Big Block Survivor: 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT

In Alan Jackson’s hit country song”Mercury Blues”, he sings”Crazy ’bout a Mercury” and if he had some cash, “I go downtown and buy a Mercury or two”. I’d bet Mercury exec’s back in the day wished this song was on the AM airwaves to help push sales of the redesigned Cyclone for the ’68 model year. Sluggish numbers for this model in the peak of the muscle car era were problematic. Cale Yarborough was winning with one in NASCAR, but sales never really caught on, only selling 12 thousand or so fastbacks and hardly any coupes. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday wasn’t getting it done. Maybe you’ll be the winner of this survivor that’s listed here on eBay in “Pure” Michigan. Leaving behind the stacked headlights of the previous-gen and going to the slicker horizontal layout would help with the upcoming aero warrior battles. The following Spoiler II model would take this to the extreme and add extended fenders and flush bumpers/headlights/grille in hot pursuit of the slippery Plymouth Superbird’s on the high banked ovals.

Sales numbers or not, I like the fastback look on these. They wear it well. Mustang’s bigger, not so handsome cousin if you will. Painted in it’s original Calypso Coral (one of 1,383 paint/trim codes) with the GT striping scheme which really highlights the flowing body lines. Showing 97,684 miles, she “runs and drives great”.

The paint does look a little rough here and on the pass side fender/roof leading edge, though still very presentable for a 50-year-old factory job. Lots of good underside photos in the ad show mostly surface corrosion, although there are a few rusts through areas that need some looking after.

The interior looks really nice.GT trim level includes black vinyl comfort weave bucket seats and center console. The owner does say the headliner needs addressing though.

The 390-4v FE(325 hp) is always an added bonus and looks really clean nestled in there. The included Marti report also calls out a C6 select shift automatic transmission and a turnpike friendly 3.25 conventional rear axle ratio. Add on power brakes/steering and you’re looking at one comfortable cruiser. I like these wearing some wide Torque Thrust or Bullitt style wheels and leave the hubcaps in the trunk. Well, would you like to “cruise up and down the road” in this survivor and are you crazy enough ’bout a Mercury too?

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Comments

  1. Rock On

    The song Mercury Blues came out in 1948. It was sung by Bob Geddins and K.C. Douglas. There are hit versions by The Steve Miller Band and my favourite version by David Lindley.
    https://youtu.be/vHY0YxdswyY
    Alan Jackson’s version is way down the list.

    Like 32
    • Gaspumpchas

      Hey rock on good info. Think the song was written by Roy Rogers.
      Great stuff.
      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 5
    • That Guy

      David Lindley’s is the definitive version for me. It’s one of the greatest automotive-themed songs ever.

      Like 6
    • Mike

      You beat me to it lol! I winced visibly and audibly when I read the original text in the article about it being an Alan Jackson song..thanks for posting

      Like 1
    • Vudutu

      Nailed it,
      Lindley did it best.
      Many covered it.
      “Mercury Blues” is a song written by K. C. Douglas and Robert Geddins, and first recorded by Douglas in 1948.

  2. 1980flh1200

    Steve Miller did that song a long time ago .back in the 70s .Very nice car.

    Like 5
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Nice car, well worn though. Great color but needs fresh paint and a few areas underneath should be addressed. Interior is pretty good but again, some items need to be refreshed. I like these as they’re the more upscale version of the Torino/Fairlane fastbacks. I had a similar ’68 GT, a 390/C6 like this one that I was going to restore, but a divorce took care of that idea. Looks like a solid, decent driver but it will need a good bit of money and work restore it to the level it deserves. I’d keep the wheels, I like ’em; they looked good on my ’69 Torino GT convertible.

    I’m curious to see how high the bids go on this one. More than a comparable Torino fastback? Or less?

    Like 6
  4. Jim in AL

    “The car is in original condition… It has the original paint.”

    I guess if you don’t consider the fact that it has been blasted in the rear hard enough to require replacing/repainting the deck lid as well as the rear fender extensions.
    Oh, and don’t bother looking at the rattle can paint job on the right front fender either.
    Maybe what he meant was “With exception if the 25% of that has been replaced…”
    It is also lacking photos of the interior which I would be asking for before I placed a bid. (which I wouldn’t based on what I see)

    Like 2
  5. Moparman Member

    For an “upscale” cousin of the Torino, that gauge pod sure is certainly lacking!

    Like 2
  6. Old guy

    Always liked those stock wheels and gt hubcaps…

  7. TimM

    Great car and not something you see lot of!! The pictures do look questionable about the paint like Jim in AL said!! Anyone forking out the kind of money this car will bring will take a closer look I’m sure!!!

    Like 2
  8. Troy s

    All that racing Ford did on the professional level was for spectators. Mercury was a part of Ford, same car same engine same everything, but the kids were showing up to the track in a GTO, or worse, some cheap dumb foreign car. There were no Holman-Moody specials for the street so who really cared about what a Torino or Cyclone did on the speedways anyway?
    This is a nice car to me, probably built before the 428 CJ became available, but I do slightly lean to Ford products anyways. There is nothing about this car that would have stole away Pontiac or Chevy buyers.

    Like 2
  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    Say what you want about what it is and isn’t, for as old as it is and for as rare as it is, this is a pretty nice looking car. Bought right it’s got to be a bunch of fun.

    Like 6
  10. Dave

    The back half Looks much better than the front half

  11. David

    I don’t think I have seen a 1968 Coupe , as the writer mentions were made; anybody got one, or have a picture? I’ve seen 66 and 67 galaxie coupes/customs. They have really nice lines.

  12. Stilbo

    I’ve restored 68 And 69 Torino GTs but I’ve always liked the Cyclones better in exterior and interior appearances.
    Long ago I grafted a 69 Cyclone dog house onto a 69 Ranchero.
    It IMO was better looking than the original.
    We even stuffed the Cyclone buckets and dash assembly into it.
    It was born an S Code 390 Ranchero but had taken a front end hit to a tree…
    Wish I’d kept it…

    Like 2
  13. Lance Nord

    In 1974, I had this identically equipped car (same color, too) for exactly eight hours… until I hit a patch of black ice doing 80+ mph. My two passengers and I weren’t wearing seat belts so I think we’re lucky to be alive. One of my regrets and on my bucket list to buy again… just not today.

    Like 3
  14. John B.

    I’m not a Mercury fan but I complement the advertiser on his photos of the underside. Seldom does anyone show the rust on the underside-great job and good luck!!!

    Like 4
  15. James Martin

    Hate that pony shifter. Same piece of crap in all the fords. Including the pinto.

  16. jeff

    Really a big fan of anything late 60 s early 70s nascar when cars were cars and drivers could drive Mr Yarobough realy busted Mopar guys chops in his Till the winged cars came along Nice car to restore and enjoy

    Like 2
  17. z28th1s

    The hood scoop has been added to this car as it didn’t come on it from the factory.

    Looks like a pretty solid car.

    My friend has an original paint Calypso Coral ’68 Cyclone GT500 with the 390-4V and factory 4 speed. One of about 160 cars made for a spring 1968 Mercury promotion for the World 600 race in Charlotte, NC.

    Like 4
  18. Del

    Never a fan of these big Mercs.

    Cougars, yes but not these

    Bidding at 8700 and probably done

  19. PatrickM

    Bidding sitting at $8,766.00 Still going up…a little. 2 days left. I like this car, and yes, it would take some cash to get it back to REALLY right. But, since she is 51 years old, cut the car and the owner some slack. We are all suffering a financial pinch. It ain’t easy, these days. Just ask my wallet. IF I had some money, I would bid on this. I like it.

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