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2003 Mercury Marauder - Four-Door Flyer

Steve Schingler's sneaky '03 Mercury Marauder

By Tommy Lee Byrd, Photography by Tommy Lee Byrd

Ford Motor Co. certainly has produced its share of great vehicles over the past 10 years. The modular engine platform is part of the success, but Ford understands how the supercharger makes big horsepower and going fast with a small-cube powerplant a lot easier. Unfortunately, the Mercury Marauder received the mod engine but not the blower. When it debuted in 2003, the Marauder barely eclipsed the 300hp mark, which isn't a lot when you consider the full-frame, 4,400-pound machine it propels. And while the Marauder features all sorts of aesthetic treatments, the DOHC 4.6L mod motor needs a little bit of help.

Knowing this, Steve Schingler wanted to take advantage of the efficient engine platform, so he didn't waste any time modifying this Marauder after picking it up from a dealership in 2006. Several combinations have powered the car since its completion, but the current setup features a Vortech Ysi centrifugal supercharger and a laundry list of parts to keep it from exploding under the force of 26-psi of boost.

For most of the modifications, Steve relied on Aric Carrion and the crew at Injected Engineering in Kennesaw, Georgia. These guys work on mod motors every day and know a thing or two about making them perform. Steve's car has a well-equipped bottom end, ported heads, and custom-grind camshafts to work in conjunction with the supercharger, while the transmission is a streetworthy 4R70W automatic. The torque converter isn't a radical piece, but the car does have a spool in the rearend, which makes for jerky parking lot manners.

Without a doubt, one of the coolest parts of Steve's Marauder is the factory-appearing wheels. The 18-inch five-spokes look original from a glance, but the fronts have been narrowed to 4 inches while the rears are stockers. Steve swaps to a set of Holeshot rear wheels and Mickey Thompson Drag Radials to run 10.30s at Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip.

He could put the car on a diet and go faster, but he'd strip the car of its cool factor. It's a street-friendly sedan with all of its original amenities, and it's surprisingly fast, so Steve plans to keep the cush, and the weight that goes with it. On the other side of the coin, Steve says hot rods are never complete, so you can bet this hefty cruiser will dip into the 9s before it's all said and done.

By Tommy Lee Byrd
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