Hooniverse Fastback Friday – A 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Cale Yarborough Special

Welcome to another edition of Hooniverse Fastback Friday. Yes, I’m still using the images I acquired during my visit to a local car show held last weekend. I have showcased a slew of GM products, A couple of Mopars, even a lone AMC, but up until now, nothing from the Ford Motor Company. Well, feast your eyes on this machine. It is a 69 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Cale Yarborough Special, and its one of about 54 remaining. Let’s take a look….

This Mercury Cyclone Spoiler was intended as a tribute car for the 1969 season, and you could get it in one of two ways: The Dan Gurney Special, which was overall white with blue stripes, blue top, and a blue interior, or the Cale Yarborough Special like the one seen here in overall white with red stripes, red top, and a red interior. The Spoiler used the production Montego front end until mid year, when the Spoiler II was introduced.

Most of the Cyclones came with the 351 CID Windsor V-8 producing 290HP with a 4BBL Carburetor. An interesting fact that the 351 Windsor was only available to all Torinos and Montegos for the 1969 model year only. And speaking of no choice, the FMX Automatic transmission was the only choice offered with the 351 equipped Cyclones, and this car is no exception. The only wheel available with the Spoiler was the slotted steel wheel, painted argent, with an unadorned center cap and trim rings.

If you wanted a Cyclone Spoiler, you had no other choice than the interior pictured (The Dan Gurney Special was exactly the same, only in blue). There were no options other than a heater delete. You got a bench seat, an AM radio, a column mounted transmission selector, and very little in the way of creature comforts.

So what do you think of this car. Remember, you are seeing one of only 54 remaining on the planet. I think its great, but I would never search one out if I had the money to buy a collectible Muscle Car. What about you?

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  1. Jeremy Wilson Avatar
    Jeremy Wilson

    The Torinos are the same – most of them were bench seat, column shift cars. Seeing them with buckets is exceedingly rare for some reason. My ’69 has buckets but no console.

    1. Carl Avatar

      The Torinos (and Fairlanes) actually came in a wide variety of body styles, engines, transmissions, and seating configurations. You could get them in body styles ranging from: pickup (ranchero), station wagons, 4-doors, 2 door formal roof, 2 door fastback, and Talladega (a special NASCAR body style). Engines ran the full range from a small inline 6 to the might 428 scj. Likewise, there were autos, 4 speeds, and 3 speeds (some on the column) available for each engine choice. Most of the public actually opted for a bench seat with a 4-speed and a V-8, as these were considered "family cars." I had an uncle, who owned 3. (He was really rough on them.) All of them had a bench seat, a 4 speed, and a big block V-8. Two of them had a 428 CJ, and one was a 390 car. (All of them were a blast to drive.) I have a Talladega (428CJ, C-6, and a front bench). However, I also have a 69 Fairlane fastback with a 351W, a C-6, and front buckets. That car was slightly massaged by the previous owner as a quarter mile special, and is capable of running consistent 11s – courtesy of a little blue bottle…

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    I like it, though, early Cyclones with stacked headlights are much more attractive, in my opinion. I have a '66 Cyclone GT on my wall in my cube, and it is, by far, my favorite car on my walls.

  3. P161911 Avatar

    I agree, nice car, but not my first choice for a high dollar muscle car. Especially since it is on the large side for an intermediate and the engine is on the small side for a muscle car. No 390, no 400?

  4. tonyola Avatar

    According to the 1969 Mercury Cyclone catalog at TOCMP, you could have a four-speed stick with either of the 351 engines. http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Mercury/
    Automatic, zero-info dash, bench seats, and 351 four-barrel? It looks like the Cale Yarborough special is mostly a paint-on thing. I like the fastback Montegos and Cyclones, but I personally wouldn't pay any premium over a similarly-equipped, non-Cale car.

    1. Jim Brennan Avatar
      Jim Brennan

      According to Hemmings, the 1969 Cyclone Spoiler the base engine is the 351 Windsor, and all 351's were equipped with the FMX Automatic. See article here on the Dan Gurney Spoiler II, released later during the 1969 model year.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        We have conflicting information. American Cars, 1960–1972 Every Model, Year by Year also states that a four-speed was available in 351 Cyclones for 1969 and even gives the prices. Now it might be true that the Gurney/Cale specials were all automatic.
        <img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/t99weh.jpg&quot; width="660/">

    2. Jim Brennan Avatar
      Jim Brennan


  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    Cool. Cale Yarborough was my favorite stock car driver back then, along with Bobby Isaac.

