428 Cobra Jet Powered: 1967 Mercury Cyclone GT

For nearly every high-performance Ford of the classic muscle car era, Mercury offered an equally potent version itself. Compared with its stablemate Fairlane, Mercury’s Cyclone offered different styling front and rear, round instruments, and other cosmetic differences. This 1967 Mercury Cyclone GT in Upper Sandusky, Ohio came with a 390 cid (6.4L) V8 and a four-speed manual transmission. By the late 1970s, someone yoked out the 390 and replaced it with what might be a 1969 428 CobraJet motor! The seller bought it in 1992 and knows the car’s history at least back to 1978. The listing here on eBay has enticed at least 8 bidders, raising the market value above $6400 without meeting the seller’s Reserve. Running condition is not mentioned, nor is whether the engine turns freely or not.

This certainly could be a 428 CobraJet, an option not available in a Cyclone until 1968. It resembles this ’68 Torino 428 CJ engine if you ignore the ’68’s air conditioning equipment. This Cyclone’s original 390 would have been top dog in the GT and was the only GT engine in 1966. Only hard-core racers would have gone with the heavy-hitting 427 in their Cyclone, the latter unavailable in a GT. HotRod found a nearly-stock 428 CJ laid down a better-than-rated 365 HP and 452 lb-ft of torque, definitely enough to keep the 3800 lb Mercury competitive. The seller includes two shots of engine block codes (“352” as stamped on nearly all FE blocks including 428s and 390s), and the date code 9A20 (January 20, 1969) but neither tells us that much. The date code is encouraging because horsepower will still climbing through 1970. Suffice to say it’s a non-original FE motor that can be built mild to wild depending on your needs and budget.

Before you suffer a seizure looking at that mold, I’ll mention that my trusty ’89 Mustang‘s interior took on a similar look after being stored in a dry garage for fewer than four years, and the interior looked nearly new after a soap-and-water cleanup. The bucket seats, console, and cue ball shifter all make you want to get this long-idled Merc’ cleaned up and running and row through the gears. I prefer the Cyclone dash to the rather every-car look of the Fairlane.

No Ohio classic is complete without some rust-through, and we see some here in the classic low-lying area behind the rear wheels. Overall this GT makes a good starting point. Though bundled with unanswered questions, it’s rather complete, and not completely destroyed by rust. Sadly the Mercury Curse will always render it less valuable than a similar Ford, ironic considering the Mercury line was a step up from Ford and often came with more flashy bits and upgrades AND the Mercury cars tend to be rarer due to lower sales numbers than corporate siblings named after Henry himself. Would you take this Mercury Cyclone over a comparable Ford Fairlane?

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Comments

  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    I don’t care if this is considered less valuable than a Ford. If it’s indeed a real 428 CJ, then this car is a nice find, especially with the four speed. Shame the 390’s gone but tbh a day-two style restomod would be the way to go here.

    Also, what does “yoked” mean? Does it mean like “yanked” or “removed”?

    Like 14
    • Euromoto Member

      Yoked = “yokes” or “yokel” on my iPhone spell-check so I’m guessing he he means what he says when he says, “yoked”.

      Like 1
      • Richard Sparks

        Have you ever seen old pics of a team of oxen with a board strapped behind their heads and a plow hooked to it? That is a yoke that the oxen use to yank a plow. I assume to yoke the engine out means to yank it out, which is a term we use down here in southern Indiana.

        Like 1
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Euromoto – Sorry I missed your question earlier. Richard is right. I’m in Virginia where it’s common to say “yoke” meaning remove or “pull” just like the oxen. Thanks for asking!

  2. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Uuuu, man, that’s a post-Powerball car for me. Nice one, Todd! Yes on taking a Cyclone over a Fairlane but as they say, pool or pond, anything would be good.

    Like 12
  3. Mr.BZ

    Merc over Ford, P/B/O/GMC over Chevy any day of the week. A little bored with the most popular stuff, though I wouldn’t kick ’em out of the garage!

    Like 9
  4. Darrun

    I see a lot of cars on Barn Finds, that I really like, but this one’s going to be seriously hard not to bid on.

    Like 9
  5. sir_mike

    Like Mercury’s like this one.Should be a fun car but how do you change the spark plugs??

