Auction Pick of the Week: 1969 Mercury Cyclone

Marketplace / JFrazar

The intermediate-sized car was a sweet spot for many Americans in the 1960s, as it offered the comfort of a full-size car with superior handling and a more approachable price. But the two-door coupe body offered by this automotive middle ground is where things got spicy—the muscle car genre flourished with modest intermediate car styling and impressive engines once reserved for larger vehicles.

There was more bang for your buck, with names like GTO, Chevelle, and Barracuda promising extra fun over their more sedate intermediate stablemates. While Mercury was in the game early on with their 1964 Comet Cyclone, the intermediate coupe from Ford’s middle child brand never got the recognition it deserved. By 1969, the standalone Mercury Cyclone was a significant step up from a mere Montego intermediate, and was winning stock car races to boot.

The fastback roofline of the 1968-69 Cyclone pairs well with the added flash of racing stripes and Magnum 500 wheels, while the 351 Windsor V-8 and the four-speed manual of this particular 1969 Cyclone backed up the looks. The black paint finish adds an element of understatement, but the options selected by the original owner ensured performance was on par with mid-sized Mercury’s assertive styling.

Marketplace / JFrazar

This Cyclone presents extremely well, even under the hood where a well-curated 351 Windsor wears period-correct engine accessories and a factory air cleaner. Power brakes are shown, and will be appreciated when slowing down a Cyclone ordered with this optional engine making 290 horsepower. (A 302-cid small block and three-speed manual was standard on 1969 Cyclone.)

While not the Cobra Jet or GT model, this Cyclone has the desirable bucket seats and a console to go with the uprated engine and transmission. The factory AM/FM radio and air conditioning round out the comfort and entertainment options, and bits like these ensure a classic muscle car is still enjoyable when open roads and wide open throttle turn into stop lights and traffic jams.

Marketplace / JFrazar

While the Cyclone will never garner the same attention as other muscle cars from the era, there’s something to be said about a more subtle choice and having the right options on any intermediate. The black on gold colors are timeless and just a bit unexpected from a Mercury product. The interior is significantly upgraded from a base model Cyclone, and it presents well from every angle.

While this Cyclone was originally sold in Clifton, NJ, it’s clear the Georgia-based owner cared enough to put a vintage Lincoln-Mercury dealership “booster plate” from its current home in Savannah, GA. That level of attention is not usual, suggesting this mid-sized Merc lived a charmed life with both of its two previous owners. The auction for this 1969 Cyclone ends on February 6, and with any luck, the next owner will give it a home that gives it just as much love.



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