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Muscle Car Survivor: 1969 Mercury Cyclone 428 CJ

When fitted with the 428 Cobra Jet V8, the 1969 Mercury Cyclone was just begging to be driven hard. Many owners did just that, and their classics suffered accordingly. Finding a nicely restored example today is becoming difficult. However, finding an original and unrestored survivor that looks good enough to stop people in their tracks is even more challenging. That is what this Cyclone is said to represent. The owner has decided that the time has come to part with this spotless classic, so he has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Russell, Kansas, and the sale price has been set at $70,000. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for spotting the Mercury for us.

The Cyclone is finished in Competition Orange, and its presentation is first-rate. The paint shines well, but it isn’t perfect. There are a few of the swirls that can develop from years of washing, but I think that these could be polished out. There is a small dent on the deck lid’s rear edge, but the rest of the panels appear straight. There is no visible evidence of rust, and the owner mentions nothing in his listing. The hood stripes, graphics, and trim all appear to be in good condition. The factory hood pins are still present, and there are no issues with the tinted glass.

If this Cyclone is as original as the owner claims, it also means that it is a numbers-matching classic. The drivetrain is about as desirable as you are likely to find and includes the 428 Cobra Jet V8, a 4-speed close-ratio manual transmission, and a 3.50 Traction-Lok rear end. This engine was claimed to produce 335hp, but plenty of people “in the know” believe that the company was seriously understating the actual output. What makes it even more intriguing is that this car features the factory Ram Air option, which is said to produce no performance improvements. Do you believe that? I, for one, don’t. Regardless of the truth, the fact is that the Cyclone CJ is a classic that is capable of storming the ¼ mile in 14.7 seconds. The owner provides no information about how well the Mercury runs or drives, and on face value, the engine bay presents about as well as you might expect for a well-maintained classic of this age. There are a couple of issues that might need some closer investigation. Chief among these is the coolant staining on the thermostat housing. This has a reasonably fresh look to it, and I’d like to know what the story is with that.

The Cyclone’s interior would seem to need nothing, and this is one aspect of the car that I would consider to be above average for a survivor of this age. The upholstery has no rips or issues, and the rear seat looks like it has had little use. The dash is good, with no cracks or splits. There is some visible wear and fading on the carpet, but its condition would be acceptable if the car is to be maintained as an original survivor. The only aftermarket addition is the fuzzy dice hanging off the mirror, but I can’t decide whether these have been fitted to improve appearance, comfort, or performance! The interior isn’t loaded with luxury appointments, but it does feature an AM radio and a factory tachometer.

At face value, this 1969 Mercury Cyclone CJ shows a lot of promise. However, the owner is leaving us wanting for more with his listing. He provides minimal information, and I believe that a classic in this price range deserves more than a 19-word description. It does appear that he is open to answering questions. That’s a good thing because I can think of quite a few that might need to be answered. He mentions nothing about rust, so that is something that needs to be clarified. He also doesn’t confirm whether it is numbers-matching or how well it runs and drives. Those are just a few of the questions that would be worth asking if you are seriously considering pursuing this one further. So, are you considering it?


  1. Doug from MD.

    I have to agree more info is needed with the asking price. I had the pleasure of going for a ride but not drive one of these cars. They were diffently a bad a$$ ride. Would love to see the seller’s of these type of autos give more info and pics.

    Like 9
    • Bobby Ray

      Doctor I agree, more is more, plus car is huge, 1965 GTO was a benchmark in muscle.

      Like 1
  2. Jay Morgan

    The front end aerodynamics on cars of this era is mind boggling.

    Like 5
    • Roger Ross

      Makes me wonder too. Compare to the styling of the Dodge / Plymouth styling back in those days.

      Like 1
    • Steve R

      They fixed most of that problem with the Cale Yarborough and Dan Gurney special additions, it had an aerodynamic nose just as the Torino Talladega did.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  3. Troy s

    The top performing Mercury at the time for sure, big 428 cobra jet and four speed manual, great car that so few people leaned towards. I doubt if that ram air set up would make a noticeable difference, maybe in the ears? Maybe at eighty miles an hour or so there might be a significant “ram” effect.
    If this is a true survivor it must have seen little use and also maintained and stored with great care. It’s in amazing shape when I consider what the car was really meant for, long before they became valuable collectors items. Sharp, very sharp.