    Like 7
    • 8banger dave Member

      Let’s just say, by that time you have to re-gasket the valve covers anyway…

      Like 3
    • scottymac

      Cut holes in the shock towers.

      Even though I spent a good part of my life in Ohio, I never heard an explanation how UPPER Sandusky could be SOUTH of Sandusky.

      Like 3
      • Phil

        It is on the upper part of the Sandusky river. Hence the name Upper Sandusky.

    • Johnny

      Get a half in double jointed ratchet. I found out in 74. When I went to changed the plugs in my 66 Fairlane GT. My brother had a 66 Cyclone GT. Before leaving for Germany in 71. I told him if he wanted to sale it–let me know and he could go ahead and drive it. When I got back he traded it for a 68 Malibu because the Cyclone broke a spring. I asked him why didn,t he fix it. The cyclone was twice the car. Because my other brother had a convertible(also a 66 cyclone) This could be the same car my oldest brother had. His had white seats.Someone could have change them. The seats in this car doesn,t look like cyclone seats. Check the rear section and body section where the body mounts sit. Looks like they need some work in that area. I,d rather have the 390 motor.More metal in the cylinder walls. I blew up a 428 in mine and the walls were real thin.

      • z28th1s

        Those are the correct seats and upholstery for a ’67 Cyclone GT.

        Like 1
    • Bareny

      Ford said to take the bolts out of the motor mounts and jack up the motor some with a floor jack. That’s how we did it at the Mercury dealership I worked at in the sixties. I’ve owned several big block early Mustangs including a 67 Shelby. I found I could use a spark plug socket with a hex on the end and an open end wrench, and of course a lot of patience

      Like 3
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Hello Bareny. I have used that hex end with open end wrench technique on Fords for years. People forget that simple elegant technique. Worst plugs I’ve seen were on a buddy’s ’97 Z28. First time he popped the hood I just said “I never realized half the engine is under the dashboard.” Yikes! and the wires are inside a metal bracket that’s attached to the block under the headers with about an 8mm bolt. Someone on one of the Z28 forums joked that he owned two of them. He drove the first one 60,000 miles until the spark plugs needed to be changed then bought another one. :)

        Like 2
  6. HC

    Cyclones like this 67 is one of my dream cars. Great price for one lime this. Dont care if he snatched the 390 out and nice that its a manual.

    Like 5
  7. Troy s

    If it runs anything like the the ’66 Fairlane powered by a built 428 that I drove one afternoon at the age of seventeen it’ll pull like no tomorrow. Ford, Mercury…I dont even care, awesome cars in looks and the potential for serious FE power is boiling in these.
    In a way, cheaper or less valuable means it’s just fine for road and track not just park and view. If I could… if only I could.

    Like 10
  8. Cliff Kenyon

    Had a 66 Cyclone 390 4speed blow the 390. Went out to buy 390 found a 72 roll over 428 Cj c6 auto 9 inch rear Tereno. Hit a tree split in half. Gone forever.

    Like 1
  9. MnGuy

    We used to go hunting for these with my buddies 300 hp 327 ’64 Chevy. Just sayin.

    • Camaro guy

      Yup we did the same thing I had a 63 with 250 HP my buddy had a 63 with 300 HP he could run with them but I couldn’t not that i didn’t try though 😁 definitely good old days 👴

  10. jokacz

    Curious that the speedo indicates that the car is unsafe above 70 mph. ;-) Also, is that a mechanical secondaries kit on the carb, or did they come that way?

  11. Tucker Callan

    We sold a new GT, just like this. It (obviously) came w/S-code mill, & the customer ordered an R-code in the spring of `68. I always wondered what happened to that car?

    Like 1
  12. Robbie M.

    Talk about “shoe horning” a motor. Yikes!

    Like 1
  13. mark mitchell Member

    I’d be ready to buy this if I hadn’t already bought this rust free Cyclone GT convertible with the S Code 390 found here on Barn Finds last year: https://barnfinds.com/perfect-storm-1966-mercury-comet-cyclone-gt/

    Like 1
    • FrankY Member

      Ah so you bought this. I was going to pull the trigger and went back and forth and then the old adage..you snooz you lose came to be. Ended up buying a 93 fox body vert and a 79 vette. Not the same. But fun none the less.

