Road Runner Alternative? 1969 Mercury Cyclone CJ 428

When it comes to muscle cars, the Chevies, Pontiacs and Mopars seem to dominate the scene. But don’t forget that Mercury was in the mix, too, in the 1960s and theirs was called the Cyclone. If you wanted all-out performance, the CJ or Cobra Jet was available in the Cyclone with its 428 cubic inch, 335 hp V8 engine. Production numbers were never high for the CJ, with no more than 2,175 copies estimated for 1969, which would include this example finished in white and looking like more like a survivor than a restoration. Wearing Iowa plates but available in Stanley, Wisconsin, this car is offered here on Hemmings Classifieds for $34,950.

The Cyclone named appears on Mercury products between 1964-71. It was first found on the compact Comet before assuming its role as the performance arm of the mid-size Montego. Within the family hierarchy, the Cyclone was slotted between the Cougar (pony car) and the Marauder (full-size) models. The Cyclone would represent the Mercury brand in racing circles in the late 1960s. The third-generation cars (1968-69) were clocked at more than 189 mph going around the track at Daytona. The Cobra Jet 428 would appear in mid-1968 and be carried over into 1969. Besides the bigger engine than in other Cyclones, the CJ was identified by having a blacked-out grille, dual exhaust, 3:50:1 axle ratio, chromed engine parts, hood stripes, and a competition handling package.

This ’69 Cyclone CJ has not been a garage queen. It has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer but was treated to an older restoration. That includes redoing the paint, chrome and reupholstering the car’s seats. While a 4-speed was available, this CJ comes with an automatic transmission. There is no mention if the mechanical components are numbers-matching, but it’s being sold from a large, private collection based in Iowa. All-in-all, the car presents well, but it’s not perfect. There is a slight dent in the driver’s side rear quarter panel ahead of the wheel well that would not be worth messing with.

There is no shortage of photos provided for this car, with several of the undercarriage from under a lift. Everything looks good although there’s a small punch or scrape in the transmission housing that probably doesn’t present any issues. The resale value of a standard ’69 Cyclone looks to top out about $25,090, but the CJ 428 is at least double that. So, for a muscle car that is seen today far less than its more well-known contemporaries, this car may be reasonably priced. BTW, the seller offers a short video of his car doing its thing.


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Russ. After looking at the pics (it’s nice to have a bunch of high-quality pics), I agree it looks more like a survivor. It’s far from perfect but not all that bad. Maybe the repaint/ upholstery/ chrome work was done 30 years ago when muscle cars were first being restored, and it’s simply showing its age. That’s not all bad; no need to hover over the car at a show and no need to freak out when a kid takes a close look at it (which we should be encouraging!!).

    If you are tired of muscle car GTO’s, Camaros, Mopars, and Mustangs dominating shows, here’s your chance for something different.

    Like 22
  2. alphasud Member

    A true gentleman’s muscle car/ GT car. The only thing better would be the SCJ engine option which would make this a rare bruiser. Nice car!

    Like 13
  3. Sam Shive

    Good thing it’s painted White, If it was Blue all the waves in that body would make you SEA SICK. Buyer Take A MAGNET With You. This old girl looks like lots of mud. Sad Part Is I LOVE OLD MERCS.

    Like 4
  4. john

    Beautiful Car

  5. Troy s

    I gotta feeling these were as rare back in those days as they are now. Honestly, my favorite Ford street engine, but that car just looks so much longer than its GM adversaries. Would have been a tough sell unless I was a true blue die hard Ford/Mercury guy., back then of course…

    Like 4
  6. Solosolo Member

    One of the better late sixties American cars before they deteriorated into ginourmous slabs of? Nothing? IMO. Fortunately we all have different ideas as to what constitutes “beauty.” Had a 1956 Mercury Monterey which I thought was a beautiful car.

    Like 1
  7. chrlsful

    out 1st in ’64 as fancy falcon I liked it in the pumped up size later. Like the fairlane or torino I think @ 1 point it could B had in 6 different configurations:
    copu hey
    notch back
    fast back
    This of course is the tops. Friend had one. Would pick me up at college. The 4 circular gauges seemed deeper & more numerous back then. He’d drop a packa smokes in the far right one & say “If U can grab that full pack U can have em.” And as soon as I’d reach fr them all I saw were telephone wires. Could not bend/reach forward. Twenty-five cents (smokes, gal gas, loafa bread) wuz alot but I stopped tryin on the 2nd attempt.

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