Joe Greeves
July 21, 2010

With power taken care of, detailing was next. One look inside the engine compartment will show you the care and engineering that went into this car. Roberts concentrated on building the engine and mounting all the components. Multiple handmade brackets throughout the build show that this was no simple, bolt-together exercise. Alverado added his talents, installing the air-conditioning, hiding the hoses in the fenderwells, creating custom gas and brake lines, and routing everything to maintain the sanitary look. Note the trans cooler, mounted on the inner fender panel and fitted with custom duct work that's hidden from view.

But high-performance was only one of Crenshaw's goals for his latest Comet. A quick glance at the interior and you'll see that luxury and comfort were also high on his list. Tom McFadden of Bitchin' Stichin' in Deltona, Florida, began the makeover with Dynamat in the doors, floors, kick panels, firewall, package tray, and trunk. He created the block pattern, black leather interior, covering both front buckets and the rear bench seat. Look up and you'll see his custom leather headliner, then check out the handmade leather dash cover, and finally note the matching side panels in the trunk. Black Dorsett nylon-pile carpet covers the floor and as a finishing touch, McFadden stitched the Comet logos into the dash and headrests.

While that might have been enough for most, it was just the starting point for Crenshaw's high-tech Comet. The car boasts a Grant steering wheel and a row of Autometer Phantom white-face gauges in an aluminum housing. The large Auto Meter tach with shift light keeps track of the high-revving 427. Power windows were installed, using nostalgic AutoLoc window crank-style switches. Custom billet controls were designed for the air-conditioning, electric door locks, driving lights, and electric fans. A B&M Hammer shifter adds a competition flavor.

Crenshaw kept the body fairly stock, wanting the original lines to show through. A fiberglass hoodscoop was added to clear the intake and Tri-Bar headlights up front give the car a European flair. Instead of the usual two taillights and two backup lights, the Comet sports four taillights with custom-fitted Mustang reverse lights mounted in the rear pan. Preferred Auto in Deland and Crockett's Auto Body in Orange City wrapped up the two-year build, accomplishing the bodywork and paint, spraying the car a combination of Indigo Black and Sublime green.

What's the next item on the agenda? Now that the car is complete, Crenshaw is looking forward to this year's Power Tour, enjoying it with his good friends Bill and Alex. The best part is all three will be driving Comets from Chip's garage! Hey, got an extra car for your favorite automotive photojournalist?

The Details
Chip Crenshaw's '74 Mercury Comet

Engine

  • World Products Man-O-War Windsor 427 block
  • 4.125-inch bore
  • 4-inch stroke
  • Eagle 6.200-inch I-beam rods
  • Mahle forged pistons
  • Total Seal rings
  • Eagle forged steel crankshaft
  • AFR 205 heads, CNC ported, 2.080-inch intake, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Comp Cam hydraulic roller cam, 0.579 lift, 286/300 duration at 0.050
  • Crane Cams shaft mount roller rockers, 1.6:1 ratio
  • Ford Racing 42-lb/hr injectors
  • Accufab 90mm throttle body
  • Ford late-model Mustang EFI
  • Trick Flow Street Heat intake
  • Trick Flow valve covers
  • MSD TFI distributor, 6AL ignition and ignition coil
  • March Performance serpentine beltdrive
  • Taylor ignition wires
  • PMAS mass airflow meter
  • SCT Performance Chip

Transmission

  • Lentech four-speed automatic overdrive
  • 3,400-rpm 9-inch stall converter
  • B&M Hammer shifter

Rearend

  • Currie built 9-inch
  • Richmond 3.55 gears

Exhaust

  • Custom-built headers, 1 3/4-inch primaries
  • 2 1/2-inch exhaust
  • Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension

  • Front: Rod & Custom Mustang II, tubular A-arms, rack-and-pinion power steering, Eagle coilovers
  • Rear: Stock leaf springs, traction bars, Gabriel shocks

Brakes

  • Front: Disc, 11-inch rotor, single-piston caliper
  • Rear: Disc, 11-inch rotor, single-piston caliper

Wheels

  • Front: Weld polished aluminum Rodlite, 15x6
  • Rear: Weld polished aluminum Rodlite, 15x8

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P215/65R15
  • Rear: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P255/65R15

Interior

  • Custom black leather, bucket seats, Auto Meter Phantom gauges, Grant wheel, A/C, JVC Stereo with 6x9 speakers in the rear package tray and front kick panels, Optima Red Top battery in the trunk

Exterior

  • Custom Indigo Black and Sublime Green two-tone paint, Tri-Bar headlights, fiberglass hoodscoop, four Comet taillights, Mustang backup lights, Shelby Mustang gas cap