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1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler 390 Four-Speed Restoration

The 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler is a very rare muscle car. Two versions were made; a blue and white Dan Gurney Special and a red and white Cale Yarborough Special. Although most were 351 powered with automatic transmissions there were a few 390 and 428 cars produced. The subject of this article is a 390 four-speed car of which only 8 were built out of a total Cale Yarborough production of only 617 cars!

Since there are so few of these cars ever built it is likely you have never seen one in person at your local car shows. In fact most people don’t even know they exist. These are really great driving cars, stand out from the crowd and can currently be purchased for the price of a much more common Chevelle.

A couple of months ago I saved a very rare 390 4-speed Cale Yarborough Spoiler from languishing away in a Florida garage. The car had new paint but had been sitting for years and was not being put back together. Some parts were missing and a lot of assembly was required. My backlog of projects prevented me from being able to complete the car anytime soon so after I got it back to Tennessee it was immediately put up for sale. Texan John McElroy purchased the car with a great deal of reservation. He wanted the car but was reluctant to put someones else’s project back together. This can be a real problem of lost, hard to find parts and lack of knowledge of where things go.


This rare 1969 Cale Yarborough Spoiler with a 390 4-speed was mostly complete but spread out all over my storage building. It was one project too many for me so it was sold to Texan John McElroy a couple of months ago.

John decided to go for it and hauled the body and parts back to Texas. I added some parts I had that seemed to be missing, He also contacted The Judge, Marty Burke, who lives only an hour or so away for some additional parts and advise. In addition, he purchased a 1969 Torino parts car for some more parts. It also provided some guidance on how some of the parts should go back together.

The car was 99% rust free and included the engine and trans etc. The engine needed to be freshened up but other wise in good shape.

The process took much less time than I thought it would and the results are excellent. The photo below was taken a few days ago after one of its trips to town to show off to friends. Although still not completely finished in every detail the car looks really good and John says it is also very fast and fun to drive. It is not intended to be a full on show car or concours correct but it is a blast to drive and that is what these cars are all about.

A couple of months of dedicated labor and the car is on the road! John was not sure about buying the car due to all the assembly work required but now he is thrilled to take it out on the road. No one in his community knows what it is and the car is the topic of many a conversation.
The 390 is numbers matching and although a rebuild was not required John did go through it and put in new rings and bearings etc.
John got some new carpet and dyed the seats to match the correct interior color.
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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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