    Like 7
  4. Brett

    If you want more words and pics, you can’t afford it anyways…lol

    Like 9
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Beautiful car, better looking than it’s Ford sibling. I actually bought one, a ’68, that needed restoration. The original motor was gone and a 302 was in it’s place. I believe the original engine was a 351 Cleveland. The body was rust-free and the bucket seat interior was nice. However a divorce shot that plan all to hell and I had to let it go. This one is a very desirable muscle car but for $70k, I think the engine compartment is a disappointment and the seller should have replaced the carpet for that kind of money.

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      A 351 wouldn’t have been installed by the factory in any 1968 Ford/Mercury. The 351 Cleveland was introduced in 1970, the 351 Windsor came out in 1969.

      Steve R

      Like 14
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        Well, I guess the guy who sold me the ’68 Cyclone was either BS-ing me or he didn’t know what was originally in the car. I never had the chance to really check out the car because of my divorce, I had to let it go not long after I bought it. I was able to salvage my ’70 Ranchero GT and my dignity when I got divorced, not much else.

        Divorce is expensive.
        Because it’s worth it!

        Like 11
      • Troy s

        FordGuy,, 302, early ones maybe a 289,, from there a 390 or later in the year a 428 CJ, 427 I dont believe was offered, maybe the little discussed hydraulic cam 427. A 351 could have very well been swapped in at any time from ’69 -onward. Tells me it was never an FE powered car. Still a nice ride, too bad about giving it up.

        Like 3
    • Scott

      Ford guy 1972, the 351W was first available in 1969 and the 351C was first available in 1970. It was probably a 302. :-) owned several over the years.

      Like 2
  6. Mac

    No picture of the odometer or mention of milage

    Like 2
    • Don S

      82,734 is what the ad listing claim for mileage.

      Like 0
  7. Doug from MD.

    I suggest Brett buy this now sight unseen and the little bit of info available. Lol. Please ask 70k for a car put it on scam list. Ask Wayne Carini how cars he’s sold on scam list for 70k. Give as little info as possible to hide the fact the cars been repainted and god knows what else. B.S.

    Like 7
  8. Richard Evans

    I had one of these in1970. No idea what I had. I took the 335 hp rating at face value until years after i traded it.

    Like 2
  9. Dan Holmes

    The car is in driver condition. The engine bay and interior need a makeover.

    Like 1
  10. Mike

    Not sure how it is claimed to be unrestored when it has obviously been repainted. Look at door jambs and inner trunk lid.

    Like 2
  11. Kevin

    This hobby is getting crazy with some of these ridiculous asking prices. The famous idiom attributed to ‘ol P.T. Barnum still rings true.

    Like 9
  12. Stangalang

    The “ram air” was pretty much for sight and sound unless you run well over 100 mph as in pro stock and such. That goes for any vehicle so equipped. But it makes for a heckuva song. Thats why we flipped the breather lid on the old carbureted vehicles. Same with sport bikes with pressurized air intakes..you gotta be scootin pretty good to get any horse pressure gains. That is a lot of bucks for the cyclone but how many do you see in this good of shape? 🌀👍

    Like 5
    • Vince H

      The cooler air was the advantage. Not enough ram to make a difference. I had a guy tell me his ram air did the same thing as my supercharger.

      Like 2
  13. Tucker Callan

    No 427 in ANY L-M car in `69! Only the `68 GT-E Cougar. Also,,, no reinforced shock towers?

    Like 3
  14. Barry

    My first car. At 16 I bought it for a hundred bucks from a wholesalers lot.
    390 4bbl. Never “legally” got it on the road, as it needed more work than I could afford. Would sneak it out late at night and rip up the asphalt.
    She was a mover.

    Like 2
  15. ACZ

    Doesn’t appear to be a bad car. Does what he’s smoking come with it at that price?

    Like 2
  16. Don S

    Looks to be a manual steering & Manual drum brake car.

    Like 2
  17. Don S

    I have a 29k mile 4 speed CJ like this in Maroon(Original Paint) that I bought a few years back for $30k off Ebay. Mine is similar but has Buckets, Console and Pwr. Disc Brakes.

    Like 3
  18. R6

    I’m sorry, ford’s just aren’t worth that much money.

    Like 2
  19. Mark

    The priThe prices of the cars are getting completely out of control.

    Like 3
  20. FrankY

    Get rid of the dice…ad a hanging mask and your good to go for 2020.

    Like 1

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