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1966 Mercury Cyclone 390 GT - (built 2014)

While most people don't associate the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company with hot muscle cars, they actually made some pretty fast machines during the '60's. One of my favorites is the 1966 Mercury Cyclone 390 GT. Equipped with a 4-barrel 390 hi-po V-8, a four-speed tranny and a posi-traction, the Cyclone GT was capable of some respectable quarter mile times. A convertible version of the 1966 Cyclone GT even paced the Indy 500 race that year.

Back when the Cyclone was new in '66, AMT made a model kit of it for one year only. That kit was then modified to a '67 Cyclone and then finally it was modified into the altered wheelbase drag car version making re-issuing the stock '66 Cyclone kit pretty much impossible. I've wanted to add a '66 Mercury Cyclone GT to my 1/25th scale muscle car collection for a long time, but these kits are high dollar kits praised by collectors and proved to be very elusive. I eventually found a built one at a swap meet about 15 years ago. It was painted a really ugly shade of dark green, but it was complete and in great condition. It set in my styrene bone yard awaiting it's turn for restoration. I eventually got around to re-building it and here it is in all its restored glory.

First, I took the Mercury apart and stripped all the old green paint and chrome parts with a soak in the Castrol Super Clean (also known as the "purple pond.") Then the chrome parts were sent out to a plater and re-chromed.

I wanted to paint my Cyclone in the same paint scheme that the Indy 500 pace car used. The pace car was painted in a factory shade of Cardinal Red with white stripes. After studying some paint chip carts I decided Testors Flame Red Lacquer was a close match. To make the white side stripes, I used the decals from an AMT/Ertl '66 Ford Fairlane GT kit. The '66 Cyclone stripes were slightly different from the Fairlane though, so I had to cut and paste decals from two separate kits in order to get the proper length. After detailing all the chrome trim with Bare Metal Foil I then covered the body with a coat of Testors Wet Look Clear. The rest of the kit was built pretty much "out of the box". I did add some license plates from Pro-Tech. These are really nice parts and very easy to work with.

Click here to check out Pro-Tech's web site.


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