While Hurricane Irene has brought a world of hurt to the eastern seaboard this past weekend, not all storms are as disastrous nor expensive. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is a Cyclone named Cale, and while it's more NASCAR than FEMA, will its price rain on your parade?
Looking at the present Sprint Cup grid, it's hard to understand the legitimacy of NASCAR's name - the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The only thing stock about these cars is. . . well, truth be told, there ain't a damn thing. But that wasn't always the case, stock cars used to be stock - meaning that the cars not only looked like the coupes and two-door sedans (and early on, even convertibles!) that one could purchase at their local Big Three dealership, but they also had plenty of parts in common. Sure, there were those who stretched the boundaries of NASCAR rules - Smokey Yunick famously building a 7/8s scale Chevelle, and then modifying the NASCAR template to fit his car - but for the most part it was race on Sunday, sell on Monday.
Today's contender hails from that era - before safety and rules-bending caused cars to be so uniform you wouldn't be able to tell them apart without their headlight decals. This 1969 Mercury Cyclone Cale Yarborough Spoiler is supposedly one of only 285 cars so anointed, although the total number is up in the air. Cale Yarborough had been driving Fords since '63, and this car served not only as a tribute to his on-track exploits, but also to prove a production series of cars that would provide further aerodynamic aids for future races - remember Stock Car. A Dan Gurney homage differed only in color combination.
The Cyclone CY Spoiler featured a raised, inverted wing on its fastback trunklid for additional downforce, and, optionally a 19.5" extended nose, denoted the Spoiler II. This car is claimed to be a Spoiler, and maintains the stock '69 Cyclone (W) nose. Originally, all CY Spoilers were painted white with a red roof and matching double stripe along the flanks - that being the Woods Brothers team colors. This one is now a mix of red and dusky primer, but it does have the black-out grille, fake hood scoop plus pins and wing with down-turned tips denoting its provenance. A Marti report offers further validation.
Under-hood is a claimed numbers-matching 290-bhp 351 Windsor - and backing that up is Ford's Select Shift automatic with a column shift. An even more limited run (41) of 428-CJ versions of the CY special were built, and those also offered the top-loader four speed stick, but these 351cars only came with a slusher. Out underneath the long fastback roof resides the robust Ford 9", 28-spline diff and leaf-sprung live axle.
The seller says this Cyclone has a clear title and ‘will run' indicating that it likely doesn't presently. Power steering and brakes came as options on the car - the claspers being 11.3-inch discs in the front and drums in back. The perforated steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps are correct for the model.
Inside, the seller touts a working AM radio, but notes nothing additional save for a sun visor claimed signed by Cale Yarborough himself. It's hard to tell from the pictures whether the interior is currently livable or not, but as it's all stock Cyclone in there, bringing it up to snuff wouldn't be too hard a task.
Mercury is gone today, but it's far from forgotten. Back in the day they were not only very much alive, but also were also a NASCAR name with which to be reckoned. In fact, Ford, along with Mercury, totally owned the aero age from '68 to '70, despite Chrysler's Superbird today being more synonymous with the era. This Cale Yarborough Spoiler special seems like a great candidate to keep those memories alive, especially for fans of Ford's neglected mid-level brand.
But what of its price?
The seller is asking $8,000 for this rare racer homage, and as is obvious from the pictures, it'll take more than that to bring it up to respectable shape. As far as uniqueness and desirability goes, this car falls about dead-center. It lacks the D nose, and isn't the ubér rare 428CJ, but it is a number-matching Cale Car, and still possesses much of what made it so.
Considering all that, and if you are not currently bailing out from Irene, what's your take on the cost of this Cyclone? Is eight grand a price that would have you riding this storm out? Or, is that a price that blows?
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