Reader Submissions: Mercury Cyclone Squeezes Every Drop of Octane from Summer

Mercury Cyclone Squeezes Every Drop of Octane from Summer

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
December 10, 2014
9 comments

Owner: Alexander Brevik 

Year, Make, and Model: 1969 Mercury Cyclone 351 Windsor 

Location: Rakkestad, Østfold, Norway

Photographer: Trygve Sørli

I grew up with a family interested in cars. And all of my family drive Fords: Escorts, Granadas (European), Scorpios, Taunus’. My father currently owns a 1968 Mercury Cougar 392 stroker which he also uses for drag racing, so one could say cars and especially Fords are in my blood.

Always on the lookout for new projects, I stumbled over this Mercury for sale (online) and jumped on the phone. I went to have a look and it was just awesome. When I took it for a ride I knew that it was the car for me. I hadn’t seen one of these in this condition before. That and the fact that it’s rare made it even more appealing, I really like going to car meets and being the only one with this model.

The Cyclone is based on the Mercury Montego, and shares parts with the Ford Fairlane/Torino. Only 9143 Cyclones was produced in 1969, 5882 of those are non-Cobra Jet, like mine. Unfortunately for me, the Cobra Jet had a bigger engine and was more well-equipped.

Well maintained and looked after, the Cyclone had only 71,000 miles on the clock when I bought it. In 2000, it received a mild restoration with new paint, rims, and a retrimmed white leather interior. It was imported to Norway that year and I bought the car in 2013. It has matching numbers, a three-speed manual gearbox with column shift, stock 351 Windsor engine with Edelbrock performer intake, Holley four-barrel carb, and a custom twin exhaust. It’s currently sitting on American racing 7×15” BF Goodrich Radial TA 225/60 and I changed all of the bushings to polyurethane, and installed gas shocks and sport springs in the front. The rest is stock.

The car was repainted in the original color in 2000, but is a bit rough since it was done with a lot of the original trim and chrome (which needs some maintenance to be perfect) left on the car. Some edges are visible, but its nothing critical, so it’ll have to wait as I’m also restoring two more Fords: a 1982 Granada as well as a rare ’76 Cortina mk3 (both European).

When not enjoying the car’s looks in the garage during winter (to avoid humidity and all the salt applied to Norwegian roads in the winter), I love to cruise along on country roads, enjoying the attention grabbing V8 as often I can. After all, we’ve only got three months of summer here in Norway, so you have to squeeze every single drop of high octane out of it.

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Simon Sheldrick
Simon Sheldrick

What a sweet ride. Nicely modded and driven whenever Mother Nature says so.

I am ever-so-slightly-guilty-well-maybe-not about the short cruising season in the far Northern States, given that I am from Adelaide Australia, and driving your favourite classic/modified/hotrod/etc is a year-round proposition. I am sure that long winters and salted roads would be more than enough to keep me off the roads, too (we grizzle when it gets down to single-figure degrees celsius, much less minus!), though it gives you time to plot and plan your next onslaught. And get maintenance type things done too…

Again, cool car!

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

You don’t see many Cyclones and I honestly don’t see many Mercurys altogether in Scandinavia. This is a really nice example with some tasteful mods. Too bad the paint was done in such a way, but I couldn’t tell from the pictures.

It’s a shame our summers are as short as they are. However, I guess it keeps the excitement going when you have so little time to spend with your car each year. Also, there’s something magical about blasting through the Scandinavian summer nights with an American V8 screaming away in front of you.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Mercurys are pretty rare here in the UK too (apparently 336 are registered in the UK according to Howmanyleft), but there is one that must be very close to me as I’ve seen it several times at local car shows. IMO one of the best looking of the the 60’s Muscle cars, with an almost European look until you realise the size of it. I’ve always wondered if the Ford Cortina MK3 / Taunus TC styling was at least in part inspired by this generation of Cyclone/ Torino?

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of register here, but given the relatively big scene for classic American cars here, Mercury is (as far as I know), quite an unusual brand. There are lots and lots of Fords, Chevys, Cadillacs and some from the various Chrysler brands. However, as mentioned, quite few Mercurys. I too happen to really like their styling in general and I agree that they tend to look a bit different, maybe European, in comparison to their relatives. I also think you’re spot on regarding the Cortina Mk3. Fords and Opels (specifically) borrowed a lot of styling… Read more »

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

The Diplomat has the 327. I only know that because the Nov 2014 edition of Classic and Sportscar (UK) version has a drive story on them.

Alexander Brevik
Alexander Brevik

Yes its nothing like driving a v8 powered car at night during summer. Its 4 cyclones in Norway i think and about 400 mercurys in Norway i read in a vintage car magazine here.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

There you go.

Alexander: Wow, only 4?! Is that in total or just the 68-69 model? I don’t know how that compares to other makes in Norway, but I’d say 400 vehicles means the make is quite rare.

Alexander Brevik
Alexander Brevik

As far as i know its one 68, two 69 and one 71
I think that its quite rare, 400 are fem cars of one make

Krystof
Krystof

Beautiful, love the fact that the car is in Norway;)