Car: Mercury Cyclone CJ Fastback
What makes it special: For 1969 only, Mercury offered the Cyclone CJ. The CJ was Mercury's answer to the Plymouth Road Runner and Dodge Super Bee, which was a somewhat stripped-down model intended for performance junkies. The Cyclone CJ was more about the performance. This was one of the first Mercurys to really take the competition to the street and produce the sort of blistering quarter-mile times that made Hemi-powered cars famous.
What made it famous: The CJ included the 428 Cobra Jet V8 engine with dual exhausts, a close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission and a 3.50:1 rear-axle ratio, along with a Competition Handling Package. With performance axle ratios of up to 4.30:1 available, the CJ proved Mercury's performance potential. It shared its chassis and many other components with the Ford Torino and its variants. None of the engine, transmission, rear end or other driveline goods were exclusive to Mercury.
Why I would want one: It's got an aggressive stance, and a "go-fast" look even when standing still. It's a nice departure from some of the awesome but common muscle cars of that year. It's been on my "bucket-list of cars to own someday" for a number of years. Not to mention that it easily backs up it looks under the hood.
Fun fact: Several magazine tests for 1969 pulled sub-14-second quarter-miles at over 100 MPH from the fastback Cyclone equipped with the 428 cu. in. V8.
( 1969 Mercury Cyclone CJ photo from kimballstock.com )