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Rough Start: Not Afraid Of Building From Scratch? This 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT Could Be A Killer Start!

Rough Start: Not Afraid Of Building From Scratch? This 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT Could Be A Killer Start!

Treading the fine line between a useable second vehicle and a very cool low-buck project vehicle can be done. But you need to be very, very honest with yourself about your abilities, your time, and your willingness to dive into a project headlong. If you won’t do it yourself, it will cost you. If you are willing to do it yourself, but want immediate satisfaction, buy something newer so you aren’t dealing with the trappings of an old car. That’s often how the “car in boxes” kind of Craigslist ads pop up…they started to work on their dream car, didn’t realize that project creep and overrun are very real things, and backed out and bought a fifteen-year-old pony car instead. Only the diehards and the true garage inhabitants need apply to build something like this 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT. A car pushing fifty years old is going to have issues. At the $5,000 price point that the Rough Start budget sits at, it will have issues. But this is one of the more honest ads we’ve seen for a potential old car project, which at least should give you hope that you’ll know plenty before diving into the work needed to bring this mid-size Mercury back to roadworthy condition.

“A very complete Colorado car, this Cyclone GT appears to have the following options. 351 Cleveland 4bbl “M” code Automatic Power steering Power disc brakes Air conditioning Console Tach and gauges Houndstooth (I believe) Vinyl top, dk green Tinted glass Light green metallic exterior med green interior Comes with all the parts shown in the pics to help in it’s restoration. Fenders for rust repair, uncut dash and AM radio, beautiful black kick panels and originals with speaker grilles for gauge dash, ALL GT paint divider trim is accounted for, spare carbs and distributors, perfect 70 dated fan shroud and fan, 5 spare wheel, nicer bumper, rear valance and all hardware, seat “buttons”, Green arm rests, seat tracks (car has issues), dry left door from a GT with minor latch tearing, enough plastic to build a complete console, and a very nice GT/Spoiler hood. Right 1/4 is certainly the worst panel, but I believe looks worse that it actually is. Yes it has had some poor rust repair, but believe it can be saved by a qualified body man and the aforementioned fenders. Left 1-4 has less poor repair at the lower rear, and is just starting to show at the top of the wheel house. Torque boxes and most of underside is quite clean and dry.

Passengers floor has a poor patch, but smaller than a sheet of paper. A couple other small spots are soft, and one spot the size of your fist is filled with Duraglass. Sounds worse than it is. Fiberglass tail panel is undamaged other than weathered. Waffle insert is intact! Interior is tired, but door panels are quite nice and would restore easily. I believe it to be a houndstooth car, with a replacement seat from a Montego in the rear. Fuel Gauge, speedo, tach and oil gauges work. Temp and amp are questionable. All lights, heater, fan etc. work. A/C does not but is a complete system minus condenser. All glass minus the windshield is good. Car runs and drives well for it’s age, but I wouldn’t take it across country. Engine runs smoothly for sitting several years. It has several rounds of fresh gas run through it and runs better all the time. Does not smoke or show any signs of problems. Engine compartment is very complete, and largely original. Original exhaust and H-pipe are intact. Hide-a-way headlight work well and all other exterior lighting works, too. Needs a cancel cam, that comes with car.

Pot metal grille housings have typical cracking and poor repairs, but could be fixed with reinforcement and Duramix. Grille is a 71 replacement missing it’s chrome gun sight and some plastic at the top. Still, it’s a pretty nice part. I have available to the purchaser, at additional cost, the following parts: COMPLETE 4 speed conversion (fresh trans, shifter, rods, back lock, pedals, bellhousing, flywheel, fork, Z-bar,etc.) with a very nice console and shifter plate, Montego labeled AM/FM, perfect 71 grille, undamaged headlight housings, NOS Hide-away doors, NOS grille lamps, extra hood and fender moldings, Spoiler wheel well moldings, Montego jack assy, and more. Please call for an honest, complete description. I work a regular job, along with Sundays and have a family. I will be happy to talk to serious perspective buyers, but please respect my time.”

It’s rough. It’s honest. And it has a pile of spare parts included in the deal. And it’ll be a bad mother once done. Take the risk. Start slow, fix small items at a time and learn to love the beast and work your way up from there. It can be done…just like eating an entire elephant, you do it one bite at a time.

Facebook Marketplace Link: 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT

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6 thoughts on “Rough Start: Not Afraid Of Building From Scratch? This 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT Could Be A Killer Start!

  1. Realdeal

    Who ever invented the vinyl roor and actually thought it looked good on cars needs donkey kicked in the knees

  2. Gary

    We did a carbon fiber front bumper for Jeff Koh’s project Montego back in the early 2,000’s, and Matt Robison bought one for his SCCA monster Cyclone. Koch led an episode of Hot Rod TV with it. Stock bumper weighed 44 lbs, our weighed 1.8 lbs. We build a real quick, temporary tool to make it, figuring , “who’d else ever buy one”, but when word got our, we build a bunch of them! I don’t remember if we kept the tooling, or tossed it when we moved our company to Kentucky…either way, those are cool cars, especially with the proper big block Ford in them!

  3. Ted

    Early 1980’s there was a beater car lot at the foot of the Granville St bridge and they had a thrashed orange Cyclone GT 351C 4bbl auto that we took out for a test ride. When we were coming back and I laid into it hanging the ass out on the Seymour St exit I can’t remember if the salesman or I had the bigger eyes. That car romped, the Montego/Cyclone and the 351C never did get the respect they deserved.

    1. crazy canuck

      under the skin they were the same as the 70/71 torino fairlane etc with the m code cleveland and a 4 spd they are a hoot to drive

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