7 January 2013

Dozen of the 15 Marauders built still survive

Intention was to produce a convertible sports car based on Rover P4 chassis and drive train

 

The model name Marauder is usually associated with the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company. The first Mercury model bearing that moniker was built during the early 1960s, and it was a full-sized, high-performance car similar to the Ford Galaxie.
 
The Marauder nameplate was revived in 2003 when it was attached to a high-performance variation of the Mercury Grand Marquis, but it was very short-lived and discontinued at the end of 2004.
 
The Marauder name originates from England when two engineers, George Mackie and Peter Wilks, left the Rover Car Company in 1950 and formed Wilks, Mackie and Company with the intention of producing a convertible sports car based on the Rover P4 chassis and drive train. It helped that they had an agreement in place with Rover to supply enough components to build 20 cars. Wilks and Mackie changed the company name in 1951 to the Marauder Car Company.
 
The design of the attractive drop head coupe was created jointly by Peter Wilks and Charles Spencer “Spen” King, who were both nephews of Spencer and Maurice Wilks (Spencer became the chairman of Rover, Maurice was the creator of the Land Rover). King followed in his uncles’ footsteps when he and Gordon Bashford designed the 1970 Range Rover.
 
The Marauder bodies were built by Meads of Birmingham and later the well-known company Abbey Panels of Coventry.
 
The Marauder Car Company produced a mere 15 cars, the majority of which were convertibles although one coupe was customer ordered and built by Meads.
 
The British Government played a large role in forcing Mackie and Wilks out of business when they doubled the purchase tax (sales tax) on cars with a retail price of £1,000 or more. The Marauder Company was dissolved, but fortunately Mackie and Wilks were able to return to Rover.
 
Of the 15 examples built, 12 are known to have survived today. Only one example found its way is in North America and is somewhere in the United States.
 
Mackie sold the rights of the Marauder name to Ford during the late 1950s, resulting in the birth of the first Mercury Marauder model as previously mentioned in the early ’60s.

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