They are the mystery cars of Mercury’s past. The little known and often forgotten 1964 K Code Mercury Cyclone is incredibly hard to find today. Looking back at those days when Ford’s Mustang was just being introduced, Mercury came out with their intermediate compact model based on the Ford Falcon platform. Although it was Falcon based, it had the aggresive front valance which more resembled a Lincoln. They called it a Comet Cyclone. Like the Mustang, it came out at the half-year mark of production during 1964.
Although some 7,454 Cyclones were originally produced by Mercury, according to the National Automobile Museum’s Mercury archives only 200 are known to exist today. One of them has just shown up in the inventory of Coyote Classics in Green, Iowa. (Follow this link to review dozens of detailed photos.) Fortunately, this example is in show quality condition. And you have to watch their video walk-around and test drive to realize how special this car is.
According to the ad copy, this original K Code Mercury Cyclone still has only 59,616 miles on the odometer. The owner of Coyote Classics says he was informed that the miles are accurate. And it has the optional 4-speed transmission.
As you can see in the video, this 1964 K Code Mercury Cyclone runs and drives excellent and is turnkey ready to drive and enjoy. It has the white original bucket seats with console. It is still mostly original and in excellent condition. Its exterior Rangoon red has been repainted once and looks great. The paint has been buffed to a brilliant shine and is laid out over a laser straight and solid body. It comes equipped with power steering, dual exhaust, console, rare factory Rotunda dash mounted tachometer, and is riding on a nicely restored set of rims with chrome caps and good tires. Its floors, frame, and trunk are in excellent condition as well. Just look at the great gaps as seen in the video. It also has a functional ram air hood which was not a factory option but is an upgrade you will like, and seems to fit this car’s temperament. It looks fast just standing still.
The Coyote Classics’ Cyclone is definitely a K Code because the VIN is 4H27K573539 (check the photos.) That was somewhat of a point of controversy at Ford that year. The K in a ’64 Comet Cyclone VIN means a 289 with a chrome dress up package. The engine was called the Super Cyclone 289 because it was slightly different from the K Code motor that the Mustang had. The Mustang had an optional HiPo 289 with solid lifters. Ford would not let Mercury use the 271 horsepower 289 engine in the Cyclone because they wanted to reserve it for the Mustang and Fairlane that year. There was much concern on the part of Lee Iococca that Mustang and the Fairlanes should not be out marketed by Mercury. Mercury was having so much success at the race tracks and in drag racing that there was some tension in the front offices. They were afraid Mercury would outsell them if they had that motor. They wanted Mercury to use the D Code 289 rated at 210 horsepower.
Frustrated, Mercury’s engineers found a way to improve performance in the D Code motor they were consigned. They found out that feeding it through a 4100 Autolite 600 cfm 4-barrel carburetor would increase performance tremendously. They persuaded Ford to let them call it a K Code. That one little tweak caused the some confusion among new car buyers back in the day. It ended up that the Cyclone out sold the K Code Fairlanes that year. In the hands of a veteran racer, Mercury’s version of the 289 had a lot of potential. Some experts have said the 600 cfm carburetor alone jumped the horsepower to 230.
The K Code was standard for all Cyclones in that first year of production. This engine was called the “Super 289” with a chrome package. The air cleaner top, valve covers, oil cap and dipstick were all chrome. Most were three-speed manual transmissions, but a C-4 could be ordered and a few came from the factory with 4-speeds. It had the Mercury S-22 sports package items, three-spoke steering wheel, bucket seats, tachometer, and center console.
The 1964 K Code Mercury Cyclone being offered for sale at Coyote Classics is an amazing find. They have checked the numbers and found that they match. It has factory equipped power steering. The floors, frame rails and trunk are immaculate (check the photos on the ad page.) It has the factory tag on the motor. They did a decode on the numbers. It has a factory engine, factory transmission and they noted that the motor was produced a little over a month before the car’s production date. So everything seems to be correct. It has a 3:50 geared rear end. One of the things that is just so impressive about the car are the panel gaps and fitment. You can see it in the video above. The chrome factory bows in the headliner are amazing.