Rod Short
September 3, 2013

Dan sold off the Torino with all of the extra parts and used the proceeds to buy what he wanted for his project car. Over the cold winter months, he installed a straight axle with parallel leaf springs—cutting edge technology in the mid-'60s—to help with weight transfer. He drove it around for a while like that and then tackled relocating the rear. The entire rear axle assembly was moved forward a full 12 inches, while the suspension was modified with 2½-inch arched rear springs and 60-inch ladder bars. A shortened driveshaft, new trunk floor, and modified rear wheel openings were then completed to finish the makeover.

At this point, Dan stripped the paint down to the bare metal and finished the body and paintwork with Martin-Senour Wimbledon White with aid from Russ Moyer and Fat Boy Dale Palmer. The end result wasn't what he hoped for, but Dan was undaunted and determined that this “Toxic Element” wasn't going to be the end of him. So, the car was restripped and then painted again at Mike Miller's Auto in Pittsburgh. From there, the car went back to the home garage to await final assembly.

Don's engine choice has significant power without sacrificing reliability on the street. What really sets it off, however, is the Garlits IN-600 Street Injection that pro

With 427 cammer engines being essentially priceless, Dan went with a much more reasonable 385-series 460 V-8 and stroked it out to 495 cubic inches, which is more than enough for a street-driven tribute car! With a stock bottom end, Blue Thunder out-of-the-box heads, a Comp Cams valvetrain and a single Demon carburetor, Don's engine choice has significant power without sacrificing reliability on the street. What really sets it off, however, is the Garlits IN-600 Street Injection that provides a period-correct Hilborn look without sacrificing part-throttle driveability.

With a Top Loader four-speed backed by a Ford 9-inch rear, a six-point rollcage, and Halibrand replica wheels, the Comet is an altered wheelbase driver that turns heads wherever it goes. People today may not know why Dan's car looks the way it does, but it's funny business that they most always want to know more about!

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The Details

Dan Parson Jr's '67 Mercury Comet 202
Engine
Ford 495-cid V-8, assembled by Dan Parson Jr.
385 series block
4.440-inch bore
3.950-inch stroke
Stock Ford 460 crank
Chrysler 440 connecting rods with ARP bolts
JE pistons
Competition Cams camshaft, 0.568-inch intake/0.577-inch exhaust lift, 240 intake/244 exhaust duration at 0.050
Blue Thunder BBF aluminum cylinder heads 2.250 intake, 1.880 exhaust
Competition Cams rocker arms 1.72 intake/exhaust
Competition Cams pushrods 7.850 length
Weiand aluminum intake manifold
Demon 750-cfm carburetor
MSD 6AL ignition with 2-step
9.5:1 compression ratio
Transmission
Top Loader four-speed
Hurst shifter
Rearend
Ford 9-inch
Traction-Lok differential
3.25:1 gears
Exhaust
Homemade fenderwell headers, 2-inch primary tubes and 3.5-inch collectors
Suspension
Front: Straight axle conversion with parallel springs, centerline moved forward 5 inches
Rear: 2.5-inch re-arched springs, 60-inch ladder bars, axle moved forward 12 inches
Brakes
Front: Stock disc, 10.8-inch
Rear: Stock drum, 11-inch
Wheels
Front: Halibrand-style replica, 15x4
Rear: Halibrand-style replica, 15x8
Tires
Front: Nankang, 185R15
Rear: Towel City Pie Crust Cheater Slicks, 28.5x9x15
Interior
Stock upholstery, eight-point rollbar, RCI racing harnesses, underdash gauges, dash-mounted tachometer, rear seat delete
Exterior
Stock Comet 202 body; rear wheelwells relocated 12 inches forward; Martin-Senour Wimbledon White paint by Dan Parson Jr., with Mike Miller, and Fat Boy Dale Palmer; vintage graphics and decals; external-mounted fuel cell; hoodpins; yellow high-beam lights; external mounted on/off battery cut-off switch