It was 1969. The Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” was one of the top ten songs along with “Get Back,” by The Beatles and “Sugar, Sugar,” by the Archies. Richard Nixon was President, a house could be bought for $40,000.00. Milk was $1.26 and gas 36 cents a gallon! A postage stamp cost $0.06 and the average income was $8,547.00. (Were those the days, or what!)
Ford and Mercury were racing in NASCAR and wanted to win more races. Unlike today, in 1969 the race cars were Stock Cars! They were all built from cars straight off the show room floor or their counterparts. 1969 was the time of AERO WARS on the high speed NASCAR tracks. The factories were in to manufacturing some pretty wild cars just to win on Sunday and sell on Monday. This resulted in the Ford Talladega, Dodge Daytona, Plymouth Super Bird and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. NASCAR mandated that at least 500 of each car be manufactured to qualify for racing.Spoiler II was the Mercury designation for cars with the extended sheet metal on the nose. To build 500 such cars was a tall order for Mercury; each Cyclone Spoiler II had 19.5 inches of new sheet metal added to the front of the car. The entire front end was cut off just In front of the front tires and an entirely new, sloped nose was grafted to the original fenders. These cars were all hand built. Many believe the Ford Talladega and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are identical. In fact the Talladega had only 15.5 inches added to its nose. The Spoiler II’s nose is not only longer it is also built at a steeper 35-degrees vs the Talladega’s 30-degrees. At high speeds these differences actually made the Spoiler II up to 2 mph faster than the Talladega. Most also believe the Talladega and Spoiler II have identical bodies, this also is not true. The only shared components between the cars are their bumpers, grilles, and turn signals!As stated earlier, NASCAR mandated that at least 500 of these hand built extended nose cars had to be manufactured. According to the Official Cyclone Spoiler Registry, Mercury built only 351 out of a reported 503 units. How did they do that? They built 351 extended “D” nosed cars parked them in the front of a parking lot; took 152 regular “W” nosed Cyclone Spoilers and parked them in the back of the same parking lot. When NASCAR counted the cars they just never looked closely enough at the cars in the rear!
Of the 503 actual Spoiler built the total was divided between two cars; a portion were Cale Yarborough Specials (285) and the remainder were Dan Gurney Specials (218). Using these numbers for total Spoiler production it can be estimated that only 199 Cale Yarborough and 152 Dan Gurney Spoiler II’s were ever built. The official Cyclone Spoiler Registry, in 1992, found only 42 Cale Yarborough and 35 Dan Gurney cars were known to still exist. BACK TO THE MUSEUM