  6. Benji Avatar

    What a great car..I heared about these cars .They call them the" Mirage Cars" due to the fact they were used by Ford & Mercury to pull the wool over NASCAR officials eyes. There is a Dan Gurney Model also in blue & white…….Very Rare

  7. Carl Avatar

    Actually, only the Spoiler II (the one with the aero front end that is similar to; but, slightly different from, the one on the Ford Talladega) was restricted to the 351W and FMX. Likewise, the Spoiler II only came in front bench with a column shifted auto. Conversely, the Ford Talladega only came with a 428 CJ and a C-6 auto on the column – with a bench seat in any color interior you wanted, as long as it was black…
    The W-nose car, the Spoiler (the one pictured here) actually came in a variety of seating, engine, and transmission configurations. It is believed that when Mercury realized that they could not have a minimum of 500 examples of the Spoiler II for NASCAR to inspect, they quickly painted up about 150 regular W-nose cars as "Spoilers" (using whatever was next on the assembly line) and parked them in the back. When the NASCAR official showed up to count cars, they never noticed that roughly a third of the cars being counted had different front ends. They can be somewhat forgiven for their mistake, since the cars were all identical from the front wheels back and painted in the same two color schemes. True, or not, it makes for a great story. I think that this is the story that led to them being referred to as "Mirage Cars," as they appeared to be something that they were not.
    Also, please note that the Spoiler II actually won as many super speedway NASCAR races as the Plymouth Superbird (8). This fact is often overlooked. It was tied for second place during the aerowars of 1969 and 1970 on NASCAR's super speedways (tracks of a mile or more in length). Although, its Ford counterpart, the Talladega, dominated the super speedways with 29 wins in NASCAR during those same two seasons of the aerowars.
    Also, don't let the manufacturer's gross HP ratings from any manufacturer in 1969 fool you. Those numbers were intentionally off in an attempt to fool the insurance companies and the federal safety nazis. I would instead use the NHRA ratings which were far more reflective of the real HP on tap for all of the manufacturers in that year.

  8. Carl Avatar

    Great example of a rare and beautiful car. Where (and when) was the car show?
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. jeff Avatar

    can you tell me what dealership sold this car my friend had one

  10. Ryan meglich Avatar
    Ryan meglich

    My friend has one of these cars, seen it today. Not in the greatest shape but it only had 5,000 miles when it was parked. Googled it today because he said it was a rare car. Has the spoiler and Cale Yarborough edition painted on the fender. That makes 55 left!

  11. Monica Avatar

    My Dad bought our 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler 2 Special Cale Yarborough brand new from a dealership in Long Beach. California. It has 98,000 original miles.When I turned 16, my Dad had the car repainted, cleaned up,passed the car down to me. When my daughter turned 16 we were going to do the same. Because of all the attention she received driving it, getting followed and stopped all the time by admirers or guys wanting to buy it on the spot,that quickly changed. Car has been painted twice, needs a fresh paint job, stripes and decals need to be put back on. Even though we have different wheels on it now, we still have the original wheels.All the paperwork. Now reaching 45 years, it is really a beautiful car. For the most part, it has been parked in a garage or storage container. Driving it lately, love it.

  12. Karen Avatar

    My Daddy bought a 1969 Cale Yarborough brand new and had it for over 30 Years. He has 5 daughters and we grew up with this car, well in the late 90's money was tight and he had to sell it, which was so sad because this was his baby and none of us kids could afford it as we were married with families of our own. Always wanting to know where the car is and wishing for a return, it's been hard. My Daddy passed away 2 years ago and I tried my best before that to find it and I still wish I could! Does anyone know where I could search to at least find the car! This is my life goal to find my Daddy's car. Thanks in advance, Karen

  13. James Avatar

    I used to own one of these and kick myself in the ass all the time for ever selling it. I didn’t know what I had when I owned it. I only paid 1795.00 for it used in 1972 while in the military. I dearly miss that car.

  14. B B Avatar
    B B

    you know it excites you.