1-of-341: 1970 Cyclone Spoiler 429 SCJ Drag Pack!

Some cars are renowned for their subtlety, but this Cyclone Spoiler 429 Super Cobra Jet has all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer. This car was designed for one purpose, and that was to cover the standing ¼ mile as quickly as possible. As 1-of-341 Cyclones optioned with the 429 SCJ/Drag pack, it is a pretty special piece of machinery, and while there will be some restoration work required, it looks to be a fairly original survivor. It is currently on the market, and if you are willing to hand over $27,900, you can park it in your garage. The Cyclone is located in Englewood, Colorado, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

Let’s start with the physical appearance of the car. Well, it looks very nice. The car has undergone a repaint at some point in its life in its original Competition Blue. There are a couple of small spots where there is slight evidence of over-spray, but it generally looks quite good. The front spoiler is looking a bit age-dirty, and there is also some evidence of possible over-spray on it, while some of the external trim is also starting to show its age. Now, about the underside of the car. While it is generally pretty reasonable, there is some evidence of surface corrosion, and also evidence of previous rust repairs. One shot looks to be a fairly rough repair to a torque box, while there is an unpainted repair to the floor that is also visible. The car will require a good inspection to ensure that all is rosy under there.

It’s what’s under the hood of this Mercury that makes this car special. Getting the mundane stuff out of the way, the car is equipped with power steering and power brakes. Now, that engine is the 429ci Super Cobras Jet, and this is hooked to a C6 automatic transmission, with power finding its way to the bitumen via 3.91 Traction-Lok rear end. The standard Cobra Jet engine produced an official 370hp, but the rumors at the time suggested 400hp was probably closer to the mark. The Super Cobra Jet included 4-bolt mains, a bespoke intake manifold, forged aluminum pistons, a solid lifter cam, and a 780-CFM Holley carburetor. That carburetor and intake combination was capable of sucking 12% more air through the hood scoop, but this all added up to an official output increase of 5hp. Someone was kidding someone there! The owner says that the car has undergone a recent tune-up and that it runs really well. He also states that the car has covered a genuine 85,000 documented miles.

The interior is said to be original and unrestored, and it is beginning to show its age. The vinyl on the seats is discolored, and there is a noticeable seam separation on the driver’s seat. However, it is possible that the seam can be repaired, and a really good, specialist cleaning company could probably breath new life into the upholstery. The car is fitted with power windows and power locks, but both are currently inoperative. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear as though the interior or trim have been modified in any way, and the original radio/8-track player is still in place.

This Mercury is not perfect, and it will take a bit of work to get it back to its best. Is it worth the effort? Well, by 1970 the Cyclone Hardtop was on the skids, with sales plummeting at an alarming rate. That makes this car one of the rarest of what was a dying breed. For years they went completely unrecognized and largely unloved. Today, that situation has changed dramatically, and these have become quite coveted by muscle car enthusiasts. The sins of the past caught up with the Cyclone Spoiler 429 SCJ, with many either dying of neglect, or donating that awesome engine to another cause. As a result, these don’t come onto the market that often. When they do, a pristine example can sell for $85,000 or more. That would tell me that this could be a pretty canny buy.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Bad to the bone!!! This car meant business, with a touch of Mercury class. Win-win, if you ask me. Coolest Mercury ever!

    28
    • scottymac

      Gotta disagree, think that title belongs to the ’68 Cougar GT-E with a 427, but this is a very, very close second. Shame the car isn’t as nice as it appears.

      3
      • SteVen

        scottymac, I would suggest that even cooler, rarer, and faster than the GT-E would be the ’68 XR7-G with 428 Cobra Jet.

        5
      • 433jeff

        Given a choice between a cougar with a 427 or 428, i would take the 427, given a choice between this car, which is very special, i would take the 427, But im not holding my breath as i dont think i will be given any choice. I always wondered with the 460 Lincoln motor why didnt ford compete with the 454-455-440, was there ever a plan for a CJ 460? Boss 460?

        4
  2. KSwheatfarmer Member

    At 12 years old my cousin let me drive his 4-speed 429 Spoiler one mile down a dirt road on a hunting trip.I knew it was something special at the time but didn’t know how much so till a few years later. Tried to buy a similar model in high school but Dad wouldn’t go for it. Now own a 71 GT 351 4-speed car in need of total restoration,got all the parts to complete.

