Mercury Cyclone GT

Massive Muscle Time Capsule: A Look at the 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT

One of the tougher actors to ever grace the screen once had a quote that resonated with many: “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have messed with? That’s me.” It was a startling 53 years ago already when cars seemed a whole lot tougher. It is also very intense to think that the computers of the early 70s were the size of a refrigerator! But at that time muscle cars were arguably the most impressive, classics like the Mercury Cyclone GT, for example, keep coming to mind.

A look at the 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT

In 1970 the sounds of artists such as The Who, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix were sweeping the nation. The Boeing 747 made its first commercial passenger trip to London. 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington DC against the Vietnam War. On April 17th, the brave crew of Apollo 13 landed in the Pacific Ocean safely after a serious oxygen emergency. The 1970 Mercury Cyclone GT is truly a trademark early symbol of mass muscle, and proof that the American dream was alive and well.

A marvelously legit year for muscle car lovers:

1970 offered up a huge arsenal of influence from the motor city, and consumers were thirsty for more and more each year. In the muscle car department, it was a year that thrillingly over-delivered. Buick unleashed the GS 455 Stage 1, and Chevy let the 454 CIT LS6 loose. Ford went for a hefty second round of Boss 429 allegiance. All these stellar performance cars did not possess a square inch of shy character!

Much attention was commanded by these macho machines, and the loud colors were perfect for their demeanor. Their tremor-creating exhaust bellows were mainstays for some of the most illustrated years of car culture. A very specific market segment was blossoming just as many acid rock-ready guitars were plugging into amps that year! A new breed of drivers didn’t want to be called out while cruising. But they still wanted to viciously smoke those they met up with at stop lights.

The Plymouth GTX’s “under wraps” muscle option:

To those who aren’t vastly familiar with the many kinds of muscle cars, they may mistakenly appear all the same. The GTX actually imposed upon observers (and eager participants!) a sense of esteemed culture that wasn’t quite as in your face. Don’t get us wrong, the GTX is most definitely burly and raucous! However, the way it joined class and brute strength under its hood was appealing to not just those on the earlier end of 40!

The 1970 year of Cyclones offered two hardtops, but only a small handful came with Cobra Jet V8s. An adrenaline-prone manual gearbox with 4 incredibly tight ratios was smartly fitted on just 146 releases. 73 very special models were blessed with the 7.0-liter Super Cobra jet engine and legendary Drag Pak option. There were only 16 that had the honor of being dressed in the Competition Yellow Jacket. This resulted in about as rare a breed as one could imagine!

The holy grail for gung-ho gearheads:

The Super Cobra Jet on the Cyclone was rated at 370 horsepower back in 1970. “Super” then meant forged aluminum pistons as opposed to cast-style. A 780 CFM Holley carburetor, modified high-intake manifold, oil cooler, and solid-lifter camshaft were also bragging points of the Cyclone. The Autoevolution car writing crew joked openly about insurance providers of the time.

State Farm and others could glean some fairly high-end numbers from thrill seekers. The Cyclone GT wasn’t quite known frivolously as a drag race performer. Still, it boasted a notorious and noteworthy 527 horsepower and 599 lb-ft of torque on the dyno tester. One of the most surprising finds of the year is a shiny yellow 1970-model-year Cyclone GT with just 15,400 miles.

Performance-minded and primal: “spoiler warning”

Listed on an auction site, it is one fine specimen that will only rise in value each year. The Cyclone Spoiler was built with amazing performance in mind. There were black or white racing stripes, and one of the coolest hood scoops ever for air induction. Screeching satisfyingly up to 140 mph, the Cyclone also boasted a competition suspension package.

This menacing spoiler masterpiece was available in its own wild forms of blue, gold, green, and competition orange. Two years prior, the Cyclone took both first and second place during the 1968 Daytona 500. The 1971 Cyclone’s all-out domination would pave the way for the development of the “Aero Warriors.” These were production muscle cars that were engineered for Winston Cup Racing.

Overshadowed but ruthlessly relevant:

The Cougar was Ford’s known muscle-car icon for the times, but all four generations of the Cyclone offered up amazing features. While you were defying death itself, you were lapping up some pretty awesome extras. Blacked-out standup grille, bucket seats with sewn-through pleats, unique insignias, and the “Power-Pac” gauge cluster for the instrument panel were included. Long, mean, loud, and always unruly, this was an iconic car that remained consistent.

The menacing yet charming Mercury Cyclone GT’s wrap-up: called the Mercury Cyclone GT “The anointed one” for many high-octane reasons! What do you think of this loud and untamed beast in these rare forms? Let us know in the comments below or check out another article about some other much-loved muscle numbers! This classic remains as a “tough guy torpedo” always ready to dominate.

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Jon Weirman
I am a freelance writer in the Midwest who specializes in vehicles built for expert-level off-roading, and anything with a staggering amount of horsepower. In my first life I worked in broadcasting for Starz Network and Discovery Channel. I also love retro video games and sci-fi movies. Everything from the loud and burly muscle cars of the late 1970s to new crossover SUVs with futuristic tech features have populated my inbox!

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