APRIL 2016 A 1968 MERCURY CYCLONE CELEBRATES 40 YEARS WITH ONE FAMILY

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Mercury was always associated with an upscale approach to cars during its many decades as a member of the Ford family.

 

‘The Mercs were a bridge between Fords and Lincolns in the Blue Oval scheme of things where they catered to a buyer with a few more bucks to spend on a new car.’

 

The 1968 Mercury Cyclone was a departure for the Ford boys because it was built to compete in the muscle car market of the late 60s.

 

 

The Cyclones were a sleek-looking fastback built with all of the flair and style of the muscle car era. The name Mercury Cyclone sounded fast and the big block versions of the Cyclones made them fast, including Doug and Della Thompson’s 390-equipped ’68 Cyclone.

 

 

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The Thompsons have owned the car since 1976 and it was used as their honeymoon car in the 70s. It became their daily driver until 1983 and was also used as a holiday vehicle when it towed a tent trailer during the summer.

 

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Doug and Della hauled kids and groceries during their early years with the Cyclone, but eventually it was relieved from its family duties and parked in a garage. Doug began to dismantle the car in 1985 and was unable to push beyond that point because he had other financial priorities, such as raising a young family.

 

 

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However, the car became a playhouse for his kids and served in that humble role until the kids were too old for the concept. Eventually Doug and Della reached a point in their lives where they could invest in a restoration for their honeymoon car and began the process in the late 90s.

 

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Their Cyclone was back on the road in early 2000 and these days the Thompsons enjoy time on the road in a car that has been a major part of their life together in a marriage as a happy couple. They were lucky because the car only required a minimal amount of body work during the restoration process-pretty impressive when one considers the car was used as a kids’ playhouse during its time off the road.
The Cyclone still has its warranty book and this attention to detail may indicate the previous owner looked after the car as well as the Thompsons.

 

 

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The biggest challenge for Doug was to assemble any missing pieces because “It was really difficult to try and find parts” in his words. The Cyclones were not produced in the same numbers as some of their competitors in 1968, so they do not have aftermarket catalogs with the same parts availability as their more popular counterparts from the 60s muscle car era.

 
The Thompsons had the 390 four-barrel engine rebuilt about ten years ago and the Cyclone is very capable of highway speeds according to Doug who says he can more than keep up with traffic when he uses his self-described “heavy foot”. He also had the front seat re-upholstered during the restoration process.

 

 

 

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‘Della and Doug’s kids are grown and the car is back on the road, so now the Thompsons and their stylish Cyclone can relive the honeymoon phase of their time together every time they hit the road.’

 

Jim Sutherland

 

 

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