The 1969 Mercury Cyclone Cobra Jet exists in the shadows of the muscle-car world. Not nearly as popular as its Ford sibling, the Torino Cobra, and its Mopar rivals, the Dodge Super Bee and Plymouth Road Runner, the Cyclone CJ is somewhat forgotten today. With only 2175 made in its single year in production, it's not the sort of thing you're likely to see at your local car show.
Which, frankly, makes it so much cooler. The Cyclone CJ is —big engine in a stripped-out, mid-size coupe–but only a handful of enthusiasts know about it. It's a muscle car for non-conformists.
The Cyclone CJ came equipped with one of Ford's hottest engines of the time, a 428ci V8 that offered an advertised 335 hp. I say advertised, because it's believed that it made closer to 400 hp in reality. With this engine, the Cyclone CJ was capable of ripping off 14-second quarter-miles in its day, which was damn quick in 1969.
Petrolicious profiles Cy Schmidt, the Ohio owner of the Competition Orange Cyclone CJ you see pictured here. Despite its rarity, Schmidt drives this car. How could you not drive a car that sounds this good?