“The Man’s Car”: Revisiting the 1966-67 Mercury Cyclone GT
With the recent announcement that the Mercury line would be going away for good, many car publications have been waxing nostalgic about the automaker’s classic models. After all, among old car aficionados and drag racing fans, Mercurys were always held in high regard, even if there wasn’t much difference between these cars and comparable Fords.
In particular, the late ’60s models marked the peak of Mercury’s drag racing dominance. In its obituary for the company, Hot Rod Magazine noted that Mercury’s 1966 factory drag team “invented the modern Funny Car with its innovative flip-top Comets.”
But, while this time period saw the company up its credentials on the track, it also marked a new high for the company’s design teams. The 1966-67 Mercury Cyclone, while not a muscle car by any stretch, had a sleek look, 390ci V-8 engine and dual exhausts, making it “the Man’s car,” at least according to advertisements. (The tone of the ad changed in ’68 from “the Man’s car” to a campaign aimed at female drivers).
The car packed enough power to back up this claim, though. Going zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds and hitting top speeds of 123 mph, the 1966 model was good enough to serve as the pace car for the Indy 500 and win the “performance car of the year” award from the late, great Super Stock magazine.
Today, it’s not uncommon for ’66-67 Cyclones to sell for more than $20,000 fully restored, but as the number of available parts and Mercury models continues to fall in the wake of the company’s phasing out, this model could grow to be a lucrative investment for car collectors who consider themselves man’s men.