    20
  3. poseur Member

    Such a cool looking car, especially in this shade of blue.
    Never seen one in the wild…not sure I’ve even seen one at an auction or car show either.
    probably the closest thing visually to Max’s V8 Interceptor in North America.
    Badassed & fast!

    13
  4. TimS Member

    Oh boy. I’m not a FoMoCo guy but I love Cyclones. If I built one back then it would probably be optioned like this. Looks like a superhero on wheels.

    14
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Sweet cyclone, but for almost 28 large the underbelly should be pristine,. The styling on this beauty is amazing. good luck to the new owner!!

    Cheers
    GPC

    9
  6. Robert L Davis

    has had a lot or rust repairer done on it I would say buyer beware at that price

    6
  7. grant

    Not so much the rust repair that worries me but the shoddiness of it. That torque box repair looks rusted out again already.

    3
  8. Troy s

    Ford… Mercury, I don’t care. This has me drooling! From any angle this Merc just looks like a speed king, not one subtle line on it. Those tires greatly add to this..
    Killer mill here, high compression solid lifter street racers special, boy do I like this car or what! Only thing wrong with these was how few we’re actually built, even that engine in a Torino would have been very rare. Too bad too cause I think Ford was really on to something here, there just wasn’t any time left…dang what a beautiful car!

    5
  9. Joe Mac

    Geeeeeeeeeze I love this car. A 4-spd would have had me at the bank. Good luck to the new owner. Gorgeous!

    8
  10. james

    I’ve got a 1970 GS 455 Stage1. All else being equal, Hagerty says it’s worth twice what this Cyclone is worth in #2 or #3 condition. In a world without “value” concerns and Hagerty, I’m not sure I wouldn’t swap straight across in a heartbeat! What a great machine!

    8
  11. Steve Bush

    Seems like a nice car for the price but would need to thoroughly check out the rust situation. Also pw/dl should be fixed if a seller is asking 28k-likely just needs a fuse or switch.

    2
  12. Chevy Guy

    Is there a badge missing from the front or is it supposed to be like that?

    1
    • SteVen

      The gunsight grille is a hallmark of these cars. It is definitely supposed to be that way. BTW, that whole center grille section is easily rotated up to facilitate cam changes.
      These are damn quick cars, sort of the FoMoCo equivalent of a 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1. I’d prefer the 4-speed, with a Hurst T-handle, and maybe the 4.30 gears for even faster quarters, but that automatic is likely the ticket for the strip.

      6
  13. JBP Member

    A week old ad. Early access for members??
    Am i the only member, with very late access?
    So i can just as good save these 115$ and sneak in for free

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      JBP – are you logged in? If you are then you should see everything early.

      1
  14. Marathon06

    A beautiful ’70 Grabber Blue on white Cyclone SCJ with 4 speed sold at Barrett Jackson – Scottsdale in January for $80,000. Original engine/transmission, interior, body panels and floors, documented, Marti report, Eminger invoice, with one high quality repaint. Was an amazing car, good buy on a very rare muscle car. That was the one to buy. Lots of work needed on this one, you need to have quite a bit of funds set aside to correct all of the rust repair needed/fix what was done, interior work needed, engine detail, undercarriage detail. Bummer that it is an automatic. Good luck with the sale.

    2
  15. mainlymuscle

    Even a GM guy has to see this for the beauty that it is.Grabber Blue,competition blue whatever,over white is epic.Valuation aside,I’d have this over a Boss 9 any day.I too,worry about rust.

    3
  16. Miguel

    What could be better than a high performance Mercury with covered headlights?

    3
  17. scottymac

    Sorry SteVen, your comment didn’t post a direct reply option. Still gotta disagree. GT-E production was split between the juice cam 427 and the 428 Cobra Jet. The GT-E had the distinctive trim that almost circled the car, with argent paint on the lower parts and special emblems. Don’t know everything about XR-7G, but other than the hood scoop, emblems, (sun roof?), what sets the XR-7G apart? Might be more rare, but thought we were describing “coolest”? All comes down to personal preferences!

    https://image.adam.automotive.com/f/9179789/p175136_large+1968_Mercury_Cougar_GTE+Front_Passenger_Side.jpg

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YYosvhjOAcw/maxresdefault.jpg

    1
    • SteVen

      Both are cool cars, but the XR7-G was the highest trim version, plus it had the option of the most powerful engine(428 CJ w/ Ram Air; spanked the 427 in Ford testing), and you could get it with a 4-speed. The GT-E was a package that you could get on either the base Cougar or the XR-7, and was auto only. In testing and on the street, the 427 cars could not hold a candle to the vastly underrated Cobra Jet. In any event, there were very few of either built with the Cobra Jet motor; worth a ton today. As you say styling is subjective, but for the me the XR7-G is the far more handsome car.

