If you have been following along for any time at all you know that the Forge Muscle Car Show in Kingsport TN on Oct. 1 and 2 is going to be home of the First ever Ford Talladega Family Reunion. The “Family” consists of three 1969 Ford products. The first is the Ford Talladega, the second is the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II and the third one is the car we cover today; the 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler.
1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler
During the 1968 NASCAR racing season the Ford Motor Company teams were the guys to beat. They showed up at the race tracks with the new Mercury Cyclone & Ford Torino. On the Super Speedways those aerodynamic fastback bodies were like getting an extra shot of horsepower. In 1969 to honor two Ford Motor Company Racing heroes, the Company decided to produce a limited number of tribute cars, one for each driver. One was for the West Coast legend Dan Gurney and the second was for NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough who won all 4 1968 Super Speedway races in his red and white number 21 Mercury Cyclone. His Wood Brothers racing number 21 was well known down south. When Gurney took to the Riverside California NASCAR race his car was number 121 and painted like Yarborough’s car only blue and white instead of red and white.
In January 1969 the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Cale Yarborough and Dan Gurney Special Option Packages became available. This Value Package came with a list of minimum equipment which included a 351 4v Windsor engine with dual exhaust, blacked out grill, two tone paint (Candy Apple Red and Wimbledon White for Yarborough and Presidential Blue and Wimbledon White for Gurney), black hood stripes and hood scoop, hood pins, and a rear deck spoiler plus other items. What made these Spoilers stand out from the similarly painted Spoiler II cars is that any option on the dealers’ order form was available to upgrade the Spoiler.
This opened the way for an owner to have a 390, 428 CJ or even the Ram Air 428 CJ. The customer could add a 4-speed or even the Drag Pack option. Air conditioning was available as well as bucket seats and console. Although the standard interior color on Spoilers was red for Yarborough and blue for Gurney optional colors were available. Where the Ford Talladega and Spoiler II were Plain Jane cars with no options the Spoilers could be custom ordered to meet an individual buyer’s needs.
Because the rear spoiler (wing), and the “Spoiler” decals were delivered to the dealer in the trunk of the cars some dealers became confused over placement of these items on the car. In other cases buyers preferred not to have the wing or driver decals installed. Some dealers were shipped both a Gurney and a Yarborough car at the same time and were further confused over what to do with these items stored in the trunk. Sightings of a Gurney car with Yarborough decals as well as the other way around have been reported.
There were only 352 Dan Gurney Spoilers and 617 Cale Yarborough Spoilers manufactured. There were also a few standard Cyclones manufactured with the same paint codes but these should not be confused with the Spoilers. As beautiful as these cars are and as rare as they were back in 1969 they were not always hot sellers. It was not unheard of to find one of these cars still in dealer inventory over a year after it was manufactured. This was also true of the even more exotic Ford Talladega, Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II, Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird.