Solid Find! 1968 Mercury Cyclone

Yes, it’s a little rough. However, the vast majority of this car seems pretty darn okay to me. And, being the unusual car liker I am, I’ve always been intrigued by the Mercury Cyclone versus the Ford Torino (nothing against Torinos!). This one has obviously been sitting for a while, and certainly has some problems. It’s for sale here on eBay with an opening bid of only $1,000 and no reserve. The Cyclone is waiting for you to pick it up in Rochester, New York, which is another reason for me to be interested as it’s where I was born and near where lots of my relatives still live. Hmmmm….

The aggressive fastback styling of the Cyclone was intended to bring it success in NASCAR and other forms of racing. To me, it just looks handsome. I don’t see a tremendous amount of rust, but I’m unclear from these shots whether there has been previous body work or not. There’s some under car pictures here, here, and here that show surface rust but nothing really scary.

Interior wise, there’s some serious work needed. While the dash and gauges don’t look too bad, the seat is pretty rough. And while I know I should want to keep this car as original as possible, I can’t help but wonder what a nice period set of bucket seats would look like in that interior, and perhaps a steering wheel similar to a GT350? I know, I’m a heathen, right?

The seller states that you need a new drive train as this one is seized. Wow! Talk about giving up! I’d at least try to get this engine freed up, and if not, consider rebuilding it. Wouldn’t you? And I’ll bet some of our Ford experts can tell us exactly what this engine is from the above picture. Is it the original V8? All the more reason to get it working again. I’ll be interested in seeing what this Cyclone sells for–how about you?

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Comments

  1. Van

    I’d say a Mario Andretti tribute car. Modern brakes and suspension, period correct engine.

  2. flmikey

    …gotta give the seller credit…lots and lots of pictures…this thing is toast…if it was a big block or something special, it would be worth fixing up…but it’s not, so it’s a parts car at best….

  3. Keith C.

    The VIN says that it’s a 302 car, and the valve covers look like small-block ones. It’s worth saving.

    • MorganW Morgan Winter Member

      Looks like a 302 with original Autolite 2V carb…

  4. RicK

    wish it had 4 speeds, would like it a hole lot better

  5. angliagt

    These even look good in White.
    Remember when Cale drove one in NASCAR.

  6. SSPBill

    I’m curious why Great Lakes Classic Cars gave up on this so quickly. Judge from their website they are essentially flippers or at least they knock rough edges off to make a profit. I am ok with that as a business model but maybe this is a bigger project then first thought without enough margin. I love the idea of ’60’s NASCAR clones but who knows what one would find once the paint is stripped, especially if this is a NE car. On the subject of the motor, a 2-barrel 302 with a slush box I’d be pulling even if it was running. I speak from experience here.

  7. Arthur

    small block easy to to rebuild, body looks pretty good to me, nice restomod project for someone.

  8. Jim Clark

    Would it have killed FOMOCO to put floor shifts in any of these?

    • z28th1s

      The floor shift was an option. This particular buyer didn’t check that box.

  9. Bryan

    These are great looking cars and a part of Nascar history! I would dump the 302 and install a 429/460 w4sp or C6 and make a Cale Yarborough clone (note in the pic that its not the Cyclone Spoiler ll).

  10. mike d

    first see if it is solid, I would keep the bench seat, I usually don’t like white cars, as I have owned several and not by choice. Maybe drop a crate 351, that may or may not add to the value . of course redo the body and keep the original white possibly with red accents . and not get too far away from ” as built” it would be a looker at a all Ford show! ( do they have all Merc shows? ) keep the column shift, update the suspension, ( unless the current one is ok) discs good to go !

  11. Rustytech Member

    I like the late 60’s sport roofs on these mid sized Ford products. If what can be seen in the pictures is the worst of it, it’s definitely worth restoring. I agree with Mike, keep appearance close to stock and upgrade the drive train and chassis. I too would stay with a small block, you get much better handling. The big block may sound better on paper but you don’t drive paper, and it would always be a clone, with clone values.

  12. Glenn

    I had one of these, bought used in ’74; a ’69, dk blue with white accent stripes, but otherwise the same body, grille, etc.
    Mine was a Cyclone 429 CJ with 4 speed and 4.11s. Same bench seat.
    What a beast!

    • z28th1s

      429 CJ wasn’t available until ’70. The CJ in ’69 was the 428.

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Like…..go with Cale……

  14. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Always liked the front end styling on the Cylone better than the period Torino, but the rear of the Torino looked better to me, as did the multi-pod dash instead of the flat ugly faux wood one shown here.

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