429! Four-Speed! 1971 Mercury Montego Cyclone GT

Mercury’s first “Cyclone” gave the mid-sized 1964 Comet some sporty flair and muscle. By the time this 1971 Mercury Montego Cyclone GT hit the streets, the Cyclone moniker had moved decidedly upscale, not to mention moving the needle on the weight scales as well. While the Cyclone “Spoiler” claimed the top performance spot, the Cyclone GT brought the same 370 HP 429 Cobra Jet minus the Spoiler’s boy-racer styling. This Castro Valley, California Cyclone brought 39 bids here on eBay and sold for $4350. The seller listed it “as is…” a parts car with no title. The hidden headlight grille should bring some value since many cars incur front damage.

Mercury designed a stylish hooded gauge pod for the Montego, though it appears the California sun has taken a toll on some of the plastic finishes. This car was last registered in 1993, and we can assume it hasn’t had much pampering since then.

The Competition Blue paint would have made this car difficult to ignore, especially considering its size. It’s a shame this car is so far gone; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in person. With solid examples selling under $30,000, it would be difficult to cost-justify. Between this Cyclone and a similarly equipped Ford Torino sibling, I’d probably take the Ford, though I do appreciate the Mercury styling. That big shifter invites daydreams of the rear tires fighting for traction after a 1-2 shift.

This image certainly supports the “parts car” disappointment, as a number of components have gone missing from the 429 Cobra Jet engine compartment including the carburetor, distributor, air-conditioning compressor, exhaust headers / manifolds, master cylinder, and more. It may have even done time in a junk yard before being liberated by some hopeful motor-head. How often do you sell a top shock mount? Considering all the evidence, should this parts car become an “organ donor” for others or could it be refurbished and made legal?

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Comments

  1. Blindmarc

    With the block and tranny in it, it was worth the money.

  2. Classic Steel

    The Cyclones and Torino’s has 429 CJs and Thunderjet engines .

    These were nice grocery getters running on pump gas back in the day !

    The Cyclone Eliminators rocked too with extended fenders and beefed up components!

    • CATHOUSE

      Mercury offered a Cyclone Spoiler and a Cougar Eliminator but not a Cyclone Eliminator.

      Like 1
  3. Adam T45 Staff

    I have always had a preference for driving smaller, more nimble cars. But I look at this, and while I recognise the amount of work involved, I just really hope that whoever bought it does restore it, not part it out. I know that the time, money and hassles involved doesn’t make any rational sense, but there’s just that indefinable something about this car that I find attractive. Of course, a speedo that reads to 140 is always nice as well.

    For those of you who will undoubtedly decry me for this, sometimes it simply isn’t about dollars and sense. After all, if the American government had applied economic rationalisation, we never would’ve landed on the moon.

    Like 3
    • Classic Steel

      FAke news on moon 😜🤦‍♂️👀

      Kidding and think this one is savable!

      • Adam T45 Staff

        Bahahahaha!!! You crack me up!

    • scottymac

      Last successful Ford body style to win much in NASCAR until Awesome Bill from Dawsonville (and brother Ernie) brought the T-Bird back in the Eighties.

      68 Custom: Cobra Jet ran a spread bore Quadrajet; Super CJ ran a Holley. We’re talking 429s, not 428s.

      • Jett

        David Pearson won 10 of 22 races he competed in (more wins than any other driver) in a Mercury in the 1976 season.

  4. J Paul Member

    I know there’s a financial argument against restoring this car, but I hope the new owner finds a way to do it anyway. It would be a really unique and interesting ride once finished.

    Like 1
  5. Steve R

    I doubt it ever saw a junk yard. I live about 5 miles from Castro Valley. In the 80’s through the early-90’s there were lots of people that would hit the local junk yards daily, looking for cars such as this. These cars were cycling through the wrecking yards at this time, most were rust free and prime candidates as parts donors for cars back east or locals looking to upgrade their cars with bucket seats, optional gauges, things like that. People would stand around and wait for this car to drop, the seats, transmission, engine, gauges, rear end, steering wheel, hood and such wouldn’t have lasted an hour.

    Steve R

  6. newfieldscarnut

    steal

  7. Karguy James

    I think the car is doable for a DIY’er. The trans is worth $1,500 alone, engine an easy $1,200, the accessory gauges another $300, hood at least $800, grill another $500, etc etc etc. These are badass looking cars when done.

    Like 1
  8. SC/RAMBLER

    Definetly restore. Missing parts can be replaced or upgraded ie a Holley carb, headers etc. Hope it doesn’t get stripped of parts, and remanents scrapped.

    Like 1
  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    Miracle of miracles! Sure it’s missing some parts but the motor and transmission are still there. Something to build on. This is a worthwhile project albeit a lot of work in store.

  10. David

    The CJ valve covers are still there, although not that hard to find. get it somewhere undercover. don’t need to look pretty first. Make it a ten year project like the moonshot

  11. Canadian Mark S. Eh! Member

    My personal tastes say its ugly I really hate the grille. But this is not another cookie cutter mustang parked in rows at the cars and coffee. For that reason I like it. I think I’ve seen enough cameros and mustangs to last me a life time but how often do you see one of these. In person I can count on one hand. Unique is what makes this cool and worth saving, the fun you’ll have driving won’t hurt either. As posted above a dyi guy willing to commit to the 10 year plan is what this needs, and if it’s kinda rare now think what it will be in 10 years.

    Like 1
  12. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Scarce car, not often seen for sure. I had a ’68 Cyclone GT which I think most would agree was a good-looking car. This rendition went too big and the front end was ugly as hell. Still, it should be saved; I’d hate to see it parted out.

    Like 2
  13. 68custom

    I think these cars ran a quadrajet believe it or not so finding a stock appearing carb wont be hard if you are so inclined to try and restore this once mighty Mercury. factory gauges, and top loaders, a plus, 428CJ, make this a rare car. (inch rear doesnt hurt! love to see a Marti report!

    • Jett

      This should be a 429CJ…the 428 was used in ‘68.

      Like 1
  14. john

    I agree with Steve R, never in a yard. Too many key parts that would have been stock piled. More likely the unlucky side effect of a make one outta two deal.
    Shame even for a ford

    Like 1
  15. Crank

    Test drove new one in 71. Awesome car, very fast.

  16. Ken

    Anyone ever ever put one of these motors in a 68 falcon future. Just bought one with a solid body, 2 aftermarket seats, roll cage and no interior. Could this motor fit without cutting shock towers?

    • Jett

      Not a chance. If Kar Kraft had to do it for the Mustangs and Cougars, so will you.

  17. Dalelong

    There is a gold convertible just like this in NW Georgia. I am considering getting it and restore. The top rotted away years ago and been sitting in weather. This too has a 429 CJ ,c6 tranny and nine inch rear end. He is asking ,3 grand for it. Should I get and pull in garage for rebuild.

    Like 2
  18. Wayne

    In the eighties I was the service manager at the local Ford store in Carson City. We had an elderly customer that had one of these with a wild cam, headers and a very loud exhaust system. He would bring to me about every six months for me to drive it for a day or so to “BLOW IT OUT”. As he was “too old to runner her right!”. Come to find out he had been Bill Harrah’s lawyer and they used to go play out in the desert. I wish I had lived in Nevada in those days! Although living here now is still cool as you still get to play at high speed every now an then.

    Like 2
  19. laszlo varga

    my first car was a 1971 cyklone gt 429 i was only 19 and a new emigrant
    from hungary

    Like 1

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