    • Bruce Jackson

      Mark, I think you stole that 390 Comet! I have a friend who gleans the listings and I do not recall seeing this one. Nice find!

      Like 1
  14. Lance G Nord

    I had the 66 version of this car (even the same color) with a 390 and factory cutouts. I blew the engine one foggy summer night. I searched for nearly a year for a 427 or 428 to no avail. I finally sold it to a guy who had been bugging me for nearly as long. Three weeks after I sold it, I ran across a 428 SCJ. Sadly, the guy who bought my car wouldn’t sell it back to me (even at double the price he paid). :(

    Like 5
    • Patrick Farmer

      Lance, you are singing the song of the Lonely Hot Rodder. Your lonely because there is a hole in your garage. Everytime I have sold a car that I was on the fence for selling, I told myself once you sell the car it is not yours. The reasoning is that you made a break with it and if you do get it back it just doesn’t sit right. I have a list of cars that I wish I had never sold. Finding an engine after you have sold it is a hard lesson in building up your patience. If that SOB that bought it from you comes back wanted something else, I would describe to him how to surgically intubate sand as particles with a diameter of between 0.074 and 4.75 millimeters directly up his anus into his rectum, pounding repeatedly as needed.

      Maybe you should have yoked it away from him.

      Like 3
  15. Michael Zack

    My Grandfather (an old mechanic in the ’40s) said that a Mercury is nothing more than a Ford with lockwashers.

    Like 9
    • Paul Draver

      I heard the same years ago but comparing GMC and Chevy trucks.

      Like 3
      • Patrick Farmer

        GMC was always sold at Pontiac dealers. The early GMC trucks came with Pontiac engines in them. You are correct about being all the same. That goes for Cadillac trucks (SUV) and Hummer. Hummer was nothing more that a Chevy truck with a boxy body on it. These guys running around saying it’s true military trucks have there craniums implanted into their rectums. That truck would be a Humvee not a Humjob.

        Like 1
  16. markp

    If it is a real 428CJ. It could just be a 428 or even a 390 with 428 valve covers. Need to make sure it has CJ heads, the CJ exhaust manifolds, and should have a side oiler right?

    Like 1
    • Patrick Farmer

      Side oiler’s are 427’s. The 428 is like the 390 as it is a top oiler or center oiler. I looked at the casting numbers in the pictures and the block has 9A20 on the oil pan rail. This means that the block was cast on January 20, 1969. The engine also has a Police Interceptor aluminum intake manifold. The 66- 70 Police Interceptor and the 68- 70 Cobra Jet models use thicker main bearing supports, caps and extra ribs. Some part casting numbers were used on two different blocks C6ME-A appears on 428 FE and 330HD FT. 352 on the front of the block refers to the original 352 casting series.On this one you might have to open up the engine to tell what it is.

      Like 1
  17. Robt

    I’d take it in a heart beat, if …
    Had a 66 fairlane 500 hardtop for 30 some years and loved it. A friend helped drop in a 351w out of a Crown Vic and I never looked back. Great car but moved it when the find was right.
    This Merc would be an awesome replacement. The 4spd, round gauges …
    Sell off the 428 and drop in a lighter nicely built 351w and drive the hell out of it.

    • Autoworker

      If my memory is correct the ‘67 Cyclone had a fiberglass hood and trunk lid. Maybe someone can verify that.

      • Rodeo Joe

        The hood was available in fiberglass from Mercury (Ford). I don’t know of fiberglass deck lids from the factory.
        And on an earlier note. Mercurys are generally valued at half that of a Ford. I had a 70 Marquis 429 convertible and learned that quickly.

      • Richard Sparks

        I have one just like this in black interior but worse condition and no motor or transmission. Mine has a glass hood and steel deck lid. I’m looking for parts if anyone has them. 70rsparks@gmail.com

    • Patrick Farmer

      351 Cleveland Baby. 351 Cleveland.

      Like 2
  18. Jay Amaral

    I think that this is a great car to rescue and even if the numbers don’t match the 428 would be plenty of power! I had a ‘69 Cougar conv. with a 390/4bbl ,4 speed and that car put down rubber in 3 out 4 gears !! I had to literally take the bolt out of the mount on the passenger side and jack up the motor to change spark plugs ! Talk about a shoehorn !

