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351 V8 Project: 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT

In the performance department, the Cyclone was positioned within Mercury between the Cougar (pony car) and Marauder (full-size). As a muscle machine, it represented the Mercury brand in NASCAR. In 1970, they offered the Cyclone GT for the sporting buyer who wanted more style than speed, so the engines didn’t have to breathe fire. This Cyclone GT appears to have been dormant for quite some time and will be a project not taken lightly. It’s available in Reno, Nevada and here on eBay where the bidding has reached $2,750 but the seller placed a reserve in order to reach a specific number.

The Mercury Cyclone first appeared as a compact in 1964 as part of the Comet line-up. It became a series of its own in 1968 when it got promoted to a mid-size car using the new Mercury Montego platform. The auto would see four generations of production overall and – for 1972 – reverted to option package status for a limited production run, then disappeared. The seller’s 1970 Cyclone GT is part of the last gen that only ran for two model years. The basic Cyclone GT engine was the Cleveland 351 cubic inch V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor (the Cyclones and Cyclone Spoilers got the big-blocks).

When you ordered a Cyclone GT in 1970, you got bucket seats, console, twin racing mirrors, integrated hood scoop (in case you went for a 429 with ram air induction), peek-a-boo headlights and triple pod taillights. An automatic transmission was optional, which was selected by the original owner of this car. The Cyclone was not produced in huge numbers, just 13,500 copies for 1970 and the GT was 75 percent of that number, clearly the favorite.

The seller’s car is in rough condition, although it does look complete. It has begun to rust from the top down as the roof literally has holes in it that you can see through. While the white car’s roof is painted black, perhaps there was a vinyl top there at one time and that was where it all started. The seller says he has located another roof for $300 but doesn’t say if he bought or if it comes as part of the deal. We’re told that’s the worst of the rust and that the rest of the car has no cancer. What it does have is a lot of patina from sitting outside for a long, long time. I used to think the early Chevy Monte Carlo’s had long hoods, but this one looks to be close with what could be a couple of feet between the radiator and the tip of the snout.

Things are just as troublesome inside the car. The seats and door panels will need to be recovered, the carpeting replaced (after determining if there are any floorboard issues), the headliner is gone, and the dash pad has melted. But it has an 8-track tape player with a tape still in it! The car does have factory air conditioning, but whether it works is another matter. There is no mention if the car runs or even starts, so we have to assume it does not. That would be a way to test out the roll away headlights which the seller says are “pristine.” The car is approaching 98,000 miles on the odometer.

A Mercury Cyclone for 1970 is a $13-36,000 car according to Hagerty, but those came with the 429 V8 motors. NADA is a bit more optimistic with $42,000 being the high end for a 351 GT. So, the seller’s car has the potential of being a low to mid-five-digit car, but at what cost to restore it? If the roof is as severely damaged as the photos attest, what about the parts of the car we don’t see? Is this a challenge you would take on?


  1. Moparman Member

    It’s a shame that this car’s condition has deteriorated so badly. You just don’t see these at all anymore. This is going to be a costly undertaking to restore; requiring lots of love and $$$ for someone! You definitely wouldn’t see another one at Coffee & Chrome, though! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 6
  2. EPO3

    When I saw the shot of the headliner I scrolled to the next picture and then I said to myself that’s not a convertible

    Like 8
  3. JoeNYWF64

    Lets hope this car does not have the wild optional gages all across the dash pad. & they were covered up. Nah.
    Poor man’s sunroof?

    Like 1
  4. JimmyinTEXAS

    The seller is tempting us by that shot of the quarter under the edge of the front seat. The trunk and backseat would have to be full of those for me to even walk across the street to take a look at it…. shutter…

    Like 1
  5. Sam Shive

    shame, shame, shame

    Like 2
  6. Steve Clinton

    I never thought the ‘gunsight’ nose was attractive on this Cyclone.

    Like 2
  7. 433jeff

    Just like the 66 charger, for years these were butt ugly, now years later they are a breath of fresh air, don’t restore it and make it a stuffy trailer queen , it probably has the 9 inch already , I say instead of going 429see if you can find the 460, save your pennies till you can get a 4 speed setup,fix the roof just good enough to keep the rain out for now. , get some big duals for the rear, this looks menacing in the rear view

  8. Allen L

    Make a Woods Brothers #21 tribute out of it, no interior worries then.

  9. Ryan Member

    I’ll give u 1500 for it cash lol

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