Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grand Marauder

I've been thinking about getting a new car (well, "new." New to me, at least; do I look like I'm made of money?), and even though I find other cool cars that would be fun and in my price range, I keep gravitating back to a '98-02 Grand Marquis.

Grandma never drove a car this cool!
I used to have a Crown Vic Police Interceptor a few years ago, and I loved that car.  That car would withstand anything (even a fire hydrant and a PT Cruiser to the driver's door!!)!  It had a nearly perfect suspension balance between soft on city streets or over big bumps at speed and tight around fast, tight corners.  Granted, there were some things that needed to be addressed in that car to make it better (like rust, well-worn transmission clutches, burning out ignition parts every 3 weeks, and a serious lack of torque for the size and application of that car), but the car was still tons of fun to drive around.  I want to get another one, but a Grand Marquis would be less heavily worn and would have more creature comforts than the cop car.  But then again....

What happens when a Police Vic, a Grand Marquis, and a Mustang have a 3-way?

I drove a Marauder a few weeks ago, and that looked cool, drove great, and was a blast of ass-hanging fun around corners!  Sadly, I can't really afford to buy one at this point, but it got me thinking.  I should get the Grand Marquis I want and modify it to be the Marauder Police Interceptor I would've wanted them to make back in the day; the car that the Marauder would've been, had they made it from '98-02.

This is technically a '97, but you get the idea
So, assuming I start with a Grand Marquis, the biggest issue would be the lack of the fully-boxed, heavy duty frame.  I would probably have to find one of those from a junkyard and swap it in.  I wouldn't worry about getting that until I have enough cash to get a bigger engine or redo the body.  I want to do the body (and frame) in a black powder coat to make it look good and have a durable finish that would be hard to damage with daily use.
You know, the kind of wear and tear that happens in normal, everyday driving scenarios....
Since I don't have a lot of cash to do it all right, right now, I would get it all ready for a paint and body makeover by getting the interior and any extra electronics put in, so I don't have to cut holes through the powder coating to run wires.  I'm talking to a guy who is parting out a Marauder, and I'll probably get the shifter and column shift delete covers from him.  Then I'll hopefully get the stereo installed.  Eventually, I want to put in a CB with a hidden antenna and some hidden police lights.  Another thing I would put in fairly soon after buying the car would be a trunk-mounted gun safe under the rear dash.  I would keep my work and concealed carry guns in there along with any other items I get certified for for work.
It's meant for a wall, but it'll hold more guns than the car version.
I would get the suspension setup second.  I would get the heavy-duty lowering springs to drop the front 1.2 inches and the back 1 inch.  I'm hoping these springs will not sag when I load my drums in the back, but I'm not sure if that will actually work.  I'll probably install a trailer hitch, just to be on the safe side.  You never know what you might have to haul...  I'm also going to do the J-mod shift kit.  I found a rebuild kit from TCI Transmissions that would make it into their Street Fighter model with a manual valvebody, but I'm curious how the J-mod would act before I go for the full-on street/strip trans.  I really hate it when my transmissions don't shift when I want them to, and this would hopefully remedy that issue in this car.  Maybe I'll be able to install a trans brake too for awesome launches and easier starts on brake stands!

Can you say daily driver?

I would leave the motor fairly stock for now because I would be driving this to work fairly often.  I don't want to kill the gas mileage just yet, but I might chip it or see if I could score some underdrive pulleys, ported/polished Continental heads, bigger MAF/air intake, and definitely exhaust.  Oh!  I almost forgot to mention some 18"x9/10" Cobra/Bullitt/Torque Thrust II wheels with the black spokes and the chrome rings.  But that's how I'd look to get it started out, until I can do the full frame off makeover.

This car is soooo right...