When the 1969 Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler emerged on the muscle car scene the major American automobile manufacturers were turning toward aero technologies to supply NASCAR’s need for speed. Mercury produced a limited number of Cale Yarborough edition Cyclone Spoilers for a NASCAR hungry Baby Boom generation which was just coming of age. The red and white 1969 Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler is now one of those rare treasures which peaks the interest of muscle car collectors the world over.
Fast forward to today, Robert and Katrina Fleener are the founders of the Talladega-Spoiler Registry, an ambitious website dedicated to keeping track of Ford Talladegas, Mercury Spoilers and Spoiler II’s from 1969 as well as Cyclone “Color Code” cars and 1968 Cyclone GT500’s. (You can find their registry at Talladegaspoilerregistry.com.) This week they are offering their rare 1969 Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler R Code car for sale here in the Cars-On-Line.com Mercury Muscle Car Section. ” After 12 years of ownership I have reluctantly decided to part with one of our beloved aero cars,” says Robert. “The car is a 1969 Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler 428CJ Ram Air with C6 automatic, power steering, power brakes and AM radio, original factory bench seat and door panels.” (Follow this link to view the ad.)
The Cyclone captured a younger generation for Mercury. The youth appeal for Baby Boomers who followed NASCAR and NHRA racing was undeniable. It kept Mercury performance cars in the mix. By 1969, the year that the “aero wars” got started, muscle car perfomance would no longer be dominated by horsepower alone. Aerodynamic design took over where horsepower left off. Enter the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler and Ford Talladega to dominate in NASCAR and at the local drag strip. The long sweeping fastback design which was introduced in 1968 was further developed for 1969 with a longer front nose treatment and spoiler in the rear. Production of CJ SportsRoof fastback Cyclones reached 3,780 units that year. But the hottest of these super speedway designs was the 1969 Cale Yarborough Edition Mercury Cyclone Spoiler.
Fleener tells us there were only 617 Cale Yarborough edition Cyclones produced in total. Most came with 351 Windsor engines or the big block 390. However, the aero designed 1969 Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler he is offering came with the R Code 428CJ. Keven Marti of the Marti Report told Fleener that only 41 Cale Yarborough 428CJ Spoilers were produced. Of those, only 28 came with the C6 automatic transmission. To this day, Fleener says that he has only documented five for his Registry. “I know of only five other Cale Yarborough 428’s that were real Spoiler cars,” he told us. His Cale Yarborough Cyclone Spoiler comes with an original build sheet, a Marti Report and even a Special Marti research report documenting the number of Cale Yarborough 428 CJ Ram Air cars at 41.
Fleener had a rotisserie restoration completed approximately 9 years ago and he says it has around 1,000 miles on it since the redo. He indicates that it has always been garaged in a climate controlled show room.
Cale Yarborough is a South Carolina native and former NASCAR Wintston Cup Series driver. A tough competitor, he is one of only three drivers ever to win three consecutive NASCAR championships, 1976-78. He won 83 races in his career. Both he and his brother Leroy drove for the Wood Brothers racing team in Mercury and Ford cars.
The Difference Between Spoiler and Spoiler II
Even knowledgable Mercury muscle car fans are confused by some of the Mercury terminology for their 1969 Cyclone cars. Mercury made the Cyclone available in an assortment of performance choices. It is important to note the difference between the Cyclone Spoiler cars and the Cyclone Spoiler II.
The Mercury Cyclone Spoiler was available in two versions. For the eastern half of the country (east of the Mississippi) Lincoln-Mercury dealers would sell the Cale Yarborough Edition Cyclone Spoiler. The western half of the country could buy the Dan Gurney Edition Cyclone Spoiler.
Then, in order to homologate the Cyclone for NASCAR and ARCA racing, a special Cale Yarborough Edition Cyclone Spoiler II was created. Kevin Marti has told the Fleeners that 503 of the Spoiler II’s were produced. All of the Spoiler II editions had a special nose cone which elongated the nose and tipped it downward to create better “wind tunnel” air flow. All of the homologation cars came with the 351 Windsor motor. Both the Spoiler and Spoiler II Cyclones were produced in the second half of the 1969 production year.
Further confusing the situation however, an unknown number of cars were evidently produced in the early production runs ending in December of 1968. These early edition Cale Yarborough Edition Cyclone Spoiler cars are now referred to as “color code” cars because the color code area on the door tag is blank. At least one of these early edition “color code” cars came with the Ram Air 428CJ engine just like the later production Cale Ram Air cars.