|1958 Mercury Super Marauder|
he say? Did he say Mercury? And a
1958 Mercury to boot? Well, if you think I've lost
my marbles, think again. In 1958 Mercury offered an option that got very
little publicity, but broke all previous and at the time current size
and horsepower records. I don't know how fast these things were, because
I can't find much information on them. I'm still looking, so check back
and we may have something.
Yeah, this is one of those little known "one year only" super muscle cars from a manufacturer not known at the time for performance. Dubbed the Super Marauder, the option was available across the Mercury line. Sporting 430 cubic inches and packing 400 horsepower, the big Mercury could make you wish you had stayed home with Mommy. You did not want to tangle with one of these things on the street. They weighed in at around the same tonnage as the 300C, so you know you could be in trouble on the highway if one of these babies came up on your bumper with all those ponies under the hood.
The 430 inch MEL (Mercury-Lincoln-Edsel) engine was produced from 1958 through 1965. It was also used in Ford Thunderbirds in 1959, rated at 350 horsepower. The Super Marauder used an aluminum intake with three two barrel Holley series 2300 carburetors. The 1958 Super Marauder was the first American production automobile engine to attain an advertised 400 horsepower rating. Take that, AMA!
A milder 360 horsepower version is shown below, which was also optional on Mercurys. This is the only engine mentioned in the showroom brochure. In the bigger Lincoln, it was rated 375 hp.
The compression ratio started at 10.5:1 for these
engines, but was reduced to 10.0:1 in less than a year. The 1959 engines produced 345-350 hp, but power was
reduced to 315 for 1960. In 1958, a very bad year for the auto industry,
153,000 Mercs were sold, 8th overall in sales.
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