Car 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible: Acquired Comet 1990 from a barn in Pennsylvania. Car was clean and stock Black on Black with red interior. Drove it for 4 weeks than began resurrections. Some specs based on memory. Car weighs 2750 lbs as it sits. Will see 3000 lbs with glass reinstalled and convertible top reinstalled and carpet. Car garage kept since 90. Comet went thru two stages of restoration over the 25 years of ownership first in 1990 era and then again in the 2000 era. Car sits nice and clean and ready to be painted and finished off! Mileage tough to call as it is all new. Engine Block and transmission about only original drivetrain components remaining.
Body work. 1990 era mostly. And again listed below during 2000 era.
The First resurrection and primering. Disassembled body components down to frame. Meticulously sandblasted entire car surgically removing paint and rust down to bare metal. Then sealed the steel back up personally and very carefully welded body repairs where necessary and replaced floorboards. No bondo. After welding solid had a body man tweak and re assemble components and then prepped and epoxy primered tan color in 1990. Sprayed engine compartment gloss black emeron at this time. Also purchased 2nd comet parts car to replace rotted fenders and doors in 1990 and have approximately 4 good sized boxes of duplicate parts accessories plates and trimmings. Also have new rubber seals for convertible top doors trunk lid to be installed. Original door hinge pins pulled bored out and replaced with bigger pins better than original. Added NHRA approved 6 point roll bar welded in place. Also removed heater core and blocked off fire wall holes. Replaced the barrel fuse panel with new style painless performance universal fuse block size 18 circuits. Rewired car extensively under hood and under dashboard. Relocated coil and other electronic ignition components to underdashboard and inside car where old heater core was located. Cut hole in hood leaving metal rough at the cut to simulate blower and motor "exploding" thru hood rough cut random with rough and tough shrapmetal look. Hood steel structure modified with weight removed. Hood was sandblasted to bare metal and has surface rust. Hood is good to go or tweak. Moved battery to trunk with heavy duty NHRA approved steel enclosed battery housing with heavy duty cables. Also have NHRA mandated jumper stumps mounted in and thru the rear bumper. And have removed factory gas tank and installed aluminum panel to cover old tank hole at trunk and installed 16 gallon RCI NHRA approved fuel cell. Installed NHRA cut ignition off switch at old gas tank pipe location behind flip down body panel over bumper. Installed 2 RCI lowback bucket racing seats with covers. Back seat removed to clear roll bar to enable convertible racing. Driver seat belt/harness. Custom aluminum billet gas pedal with stainless cable. Fabricated and welded brackets to hold up turbo action cheetah shifter and switched console. Convertible top frame also was removed sandblasted and needs minor repair welding at front 2 corners. Have new convertible canvas black top pads and original electric factory motors. Removed original radiator replaced with huge griffin aluminum radiator 31" x 19" x 3" thick with billet cap and aluminum octagon cylinder overflow. Original radiator hole firewall intact could not bring myself to cut. No need to cut. Added 2 x 11" puller radiator fans and one 16" pusher radiator fan. Interior factory vinyl Masonite panels replaced with 1/8 alum panels on doors and rear quarters. Interior generally prepped ready for prime and paint upholster. Have new carpet not installed yet. Some of the improvements listed above completed during 2000 resto.
1990 Drivetrain resurrections.
Replaced factory Rearend with a Ford 9" Nodular 3.5 gear ratio and came out of a ranchero. New clutches axle bearings spring perches brakes. Replaced brake lines and brakes and added new dual reservoir manual master cylinder. Changed out original 4 leaf spring to a custom made 6 leaf spring suspension with new poly bushings and traction bar(s). And added "addco" heavy duty rear sway bar ¾". Crager Rear rims 15"x 8" with 235 x 50 something's phat as possible 10" wide tires under wheelwells. Looks tite and clean! Tread worn. Converted power brakes to manual system with oversized dual reservoir. LTD Driveshaft shortened with yoke change to accept C-4 and the 9" nodular rearend. New shock absorbers.
Transmission original mercomatic. Rebuilt and beefed up to C-4 conversions. Clutches valve body tranny completely overhauled to new. 12" x 6" transmission cooler added behind grill tucked in nicely. Torque converter 10" TCI-451500 with 2600-2800 stall. Turbo Action Cheetah shifter and Cheetah console with custom brackets mounting shifter over hump. NHRA approved driveshaft loop. Torque converter done in 2000 and valve body changed and added cast aluminum deeper more capacity trans pan.
