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Painting a Mercury Cyclone Spoiler or Sproiler II

I have heard the question asked on many occasions how did the factory paint the two tone colors on the Mercury Spoiler/Spoiler II cars? This usually comes after someone has removed all the paint, smoothed out the body and suddenly realizes they are not sure how and where the two colors are divided. Today, we are going attempt to answer a lot of those questions but first a little background for you Talladega guys and gals.

As most of you likely know by now, Mercury built two special Cyclones in 1969. One was a Dan Gurney version and the other was a Cale Yarborough version. These were called the Cyclone Spoilers. The Gurney car was blue over white while the Yarborough car was red over white. To confuse things further in addition to the Spoiler versions there were the Spoiler II versions. These special cars had an extended aero nose much like that of the Ford Talladega.

As for painting the Spoiler or Spoiler II they are identical in their appearance from the windshield back. So what we give you here applies to both. The first thing to know is that the darker colors were applied before the white! If you run your fingernail over the line where the two colors meet on an original paint car it is easy to tell which color was applied last. your fingernail will quickly snag on the white edge of the paint going from dark color to white.

Almost everyone asks why this was done and I have never heard a documented answer. My thoughts are that it was easier to spray the top and the top of the trunk with blue or red paint; let it dry and mask it off. Then the process would be to paint everything else white. Any blue over spray would be quickly gone. Again, this is not fact just my thoughts.

Now for the measurements. Some of the photos I have provided are from original paint cars and some from restored cars based on dimensions taken from the original paint on that car. Remember these were built in a factory by humans and I am reasonably sure that when they masked the cars off they tried to do as good a job as possible but I am also reasonable sure there were variances from one car to another. I have even heard stories of original cars having stripes located differently from one side of the car to the other. I have also heard of the “name decals” being different from one side to the other as well as “Cale” decals on blue cars and :”Gurney” decals on red cars.

Because the color break on these paint schemes is on a curved portion of the body it is also very difficult to obtain accurate dimensions. If anyone has Factory Instructions on how these cars should be masked for painting I happily will replace this article with documented information!

Let’s Start at the Door Jamb

This seems like an easy place to get a measurement but is more difficult than it looks. The camera angle and that of the tape measure can be a little misleading. It is also helpful to just look at the image and where the line is located in relationship to the curved area of the fender/door jamb. This measurement shows the break line to be at a horizontal distance of 1 3/8″ from the inside edge of the jamb.

Next up is the front edge of the trunk

This measurement was taken 1 1/2″ down from the front edge of the trunk; at this location the line is 2 1/4″ from the edge of the trunk.

Connect the dots

If you sight down the line from the above trunk measurement to the one at the door jamb it should be a straight line. Also not  the break line inside the trunk lip. The white paint is brought up to within approximately 1/4″ of the outside body. This line is also not perfect and rather jagged on an original paint car.

Here is a closer view of the trunk break line. Note its location in relationship to the curve in the roof/fender blend line.

Here is the other side of the trunk for yet another perspective.

Rear of Trunk Lid

This line is 5′ from the edge of the trunk and is vertical not slanted.


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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