AJ's Car of the Day: 1966 Mercury Cyclone GT

Car: Mercury Cyclone GT

Year: 1966

What makes it special: The Mercury Cyclone GT was the top performer for the intermediate series. It was popular with the buying public, as 13,812 Cyclone GT's were built in 1966.

What made it famous: You could order a Cyclone GT equipped with a 335 hp, 4-barrel 390 V8, a 3 or 4-speed manual transmission, twin-scooped hood, chrome engine dress up kit,  GT stripes and dual exhaust. A convertible version was available as well.

Why I would want one: It falls under the category of out-of-the-ordinary. While the rest of the popular cars for that year would fall amongst cars like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Chevelles, Pontiac GTO's and such, a Mercury Cyclone GT would be just the ticket to stand out in the crowd. Not to mention the fact that it was a great performer and great looking car. Off the showroom floor, it ran a 1/4 mile time of 13.98 @ 103 mph when tested.

Fun fact: The Cyclone GT was Mercury’s version of a factory hot rod. It established Ford’s premium division as a contributor to the glory days of performance cars. Convertibles are rare with only 2,158 produced. The 390 V8 oil capacity was reduced by one quart, to only four. ( Most V8's take 5 quarts of oil. )