Original 390: 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT

This 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT is an attractive car, but the owner does admit that it would benefit from a cosmetic refresh. Its rust problems are insignificant, but it does have one flaw that will have you scratching your head. It will be interesting to see what our readers make of this one. Located in Hemlock, Michigan, you will find the GT listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $7,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder local_sheriff for spotting the Mercury for us.

This Cyclone packs a bit of a surprise because its rust problems are so minor. There is a pinhole in the trunk lid and a hole in the passenger-side trunk drop-off, but that seems to be about it. There is surface corrosion on the floors and frame, but this would be easy to tackle. However, it is the flaw in this photo that has me scratching my head. That’s the torque box on the driver’s side and the other box sports similar damage. It isn’t rust, but it looks like something has punched through both of them. It could indicate that the car has driven over the edge of something and become caught by the torque boxes or that it was put on a lift without the protective pads on the lift arms. It’s really got me, so it will be interesting to see what you make of it. The Calypso Coral paint shines well, but the owner does say that it needs a repaint. This is one of those moments which proves that you should not rely solely on supplied photos when assessing the condition of any car. The pictures give the impression that this is a tidy driver, but it seems it might not be quite as good once you get closer. The panels look straight and clean, with no signs of dings, dents, or exterior rust. The gaps are also very tight for a car from this era, and there are no signs of prior accident damage. It’s hard to assess the condition of the trim, although the wheels look pretty nice. The glass also appears to be in excellent condition, with no visible flaws or problems.

Mercury offered the 1968 Cyclone GT with several engine choices, but this car features an S-Code 390ci V8. This motor should produce 325hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed Merc-O-Matic transmission. The original owner also chose to order the GT with power steering to make light work of the driving experience. This combination made the Cyclone an accomplished performer capable of storming the ¼ mile in 15.1 seconds. The owner isn’t terribly forthcoming about the mechanical state of this Mercury. He simply refers to it as being driveable. However, the engine bay does present exceptionally well, which could be a positive indicator of that aspect of this classic.

If the owner doesn’t supply much information about this Mercury’s drivetrain, he manages to provide even less about its interior. The gauge cluster looks respectable, as do the bottoms of the door trims. As for the rest, well, your guess is as good as mine! The Marti Report that he includes in the sale indicates that the upholstery is Black Comfort Weave vinyl and that the car rolled off the production line fitted with a console and an AM radio. It appears that the vehicle might retain its black trim, but its condition is unknown. We will need to hope that the owner is an approachable individual because I’m sure that potential buyers will have plenty of questions to pose to him.

This 1968 Cyclone GT is an attractive car that shows a lot of potential. However, it is also a classic that poses a significant number of questions, and that’s frustrating for any potential buyer. That is something that hasn’t managed to deter buyers because the bidding has rocketed up by $1,000 in the time that it has taken me to write this article. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bidding found its way beyond $12,000, although $15,000 isn’t out of the question when you consider the car’s overall condition. It will be an attractive proposition for anyone seeking a hands-on project car, and that is probably part of what is driving the bidding at present. With what you have seen so far, would you want to join the bidding battle?

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Comments

  1. Jake8687 Member

    The hole flares out to the underside of the car. Hard to say, but reminds me of what a large caliber bullet or perhaps what a shotgun slug can do. Most bizzare.

    Like 10
    • Rant Winters

      Well it definitely looks like a bullet to me. Whuch begs the question, who shoots their torque box, and more importantly, why?

      Like 3
      • Dave

        Because they couldn’t find a drill bit big enough?

        Like 4
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    These are a really clean looking design.

    Like 3
  3. Kelly g

    Looks like a deer rifle went off in the car. Likely placed muzzle down in the passenger seat. Dont ask me how i know.

    Like 14
    • Howard Kerr

      I had a 68 Cyclone GT but mine was a pale yellow color with black stripes and interior. It is my belief that these cars hugged the road better the faster you went.
      My Cyclone had the 302 and automatic with a bench seat up front and 2 gripes about these cars…well, make that 3:
      The rear window is almost flat so you won’t see much of anything through it…including police cars.
      The trunk lid is tiny, but then, so it the trunk. As small as a Mustang’s trunk is, I would bet the trunk is SMALLER on these cars.
      And no one designing cars back at this time gave much thought to ergonomics. Look at the picture of the gauge cluster. Under it are 2 identical knobs (actually, all the knobs on this car are identical), one for wipers and one for lights. They look the same, are difficult to distinguish quickly at night…and surprise, one twists on and the other pulls.

      BTW, this car would be more unusual if it DIDN’T have power steering, I think by 1968 EVERY car FoMoCo built had power steering standard except for the really stripper/price point models. Power BRAKES? That’s another story, this car has a 390 cubic inch engine, and 4 wheel, NON-POWERED, DRUM brakes.

      Like 1
  4. Rhett

    my guess is at some point someone hooked up a holddown or tow chain to it and tore the hole (which then did rust a bit)… I used to tow as a kid, so ask me how I know. Other than that, these Cyclone GT’s have always intrigued me and this is a particularly clean example. You definitely don’t see these every day. The from the factory, 390’s are like mopar 383’s – 80% are dogs, 20% are unexplainable world beaters. Someone is going to wind up with a pretty nice car..

    Like 4
  5. BleedNRed

    I owned this car’s twin (same year, color, options). I massaged the engine, shift kit in the tranny and 4.11 gears in the diff. The performance was vastly enhanced. It was a fun car for the short time it lasted. Sadly, too fast over train tracks and black ice on the other side shortened the life of that car (and four others).

    Too bad I’m not holding onto some spare cash. I would love to own this car.

    Like 1
  6. Rob

    I knew an old friend in Springfield, Ohio area that would chisel a hole in the rear frame rails and then the front boxes like that. This would let water flow and it would also not let sediment build up. In turn no rust, he stated that it doesn’t hurt the structure or integrity. Mostly he had Ford Mustang and Fairlanes. He was a great person in his eighties or nineties outside changing the pig “ring and pinion” on his sixty four Mustang coupe and chewing his Levigarret tobacco, just shows your never to old. Just playing with your toy cars. He referred to this Ford blue Mustang as his truck. He is a person of that I miss but I still respect.

    Like 6
    • John Taylor

      I used to do the same thing with some of my cars, just a screw driver or chisel to let any water away plus we used to drive over a lot of dirt roads, so when you stuck the hose in areas any debris would wash away and stop rust from starting because of wet areas.

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $16,100.

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