A car with 4,500 horsepower is guaranteed to put on a show when it hits the drag strip. However, you don’t necessarily need a four-figure output to keep things interesting on the prepped surface, as this sleeper Mercury Marauder built by YouTuber Cleetus McFarland demonstrated earlier this week.
This 2003 Mercury Marauder (think of it as a Ford Crown Vic sibling that went to the gym) has blown its factory N/A 4.6L V8, which used to be good for 302 horsepower. As such, the YouTuber, whose real name is Garrett Mitchell, threw in a Texas Speed-built 6.0L LS V8 that works with a Holley Dominator ECU and a turbo to deliver up to 790 horsepower (the dyno number).
However, for the recent drag strip stint shown in the first clip below, Cleetus’ crew speaks of 650 horses—this was a bit of pre-Sick Week fun (more on that below).
The goal was to turn this Marauder into one hell of a sleeper. Was it achieved? Well, you can answer that question after checking out the video, which shows the Mercury engaging in a series of quarter-mile roll races.
The “stock” sedan manages to show its taillights to a Dodge Charger Hellcat and a Chevrolet Corvette C8, as well as to a modded E92 BMW 3 Series. However, it does run into some traction issues, which didn’t exactly help in the battle against a 1993 Lexus SC300 sporting a GM 5.3L V8 with twin turbos and a stick shift.
For the record, this Marauder is the YouTuber’s side build. As for his current go-to contraption, we’re looking at a 1980s Chevrolet El Camino nicknamed Mullet.
Cleetus McFarland’s New El Camino Mullet Spec for 2022 at Sick Week
The fifth-generation Chevrolet El Camino known as Mullet packs a 427ci (7.0L) Texas Speed Dart block featuring twin turbos, with the motor being capable of delivering around 1,500 horsepower.
However, after the motor gave Cleetus a bit of a “doctor rod bender” reputation, the enthusiast decided to take the motor apart for
2002 2022 and replace the steel rods with aluminum units, while also installing diamond skirted pistons and a Frankenstein F-Series heads with a solid roller valvetrain (the hydraulic lifters are out).
Having reworked the machine, Cleetus entered the ongoing Sick Week 2022, with the goal of delivering a 6s pass (you can see his testing day in the second YouTube clip below). And the “stock” Marauder, with its 10s presence, is also coming to Sick Week (you’ll find it at the 30:50 timestamp of this article‘s second video).
However, until reaching that goal, the aficionado used his Freedom Factory facility over in Florida (the former DeSoto Speedway) to host the pre-event party, as stated in the official schedule drafted by organizer Tom Bailey, whose five-second 1959 Chevrolet Camaro “Sick Seconds” we discussed earlier today.