flipped it like a quarter. Why?
Well, it all started at the 2002 Toronto Auto Show. I saw the Mercury Marauder, and was immediately taken by it. A big, black, mean-looking American sedan, with a healthy V8 lurking under the hood. It seemed too good to be true. Than, I realized it was, because the Marauder also carries with it a hefty sticker price (~$48,000 CDN).
I took one for a test drive, when they first hit the streets, and it brought that same warm and fuzzy feeling I had when I first drove the Lightning (this is a good thing). The Marauder is nowhere near as fast, or quick, as the Lightning, but is it ever comfortable! Don't get me wrong, it's no slowpoke, either. I know it took flak from the media, for being too slow, but the damn thing is over 4000lbs - it's not gonna be as fast as the Mustang Cobra, where the engine was originally found in.
The interior is perfect, for me. The gauges look nice, and are all right were the mind logically looks for things. The seats are very comfortable, and feel cushy, but bolstered, at the same time. Most important is the fact that I fit in this car very well. After extended seat time, I'm pleased to say I have not experienced cramping, or other discomfort, and a result of driving the car.
It wasn't meant to be, though, and instead I bought the '95 Mercury Cougar to act as a daily driver. Until May 20th, 2004, I didn't think that would change. That's when I strolled into the local toy store (AKA Shannahan Ford), and started talking to the salesman, about the Marauder. It soon became apparent that the price had dropped, substantially,and the dealership was just looking for a way out of this car, as fast as could be.
After a couple days of back-and-forth, a deal was struck for substantially less than the sticker price. I was sold on the deal, and took possession on Wednesday, May 26th, 2003. I haven't looked back, ever since! Thanks to owning the Marauder, I have met a bunch of great people brought together by our shared interest in the car.
In fact, one of my co-workers (at a Canadian financial institution) was formerly an Engineer with Ford, and actually worked at the St. Thomas Plant (the Ford assembly plant that makes the Marauder). He's got a wealth of information in his head, and always answers my questions. Anyway, he was digging through some things at home, and dug this hat out (which he gave to me):