The Mercury Cyclone’s final year was a carryover of 1970 with minimal change, mostly in the grille and graphics. By this time, Mercury was beginning to see that its niche was luxury cars, not race-oriented models. As a result, 1971 was a twilight year for high-performance at Mercury.
Still available was the 429 Cobra Jet V-8 -- this year with a Rochester Quadra-Jet carburetor -- and a choice of transmissions and rear axles mirroring 1970. But Cyclone production was only 3084, of which 2300 were GTs. For Mercury, it was over. But unlike some muscle rivals, the Cyclone, especially the 428 and 429 cars, never lost its sense of purpose.
Car and Driver put it best when it said the Cyclone CJ “can best be described as a gentleman’s muscle car.” Despite its “competition-oriented external appearance,” the editors noted, the Cyclone was “carefully developed for minimum intrusion on the occupants’ senses.”
|Engine Type||V-8/385 Series (429 CJ/SCJ)|
|Horsepower @ rpm: ||370 @ 5400*|
|Torque (pounds/feet) @ rpm ||450 @ 3400|
|Compression Ratio ||11.3:1 |
|Bore (inches) ||4.36|
|Stroke (inches) ||3.59|
|Valve Lifters ||Hydraulic*|
|Availability ||Cyclone, Cyclone GT, Cyclone Spoiler|
*2429 SCJ rated 375 horsepower at 5600 rpm. with mechanical lifters and Holley four-barrel. Standard Cyclone 429 produced 360 horsepower at 4600 rpm.
|0-60 mph (sec)||6.1|
|0-100 mph (sec) ||N/A|
|1/4-mile (sec) ||13.86 @ 101.69 mph |
|Top speed (mph)||N/A|
|Axle ratio ||4.11:1 |
|Engine type ||428 CJ |
*Source: Motor Trend (1968), Car and Driver (1969)
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