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Unleash The Thunder: 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT 429CJ

Cyclone front 3

Thanks to reader Charles H for finding this cool ride with a great story, a seldom seen 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT equipped with the ground pounding N-Code 429 Cobra Jet engine, for sale here on craigslist in the North Hills area of Los Angeles, California.

Cyclone 429 emblem

This car does have a good story. Here is what the buyer says: “I purchased this car from the original owner in the mid 80’s. In the late 90’s I parked the car at my parents house while I finished school. Then I moved across the country for work, then marriage and 4 kids later and the car is still sitting (so it hasn’t been driven in about 15 years). My father passed away recently and the car needs to move. I had this dream that I would finish college and then restore the car. Well, those of you with kids know what happened to that dream. I have thought long and hard and know that realistically, with a house full of small children, I am at least 10 years from being able to do anything with this car. And, it just doesn’t make sense to let it sit any longer (I really feel horrible that it’s been sitting this long). I also have a lot of rare memorabilia which I received from the original owner; including the original window sticker. And of course there are also a few boxes of spare parts!

Cyclone GT emblem

At least the car has been sitting in the dry environment of southern California, and while it looks a bit tired, there does not appear to be any rust visible. The seller does say that he took apart the dashboard some time ago, intending to install a set of full gauges from another Cyclone. It’s apart now but all the old and new parts are with the car. Additionally, the car has a 71 Cyclone hood on it, as the owner liked it better. The old hood is also still there.

Cyclone engine

The drivetrain is not factory stock, and while it’s not completely clear from the ad, I think the engine is the original block, with extensive work done, as follows: “Complete 429 CJ motor (from ram-air intake to exhaust manifolds) with 460 crank and pistons. Block was bored (torque plates, align honed — everything was done first rate). So, it’s more like a +460CJ. Heads were rebuilt and modified by West Coast Cylinder Heads in Los Angeles. Hardened exhaust seats were installed along with a 1.8″ Ferrea exhaust valves. They spent most of their effort on cleaning up and shaping the exhaust ports. Intake manifold is 429SCJ (for Holley flange). It was also modified by West Coast Cylinder Heads (they cut down and shaped the center divider for better high rpm flow). The C6 was also built by a local LA shop, but I don’t remember the name. It had all the latest C6 tricks at the time — extra clutches, etc. But, I don’t recall the details. It has a 460 TCI Torque Converter (because the crank snout on the 460 was different than the 429). The factory nodular 9″ “N” case has 3.89 gears installed.

The Cyclone also has an added rear sway bar, KYB shocks, MSD 6AL ignition and a custom, oversize 4 core radiator.

Mercury Cyclone GT Build Sheet

It’s a huge bonus that the original window sticker and other dealer materials are still with the car. There are 75 more pictures on the seller’s Photobucket page that document what you’re getting if you buy this car. Cyclones are rare, and while far less popular than their Ford brethren, they do have dedicated fans, so it is possible the seller will get something close to his steep $13,000 asking price. I looked up values for these cars, and while much depends on the drivetrain, and certainly condition, average value appears to be around $17,500 and rising. With muscle car prices gone crazy, maybe this is now a reasonable asking price for a rare piece in better than average condition, despite its long sojourn in the owner’s parents’ driveway. I could never afford this car, so it’s just a dream for me, but it looks like a truly solid basis for building a great restomod, high performance muscle era car, or a very hard charging original looking car with a solid list of performance modifications. Is there a buyer for this Cyclone GT reading this story?


  1. Avatar photo Joe

    Looks clean and solid. Good list of options including 429 (hp??) power disk brakes up front and traction rear. Nice color and interior. Would get some more details on engine (numbers matching block, heads? and parts).

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    • Avatar photo Joe

      Also, take a close look at photo bucket images.

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    • Avatar photo Jeff V

      Joe, I had a ’70 Ford Torino Cobra with the 429CJ engine in hs back in the mid 70’s, I believe the factory hp was 370 according to Chiltons. Bought it for 1800$

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      • Avatar photo Joe

        Thanks Jeff V. $1800. Those were the days. This article may interest you and others as it is a nice overview of the 429 and true horsepower vs advertised. Note the last paragraph as it relates to modifications including the 460 crank added to this engine.



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      • Avatar photo racer99

        Jeff, I also drove a ’70 Cobra Jet Torino in High School (I know — what were my parents thinking??) and the rated HP (as I remember it) was 366 without the shaker hood and with the factory quadrajet carb. Sounds similar to yours with the bench seat and column shift C-6. Great fun car as long as burnouts and 0-60 bursts were what you were looking for but NOT recommended for anything with curves or sustained high speed runs (front end design caused the front to lift at high speeds — don’t ask how I know). Last spring a collector had a group of restored Cyclones go through one of the auctions (Barrett-Jackson I think) and the most expensive one brought $19K and the rest were in the $10 – $14K range. His current price at $13K seems reasonable depending if you think the engine mods helped or hurt the value. Just looking at the engine pics makes me start reminiscing about having to jack to motor up to change the spark plugs.

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  2. Avatar photo ydnar

    It looks like this guy is realistic, and took care of the car while it was in his hands.
    He is also following the market, and has decided to strike while the iron is hot.
    That is very smart, and I hate that he lost his father and storage.

    Take care of the family first, toys can always come back later.

    Depending on other issues, he may be priced too low. We’ll see how long the ad stays up.

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    • Avatar photo Rich

      I agree with you. I think he’s too low on this.

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  3. Avatar photo dave

    Sure was a lot of money when you could buy a Hemi car cheaper. Would be a nice car to do.

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  4. Avatar photo A.J.

    That looks like a great clean body and a good story. The paperwork is awesome too!

    Problem with muscle-cars: 1) original engine? 2) 4 speed?

    Looks like no & no.

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    • Avatar photo Jeff V

      The C6 is an automatic, one of the best in its day! It could of been a floor mount or column shifter. My ’70 Ford Torino Cobra 429CJ had a column shift C6/bench seat in hs in ’76. Also had the “shaker” hood set-up & louvered rear window.

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  5. Avatar photo Blindmarc

    Under priced for sure. I’ve only came across 2 of these with a 429 cj in them. A lot more were regular 429’s, or 351.

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  6. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    I never could accept the Bunkie Knudsen “eagle beak” front-end, which he brought with him from Pontiac. Otherwise, a very attractive car.

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  7. Avatar photo 2vt

    Saw this one in Thousand Oaks

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  8. Avatar photo piper62j

    Nice,,, ,BUT,,, This one’s been sitting under a walnut tree for too long.. and the price in this condition is high.. Should be around 11 – 12k.. When it’s puffed up and gone thru with a good conditioning, then, the sky’s the limit..

    Great find..

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  9. Avatar photo Jim Marshall

    This is my 70 442 with a modified original 455. In 71 GM including Olds started to detune their muscle cars and I often wonder if the same holds true for Ford? If any Ford muscle car experts are out there I’d appreciate hearing from you.

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    • Avatar photo ydnar

      I believe the real detuning started in earnest in the year ’71, with no looking back.

      Very nice car BTW, I am in line for a ’71 Cutlass Conv. That I plan on making a W-31? clone.

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  10. Avatar photo Vince Habel

    it was on another site and was said that is just a 429 not a 429cj.

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  11. Avatar photo Paul Grumsha

    I’d own it for 20k…thare aren’t many more of these kinds of cars left anymore👹

    Like 0

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