Car: Mercury Cyclone GT 390
What makes it special: It was the first year with an available newer styled fastback coupe, which was then made famous by NASCAR.
What made it famous: The rakish long profiled fastback roofline made the car more aerodynamic for both stock car and drag racing. Plus, one of the more popular Mercury V8 engines called the Marauder, was available for that year. It was equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor, made 355 hp, and had 10.5:1 compression. Great when mated to an available factory 4-speed manual transmission.
Why I would want one: Even though realistically it's a Ford Torino clone, it's a very good looking car, very stylish, and not as common as most other muscle cars, which makes it different. I like different...you WANT to stand out and be noticed. Not "blend in" with the scenery.
Fun fact: No matter how hard Mercury tried, the buying public wasn't exactly beating down the doors for a chance at a Cyclone. Production would rise in 1970, but sink in 1971, which was the final season for these quick but overlooked American muscle cars. The rarest of all is the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. Only 519 were built, for NASCAR homologation, wearing flat front ends like the Talladegas that did similar duty for Ford.
( 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT 390 photo from mecum.com )