    Like 3
  19. Marvin Askins

    Always liked ’65 and ’67 Cyclones. Currently working on a numbers matching ’67 “S” Code Fairlane XL 500 4 speed convertible. Replacing 390 with 427 sideoiler with Edelbrock Crossram intake and dual Holley Sniper fuel injection and 5 speed Tremec. Replaced frontend with Mustang II setup and ditched shock towers. Back halfed the rear because it has 33 spline axels with 15x18x29 Mickey Thompsons on each end. Changed dash from ‘left to right” sweep to 6 analog gauges mounted ’70 Cyclone style. These midsize Fords do run with the right equipment!.

    Like 6
  20. rcrail1369 Member

    I had a red 66 one with a 390 and a 4 speed, My wife drove it so I disconnected the secondaries on the carburetor to keep her from melting the tires, She still beat her sister-in law’s GTO when they raced, Crazy redhead!

    Still married to her after 50 years.

    Like 6
  21. Mike mazerall

    I own a 67 Mercury Caliente.
    I’ve had the car for 47 years it’s my first car. I unfortunately don’t have the money to by this car. If any of you know of a naked rolling chassis please post it. Whoever is lucky enough to by this car contact me. I have more 67 Mercury cyclone parts then most. I stripped 2 66 cyclones when I was a younger dumber kid. I love my 67 and always had the intention of creating a cyclone. I drove the car 30 of the 47 years I’ve owned it. It sits with a 351 Cleveland right now I have 427 that spun a rod in and a running 390 on the shop floor. Unfortunately I’ve gotten old and been injured. I think the 67 mercury is the most beautiful car ever built I don’t know if I will ever have the privilege to drive my Mercury again. I envy whoever buy that car it’s amazing. I only can hope to see running again. Good luck to you. I wis it was me
    Mercury Mike Mazerall.

    Like 4
    • Richard Sparks

      Hey Mike Mazerall, I would like to speak with you about those parts you have. Please email me at 70rsparks@gmail.com. My name is Richard.

  22. Patrick Farmer

    Yoked?! how about callipygous. It is a word and it does have something to do with muscles. Look it up you will get a kick out it’s definition. It was the MTV word of the day back in 1949.

  23. don harris

    i had a 67 comet cyclone gt. 390 4 speed. red with black vinyl top and white interior special ordered from my best friends fathers ford dealership. prettiest car on the road. dumb me i got married six months after i got it and then went to the army a month later. while i was gone my father traded it for a 64 fairlane piece of crap. would love to have this car but too much work for a 73 yr old/or too much money for someone else to do the work

  24. Mercury Mike Mazerall

    It breaks my heart to know I have every single part to make this car perfect including a 390! Or 427! The frame rot on my on Merc is to far gone. Even bought a lottery ticket. No dice. This is killing me.
    What a great car.

    Like 1
  25. HC

    Ive spent the last 2 yrs turning a 1965 Mercury Marauder 390 into my daily driver and love it. But the Cyclone is any Mercury fans dreamcar

    Like 1
  26. Richard Sparks

    Yeah I saved mine from rotting away in a local guys woods. He had no title but I was able to get one court ordered luckily. It’s worse than this one and I need a lot of parts.

  27. Aaron Cook

    Greetings All! Rest assured this neat old car is in caring hands! I ‘ve loved these cars since childhood when I remember my Dad buying a brand new 1966 Fairlane XL 390 4 speed car from Harry White Ford in Hapeville GA, of all that is left now is a picture. I plan to get it running, clean it, repair brakes etc and enjoy it! I already have the missing red Cyclone steering wheel pad that I’ve had for a long time Thanks for all the positive comments about the car! Look for it at Moultrie and Charlotte and stop to say Hi. Thanks Aaron Cook

    Like 2
    • Robt

      Congrats Aaron,
      Enjoy that car! I am a little jealous … but I’ll get over it.

    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Congratulations, Aaron! Thanks for the comment. Please bookmark this page and give us some updates as you move forward. Best wishes on writing the next chapter of this car’s story!

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