When Ford began running its Special Order of 1969 Torino Talladegas the Product Development Group over at Mercury wanted its own version of the NASCAR Aero “Going Thing”. By” Rick Ochs and Richard Fleener
In a 1969 intra company letter sent to the Production Development Group at Mercury, Ford spelled out what changes were made to the NASCAR version of the mid-size Mercury Cyclone to get them approved for sale to the Dealerships and the general public.
The following is a copy of that letter, in part. Note how it states that the torque box and rocker panels are the same as on the Talladega so an additional crash test should not be necessary.
This cleared the Spoiler IIs with their added front sheet metal and other “Aero” parts to make it to the show rooms and onto the streets a little faster..
Now that Ford had its Mercury Spoiler II approved for sale at the Mercury Dealerships it also had to build 500 of the Spoiler IIs to get them on the NASCAR tracks. Remember, back in 1969 NASCAR mandated that auto makers had to build at least 500 examples of any “special” body or engine before they could be raced in sanctioned NASCAR events. The rush was on to get the new aero “so called street cars” to dealerships for sale to customers.
Back in 1969 you could walk into a Mercury dealership and buy the same “stock car” that was the basis as the Mercury race teams were running on the NASCAR & ARCA tracks across this great USA. Mercury Cyclones were always a bit upscale to it’s big brother the Torino Cobra. The group over at Mercury spiced up the Spoiler IIs a bit with a red top and deck lid over a white body to honor team driver “Cale Yarborough” or a blue top and deck lid over a white body to honor ” Trans Am” team driver “Dan Gurney”.
Both the Cale & Dan Spoiler IIs carried twin black strips on the hoods and on the side there were two red strips if it was a Cale and two blue if it was a Dan. The Factory also placed Cale or Dan decals in the trunk of each car along with the rear deck spoiler and a steering wheel cover. These additional items were to be dealer installed. On most cars the spoiler was a competition black but there have been several examples of original cars with the spoiler painted the same color as the deck lid. It is also known that not all owners wanted these items installed and not all dealers added them. As a side note, these spoilers are unique to these cars and are not the same as on Mustangs, Cougars or any other car (as far as this author is aware).
To hold their upscale honor, the group at Mercury added a very nice red interior to the Cale Spoiler IIs and a really nice blue Interior to the Dan Gurney Spoiler IIs. With the nice vinyl bench seat in front and back they did have one up on the Talladega’s more Taxi Cab like black interior. There were no options on any Spoiler II they were all identical with the exception of two cars (one Cale and one Dan) that were built as heater delete cars.
Above is a copy of the Factory Glove Box “Owners Manual Supplement” this shows all the added sheet metal that makes up the 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II.
Unfortunately, the Spoiler IIs only came with the 351 C.I. engine. That definitely gave one up to the Talladega with its stump pulling 428 Cobra Jet engine. Even a bigger disappointment to many collectors of these cars is the fact that the NASCAR Boss 429 engine that powered these cars on the race track was legalized by NASCAR when Ford placed this monumental engine in the engine bay of a limited number of Mustangs! The rules were that 500 engines also had to be built and sold to customers but the rules did not specify that the engine had to be in the same body as raced at the NASCAR tracks!