Eight Guilty Pleasures posts and no Ford products? I'll remedy that oversight right now. The folks at Dearborn have made all manner of interesting machinery that, these days, seems to fall through the cracks when it comes to pleasing the fickle hearts of car freaks. For example, the second-generation Mercury Marauder; the 1963-65 Marauders are favorites at those tedious car shows with "Hot Rod Lincoln" playing on an endless loop over scratchy PA speakers, and you can find hordes of Ford Panther obsessives squeezing out joyful tears at the sight of a DOHC 2003-04 Marauder. Mention the 1969-70 "personal luxury" version, however, and listen to an uncomfortable silence punctuated by distant cricket chirps.

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Guilty Pleasure 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100

Of course, what I really want is the "muscle luxo-bomb" version of the second-gen Marauder: the X-100! Imagine, if your poor tortured brain can even begin to tolerate the awesomeness of such an image, owning an X-100 and a '70 Chrysler 300 Hurst Edition, with maybe an LS6-engined '70 Caprice for good measure. Your fleet would average maybe 6 MPG, but the personal luxury would be orders of magnitude more intense than that experienced by all the Cordoba owners in the world put toghether.

The '70 X-100 weighed approximately 16,000 pounds (OK, actually 4,128 pounds, or about half what the current Mustang weighs) and packed a 1,400-horsepower 429 (OK, actually 360 horsepower) V8 under its you-cain't-live-like-this-in-Yurp hood. Add a "Rim-Blow" steering wheel and about an acre of luxurious vinyl upholstery and you've got more luxury than the Shah of Iran and King Farouk combined! The only real problem was the lack of a factory-installed manual transmission, but that could be remedied with the judicious application of a thin stack of Benjamins. Sadly, the average age of X-100 buyers was 92, which means ne'er-do-well grandsons inherited and wrecked damn near all of them by about 1977. The only example I've seen in recent years was Crusher-bound.

Top image source: Old Car Brochures.