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There wasn’t time to mourn them all. The General Motors bankruptcy that came—at least in part—as a result of the 2007-2009 Great Recession wiped out a slew of established car brands, and all of the models those brands retailed.
It saddens us to say it, but the luxury coupe is all but dead. While BMW and Mercedes-Benz still sell a few midsize and large 2-door cars, Cadillac and Lincoln do not. Lexus does sell the impressive LC, but that car is expensive, and it’s really more of a sports car than a luxury coupe in the sense we’re discussing here.
All things considered, 1974 was a pretty big year for Dodge’s large cars. In addition to a complete redesign, the Polara name was dropped from the lineup. Monaco, previously the top trim level, was now the base and midlevel moniker, while the new Monaco Brougham capped the lineup.
If you didn’t think about it too hard, you might have predicted at the time that the 2003 Mercury Marauder would have been a hit with the car-buying public. The car had a lot going for it: a powerful V8, decent handling, cop-car lineage via its Ford Crown Victoria corporate cousin, and stealthy good looks. Plus, the Marauder should have filled the void in muscle-car enthusiasts’ hearts created when the popular V8-powered Chevrolet Impala SS was discontinued in 1996.