A few years ago, Ford really missed the boat when it came to launching a performance luxury sedan to compete with ze Germans. The Mercury Marauder, based on the aging Panther platform, ultimately wound up discontinued after just two short years, whereas the Cadillac CTS went on to be a big hit. With the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe just recently unveiled, we get a chance to see what might have been for the Blue Oval.

Hemmings Auto Blog dug up this two-door Marauder convertible concept, which is heading to the Mecum Auto Auction at the end of January.

Pictures: Ford

The Marauder was originally marketed as an upscale performance sedan, but it never really got off the ground for a number of reasons. For one, it was heavy, and based on the almost two decade old Panther platform which has (thankfully) been retired. It also wasn’t given enough oomph, powered by a 4.6 liter modular motor that gave the heavy car just 300 horsepower.

This supercharged convertible was put out to test the market to see if a full-size convertible could make it. I think the answer was obvious. Even so, this car cost $300,000 to build, and is truly a one-of-one vehicle. You won’t find another Mercury on the road like this. It was a nice throwback to the days when Mercury wasn’t just a staid, old peoples’ brand, but one that had a unique upscale performance identity. Alas, with only a bill of sale, this car won’t be street legal…but it is a cool car never the less.

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