1969 Mercury Cyclone – 13.89 seconds
Price New: $3,300
Price Now: $40,000 +
The Cyclone was introduced in 1964 and stayed on the market until 1971. But the best version, which is understandably the most interesting to collectors, is the Cyclone CJ. Those two letters marked the presence of the famed 428 Cobra Jet engine, which was the first truly street-muscle engine built by Ford. With 7.0-liter displacement and an advertised 335 HP, the Cobra Jet actually made over 400 horses in real life. The Cyclone CJ was a serious street racing contender, and this new engine significantly upped the performance (via Road and Track).
Along with Ford, Mercury was active in NASCAR racing during the late ’60s, and Cyclone CJ played its part in racing efforts. However, less than 3,500 Cyclones CJ were produced in 1969. Regular Cyclones without the Cobra Jet option were much more popular.