      https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2006/11/The-Cat-That-Swallowed-a-Cobra—1968-Mercury-Cougar-GT-E/1364906.html

      https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2011/07/1968-Mercury-Cougar-XR7-G/3701091.html

      https://xr7g.mercurycougarregistry.com/history/

      https://www.hotrod.com/articles/1968-cougar-xr7-g-mercurys-answer-shelby-mustangs/

      2
      • z28th1s

        The 428CJ GT-E Cougar was available with a 4 speed. The 427 was automatic only.

        There was a 428CJ, 4 speed GT-E in dark green at the All-Ford Nationals Invitational display last June in Carlisle, PA.

        3
      • Gunner

        Thank you Steven for the links to the great info on the XR-7G’s. I knew the Cougars were equipped with the 428’s, but not the 427. I would actually rather have one of the G cars more than a Shelby. I like the lesser known ones more as in this example of a Cyclone. My father owned many cars. Many of these were Fords including Mach 1’s and a 68 Shelby GT500KR. Mercury really went out if their way on these G cars with all of the extras. It is unfortunate that so few were produced. Thanks again. :-)

        1
  18. scottymac

    Sorry, SteVen, your post didn’t contain the option of a direct reply. Still gotta disagree with you. The GT-E production was split between the juice cam 427 and the 428 Cobra Jet. It had the special and distinctive trim that almost circled the car, with the lower section accented with argent paint, and special emblems. Don’t profess to know everything about the XR-7G, but other than the hood scoop and emblems (sun roof?), think the GT-E has it beat. Might be more rare, but thought we were discussing “coolest.” All comes down to personal preferences!

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YYosvhjOAcw/maxresdefault.jpg

    https://cdn.barrett-jackson.com/staging/carlist/items/Fullsize/Cars/96087/96087_Front_3-4_Web.jpg

  19. Troy s

    All the back and forth about Cougars with such a rare street sweeper like this Cyclone…hmm, okay I’ll throw in my two worthless cents. ’69-’70 Cougar Eliminator with either the 428 CJ or the Boss 302, those are really sharp cars! Both cool and rare, thank you Larry Shinado for your outstanding designs…but I think this SCJ machine here would take ’em all! Fun stuff, huh.

    1
  20. Burger

    A red one of these hides in my neighborhood. It is a stick car. Supremely rare and cool. Not sure why the conversation about cars like this always turns to which is faster or better. Any of these low production/high performance/non-Ford/Chevy cars speak for themselves, just for being what they are. Who cares if one is faster ? Only a fool would risk breaking one to push them to the limit. Just sitting at the curb at idle is enough to make the point. 👍

    1
    • Bob_in_TN Member

      Burger, well said. I respect any car which has survived fifty years, even “off brands”… and for me, even humble grocery getters.

      1
  21. Burger

    After so long in “the hobby”, the same popular cars get boring. I mean, they’re still cool, in their own right, but a weird one like this Merc are just that much more interesting. Sure, a 66 GTO with 389 and tri-power/4-speed is great, but that 66 Bonneville wagon with 421HO 4-speed is 10x more interesting !

    When I was in high school, I worked for a mob-kinda guy named Gary Crabtree. His wife drove a 66 Cyclone coupe with a 427 and a 4-speed. Ugliest two-tone brown thing ! But man, did it scoot. And I never really got on it. Gary would borrow my shaggin’ wagon for moving “stuff” and leave that Cyclone for me to drive. Gary and his wife ended up on the bottom of a lake, rolled up in cyclone fence and concrete blocks.

    Some of life’s stories ….

    2
  22. cbdebolt Member

    Pretty paint trying to distract from a lot of problems. Torque boxes trash. DS floorpan replaced poorly. Full suspension refresh needed. Brake booster being rusted not a good look. Cover over gast tank.

    The grill looks cool but I laughed when I saw it. Vertical sports lamps! Ford engineers must have been bored with the horizontal Maverick and 7O Mach 1, and said, let’s flip ’em upright. Tough to find btw, might have to bid on the car just for them.

  23. cttmphrs Member

    I’ve never understood why Ford didn’t promote the 385 series engines more. The 429 cj or scj would kill any street version 428 or 427. They wouldn’t buzz like a 427, but they have torque like a diesel and virtually bullet proof.

