A 1966 Cyclone track car at SEMA 2016
The Derale Performance booth at the 2016 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas featured a 1966 Mercury Cyclone track car built by Derale employees in the style of a mid-nineteen sixties NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Racing) stock car, complete with graphics.
1966 Mercury factory photo
The Cyclone was an intermediate car produced by the Ford Motor Company’s Mercury division similar to the Ford Fairlane, with the GT powered by a four-barrel carbureted 390-cubic inch engine. Mercury sold 13,812 1966 Cyclone GT coupes which nearly matched Fairlane GT coupe sales.
This photo of the actual 1966 Cyclone stock car appears courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
Hoosier driver Darel Dieringer drove a 1966 Cyclone GT built by Bud Moore on the NASCAR circuit in 14 races. Ford officially boycotted NASCAR in 1966 due to NASCAR rules which allowed the use of the Chrysler Hemi, so Moore and crew chief Mario Rossi built a 405-cubic inch big-block ‘FE‘ powered Cyclone for 1966.
Dieringer and the Cyclone won two races during the 1966 season; ’the “Western North Carolina 500’ a 500-lap race on the ½-mile Asheville-Weaverville Speedway in Buncombe County North Carolina. The track long since closed was historic as the location of a 1961 riot by fans after the NASCAR race was called at halfway due to heat.
Dieringer’s second 1966 win in the red and black #16 Cyclone came in the prestigious Labor Day ‘Southern 500’ at Darlington Speedway as he out-dueled the Plymouths of Richard Petty and Paul Goldsmith to claim the win.
The Derale Cyclone is powered by a 351 Ford ‘Windsor’ engine that has been bored and stroked to 427 cubic inches and fitted with Holley Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). As you can see Derale products are used extensively under the hood including the fan, PWM controller, fan shroud, fluid reservoirs and custom valve covers.
The Derale car's interior is nicely finished, albeit a bit more plush than a true nineteen sixties NASCAR stock car. The bottom photo of the actual 1966 Cyclone stock car appears courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
The trunk features dual remote Derale fans and coolers for the transmission and differential fluids
All photos by the author except as noted