This 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler is one of just 74 made with the desirable Ram Air 429 Cobra Jet and 4-speed manual option boxes ticked, making it one of the fastest American production cars of its time with 370 bhp and 450 lb ft of torque from the factory.
This is a matching-numbers, rotisserie restored example that was recently featured in a six-page feature in Muscle Cars Magazine. It’s now due to be sold by Mecum at their Las Vegas auction in November.
Fast Facts – The Mercury Cyclone Spoiler
- Emerging from the performance-oriented Mercury Cyclone lineage of the late 1960s, the Cyclone Spoiler was Mercury’s more aggressive answer to the booming muscle car era, offering significant aesthetic and performance upgrades over the standard Cyclone.
- The Mercury Cyclone was built over five generations between 1964 and 1972, through for the first and final years it was an option package on another car rather than a standalone model.
- The Cyclone Spoiler was unveiled in 1970, it came with the 429 Cobra Jet V8 with Ram Air, a 780 cfm Holley carburetor, the Drag Pack package, the competition suspension package, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, a 140 mph speedometer, black or white racing stripes, and front and rear spoilers.
- The car you see in this article is a 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler, it has its matching-numbers drivetrain in place and it’s recently been fully restored. It’s finished in red with black stripes and black spoilers, and it rides on correct Magnum 500 wheels with Goodyear Eagle NASCAR tires.
The Mercury Cyclone Spoiler
When it was unveiled in 1970 the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler would become one of the last great muscle cars before the emissions restrictions, spiraling fuel and insurance costs, and ever increasing safety regulations made cars a lot slower and a lot less exciting. For a time at least.
The Mercury Cyclone family of cars had first appeared in 1964 but not as a standalone model, it was offered as a performance option package on the Mercury Comet. From there it followed a similar trajectory to the Pontiac GTO, which had also started as an option package before becoming a popular performance car in its own right.
The Cyclone would become its own model line in 1965 with power provided by the same fundamental 289 V8 as the Ford Mustang. The second generation would be released in 1966, followed by the third generation in 1968.
It would be the fourth generation cars from 1970 onwards that featured the most outlining styling, with a blacked out grille featuring a prominent protruding center section, and protruding sides. The standard engine for the base Cyclone model was now the 429 cubic inch (7.0 liter) V8 producing a hefty 360 bhp.
The two optional engine upgrades were the 429 Cobra Jet (370 bhp), and the 429 Super Cobra Jet (375 bhp), but the most desirable of all the Cyclone variants from this era is the Cyclone Spoiler.
The Cyclone Spoiler was a special version of the car that came factory-fitted with a slew of otherwise optional upgrades including the 429 Cobra Jet V8 with Ram Air, a 780 cfm Holley carburetor, the Drag Pack package, the competition suspension package, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, a 140 mph speedometer, black or white racing stripes, and front and rear spoilers.
As a limited edition car, the color choices for the Cyclone Spoiler were initially limited Competition Yellow, Competition Blue, Pastel Blue, Competition Gold, Competition Green, and Competition Orange – with the orange version looking quite a bit more red. There was an additional “Color of your Dreams” option that was offered for a short time, this allowed people to chose any color they liked but only 31 people actually ticked the box.
The Mercury Cyclone Spoiler was offered in 1970 and 1971 before being discontinued due to the release of the Mercury Montego in 1972. As it has been in its first year, the Cyclone was relegated to being “just” an option package on another model, and it would be discontinued altogether after 1972.
The 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Shown Here
The car you see here is an original 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler that benefits from a recent thorough rotisserie restoration.
Interestingly, this car was ordered as a sales vehicle for British Columbia, Canada but the order was changed to an introductory “show unit” for Ontario as evidenced by two Eminger gate releases with different destinations – this led to a significant 78 day production delay.
The car was factory fitted with the 429 Cobra Jet V8 with Ram Air, this engine was topped with the 780 cfm Holley carburetor and mated to a close ratio Toploader 4-speed manual transmission. Power is sent back to a 3.50 Traction-Lok rear axle, and the car is equipped with power brakes with front discs, power steering, and both the Competition Handling Package, and the Special Instrumentation Package.
The Special Instrumentation Package means the car was fitted with a 140 mph speedometer, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, a water temperature gauge, and an amperes gauge.
As mentioned in the introduction, this is 1 of just 74 Cyclone Spoilers produced with the Ram Air induction option, and after its restoration it was given a six page feature in Muscle Cars Magazine. The car is finished in Competition Orange, which looks far more red than orange, and it has all the correct stripes and decals in place.
The car is now due to roll across the auction block with Mecum in mid-November. At the time of writing there is np price guide shown, and you can visit the visit the listing here if you’d like to read more about it and register to bid.
Images courtesy of Mecum
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
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