    2
    • Burger

      The Feds enacted the Clean Air Act in 1968 and began leaning on carmakers to meet emissions standards. That is the primary reason the muscle car sensation began to fade away. The second reason was insurance. Insurance companies were catching on to the fact that specific go-fast cars had a much elevated risk of getting balled up, and began implementing higher premiums to cover costs. Carmakers responded with the smoke-and-mirrors game of body flares, spoilers, and graphics, while pulling away from the old school brute force tech of large displacement, high compression, and massive air flow. While a few models lingered into the early 70’s, the game was largely over for factory-built speed monsters after 1970.

      1
      • SteVen

        Burger, while new emissions (and safety) regs did pose an engineering challenge, the development and production decisions are based on consumer demand. I think you will find that the second reason you mentioned, escalating insurance premiums, was almost entirely responsible for the end of the age of the super cars(AKA muscle cars).

        Another often cited reason is the aging of the baby boomers, but that has been shown to be a fallacy, as the peak birth years meant that the majority of the baby boomers didn’t even reach driving age(much less car-buying age) until after the end of the muscle car era.

        BTW I’m disappointed with Barn Finds for apparently not allowing posters to include images anymore. Why? As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

        3
      • Troy s

        The Muskie clean air bill in 1970 and all its standards to be met clear into ’80 was what put an end to this era of monster factory performance cars. With all kinds of new smog equipment and leaner carburator calibrations, more and more retarded timing, EGR, etc.. and finally catalytic converters by mid decade requiring unleaded fuel the auto industry was hardly in any position to focus on performance…even if a million buyers showed up there was really no way to build em anymore. Some people also blamed the huge spike in fuel costs in ’73-74, but it was already over by then.
        What surprises me is how long the current high performance car market has lingered.

      • SteVen

        Troy s, if you look at production numbers, total muscle car sales were already falling precipitously before the emission rules you mention came into effect. So we will never know whether manufacturers could have overcome those regs if they had tried to do so to meet a high demand.

        Oh wait, we do know they could have…witness the Pontiac 455 HO of ’71-’72 and then especially the SD-455 of ’73-’74.

        History has repeatedly taught us that where there is a will there is a way and that necessity is the mother of invention. When pressed, companies come up with the product. But when demand dries up they have little incentive to do so.

        1
  24. Burger

    It is good to understand the big picture history of all things going on at a time one wants to learn about. They are often interconnected in interesting ways.
    In this period, I was dismayed at the trend of carmakers to make “thick” interiors, with body hugging cockpits and seating that felt like taking the living room couch out for a drive. The increasingly bulbous body styling was another turn off. To my taste, the 66-67 period of angular, crisp body lines and much more open seating/interiors was the pinnacle of what a car should be and look like. But my new car interest was hard to kill, and cars like this, although nothing would want to own, were still a lot of fun to enjoy vicariously through other’s ownership. I could never fit all the cars I WANT to own in my shop, so it’s better this way … LOL. My dog died a couple years ago. I loved that dog, but a dog isn’t a good fit for me these days, so I enjoy dogs vicariously through my clients, many of which have awesome dogs. I get to tease and play with them, but there is no feeding them, no cleaning up the poop, no taking them on runs, to the lake, etc. Kinda like a lot of cars. Great cars, but I don’t have to take care of them. The cars I have keep me broke enough !

  25. CATHOUSE

    This car does not have power locks, that option did not exist. Many people see the button marked LOCK on the power window master switch on the drivers side door panel and think it means power locks. It does not. The LOCK switch will make the single power window switches on the passenger side door panel and the two rear window switches inoperable. It prevents any passengers from playing with the windows.

  26. CATHOUSE

    That is not a factory radio, it is aftermarket. The Marti report says the car had an AM radio originally. Radios with a digital display were not a Ford option in 1970. And it looks more like a cassette player to me than an 8 track.

  27. 71Spoiler

    I know this is an old thread but thought I;d comment anyways. I had a 1970 Spoiler in Competition Blue like this one that I restored back in the early 1980’s. Had a stroked 429CJ, 4 speed and 411’s and nobody around town could touch it. Sold it in 1991 and still miss it to this day. Missed it so much in fact that I bought a 1971 Spoiler in Competition Orange that I’m restoring. Parts are not as plentiful as back then and a whole lot more expensive. Still looking for NOS parts if anyone knows of anyone selling.

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