Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Video

1969 Dan Gurney Spoiler II

In 1969 Ford, Mercury and Dodge began a short-lived aero war on the tracks of NASCAR. Although the war was fought on the race tracks, battles also occurred in the auto dealer showrooms and on the street. Put a Ford guy and a Dodge guy in one location together and the argument will start as to which brand started the war. The Dodge Boy will say it was the sloped rear window and flat nose of the 1969 Dodge Charger 500 that was the first aero car. The Ford following will say it began with the 1968 Ford Torino’s Sports Roof fastback design that led to David Pearson’s 1968 NASCAR Championship with the real blow being the introduction of the 1969 Ford Talladega alongside the Charger 500 at the 1969 Daytona 500. That appearance embarrassed the Charger 500.

The war only last two years. By 1971 NASCAR had restricted the wild aero cars to smaller engines than the non-aero cars. The loss of horsepower was more than could be made up with better aerodynamics and the factory special bodies disappeared from the race tracks.

1969 Mercury Cyclone Dan Gurney Spoiler II

As the Ford Talladega, Dodge Charger Daytona and later Plymouth Superbird got most of the spotlight then and now, it was the 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II that helped Ford win the 1969 NASCAR Championship. Rumor has it, that the Spoiler II’s aerodynamics were superior to that of the Ford and thus faster on the Superspeedways. As the rumor goes, Ford Corporation wanted the Talladega to win the Championship and not the faster Spoiler II. Only two of the factory-supported teams were allowed to race the Spoiler II, Cale Yarborough, and LeeRoy Yarbrough. The other Ford drivers raced the Talladega with David Pearson repeating as the 1969 NASCAR Champion.

David Pearson #17 Ford Talladega

The street version of the Talladega and Spoiler II were very different even though their bodies appear quite similar. These differences are well documented on this site elsewhere and will not be repeated here. The street Talladega was a minimalistic sleeper high speed 428 CJ powered how rod for the street while the street version of the Spoiler was a little more refined and luxurious with a mild 351 cubic inch Windsor engine more in the grand touring style. These street versions were built in far fewer numbers than the Talladega. They were also built in two versions, the Cale Yarborough in red and white and the Dan Gurney in blue in white. Only 218 Dan Gurney Spoiler II cars were ever built.

Back in 1969 if you wanted to know anything about these cars your only sources were the dealership or car magazines. There was no internet to Google about them and there was no such thing as a car TV show about hot rods or muscle cars. You were on your own to learn about these factory specials. Much later TV discovered that there was a desire for TV shows about cars. Now there are entire networks devoted to cars of every flavor.

Dave and Shirley Moots Cale Yarborough Spoiler II

Cale Yarborough

The TNN TV network became one of the first to feature a lot of racing and car shows. One of the first TV shows to gain popularity was Car and Driver which also happen to be a very popular car magazine at the time. We are showing you what is believed to be the very first TV coverage of the 1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Dan Gurney Spoiler II Special. This video of this Spoiler II was made well after the car was new and by this time was well on its way to becoming a collector car by this time.


This specific Spoiler II is in our Registry and still exists in its original survivor condition. Prior to the making of this Road and Track video, it appeared in numerous magazines and was featured on some rare Muscle Car trading cards from back in the day. Since the video, it has gone on to be featured in additional TV shows, magazines, and books. It is arguably the most photographed/videoed Spoiler II in the World.

Filed Under: Car StoriesFeaturedMercury Spoiler IIRace Cars and Drivers

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About the Author: Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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  1. Martin Burke says:

    I never saw that video
    Thanks for putting it up

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