Replaced front coil springs with new heavy duty Comet station wagon and poly bushings. Converted power steering to manual steering removing pump hoses and other. Looks Tite and neat and clean without the power steering cumbersome components and is still easy enough to steer even with the 13" Grant GT steering wheel. Replaced factory sway bar with performance type "addco" 1" heavy duty sway bar and replaced factory bushings with poly bushings. New front brakes and brake lines with Hurst line lock plumbed in and electrically connected to Cheetah shifter handle thumb switch. Front rims 15" x 6" Cragars tires ok tread. New shocks. New front wheel bearings. The car sits stout aggressive muscle era. Not a low rider by any means.
1990 Original block dipped and bored over .030 with trw pistons 10:1 shot peened rods ARP bolt kit And especially crank shaft bolts. New Bearings. New oil pump new cam new lifters 351 Windsor factory heads tweaked valves reground new valve springs rocker arms. Added Dyers GMC 6-71 manifold and blower crammed into engine compartment. New headers. New holly mechanical fuel pump. 600 cfm holley carbs x 2. Approx. 500 miles put on car at that time.
2000 Engine rebuild again: Redid the motor entirely to be more blower friendly mostly changed pistons to lower compression ratio to favor blower and heads and cam. Pulled the pistons honed walls and replaced with TRW dished lower compression 8.5:1 thereabouts. ARP bolts thru ought. Changed connecting rod bearings. Changed camshaft and bearings again to favor blower motor set up profile Lunati hydrolic roller tappet camshaft Duration 284/292, Lift .500/.510. Changed to Rhoads original flat tappet hydraulic lifters. Changed to Harlon Sharpe roller rocker arms. Replaced steel 351 Windsor heads with Aluminum 351 Windsor heads Edelbrock performer RPM cylinder heads 60cc chamber volume with 2.02 intake valves and 1.6 exhaust valves. The 2000 motor rebuild to favor blower set up. New Edelbrock aluminum Elite Series valve covers. Changed headers again to 1-5/8 Hookers and added stainless steel magna flow mufflers with equalized big tube 2-1/2" exhaust pipe header collector out the rear. Stainless steel exhaust tips bugle type. New water pump with billet pully. New MSD blaster coil electronic ignition module located to under dashboard. Added 80 amp alternator with billet machined pulley. Gear drive cam. Switched carbs to blower mod'd 2 x 450 cfm holley carbs. Horsepower current somewhere in the 400 to 500 range depending on how hard you hit it! The blower boost runs slightly over 10 lbs boost when accelerating hard. New battery 2013. New oil and filter 2013. New starter 2013.
2000 Body work: Prepped and Epoxy primered again this time with pink color. Added classic Sun Tachometer. Changed to Mallory oil press and temperature guages. And Auto light boost gauge. Have 2nd dash cluster from other part comet too. Have all glass and all other parts as well. And many additional duplicate parts & trims left over from 2nd parts car comet. Have full set of caliente insignia mercury comet too. And even got matching supercharged insignia if one wanted to put em on. My idea on the trims was to mono tone out everything. The chrome is pitted on some of the trims and the aluminum factory trim pieces is not polished. Was planning on painting all trims exept headlight trim rings and. . .. Sky is the limit on this trimming out nail polish's. Could also rechrome. This Comet Body style looks good without the hood! Some cars need the hood to complete the package. This comet body style can go either way with or without the hood. Was also thinking about getting glass hood with the factory dual scoops just for the look.
Car basically sits new ready to go. Better than new. Everything is new. This is a great car and project needing some love and lipstick to finish it off. This was a labor of love. Gas mileage can vary tremendously from 8 MPG on upto 15 MPG depending on how hard you hit the gas. The 450 CFM's x 2 Holley's was the latest fuel delivery change. I never really drove the car and raced it about 6 times at the track in 2000 era and drove locally around town. About a 1000 miles since 90 resurrection. And 500 miles since 2000 resurrection. Car will do high 11's at the track with current blower drive set up and rear gear ratio. Car is set up for street cruising. Car runs fine on premium pump gas.