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1971 Mercury Comet - Walter's Comet
It's Hurtling Through Space And Time To Give You A Good Look At What Things Were Like In 1971
Halley's comet has to be one of the most famous rocks in the universe. Mark Twain came in and out of this world on its passing, people have engendered superstitions about it and always await its coming with great anticipation (don't get too excited, it's not supposed to be back until 2061-doubt I'll be here for that).
When we saw Walter Garrett's sexy, little, black '71 Comet we felt elation, just as the Babylonians who recorded Halley's passing in 164 BC must have experienced. "Why?" you might ask. Well, when was the last time you saw a really well-done Comet? Almost never, right? That's what we thought. Though we come across a fair amount of Mavericks in our travels, rarely do we get to experience the "upgraded" Comet; even rarer is to find a clean example of a Comet GT. But such was our luck at the Fun Ford Weekend at Commerce, Georgia, back in 2003.
When we first came across Walter's Comet, we were stunned at how nicely it was done. The black interior is maxed out with a floor shift C4 automatic, bucket seats, air conditioning, and-wonder of wonders-a crack-free dash pad (Keep an eye on that, Walter. Shelby Cox is looking for one). It also has ginny door panels that still have their chrome Mylar. Walter, like most of us, has to have tunes to make his world complete, so an am/fm tape deck and four-speaker system help him crank up the volume.
Outside, the black paint is offset by a vinyl roof, the white GT stripe kit, and the Boss nine-style hoodscoop. Rolling stock is basic, but cool with baby moon caps and trim rings that mount BFGoodrich T/A's in P225/70R14 on all four corners. In keeping with the stock feel, Walter has seen fit to run the factory drum brakes for the foreseeable future.
Under the scooped hood, the GT starts to shake, rattle, and roll. The original 302 has been updated with ported heads, a Crane cam, and a complete rebuild down low. Up top is an Edlebrock Performer intake, Carter 625-cfm carb that feeds Hedman headers, and a full dual exhaust system. Though you'd think he might be running a big, rock-solid 9-inch with some stout gearage, Walter has stuck by his 8-inch diff and 3.00:1 rear gears. Not much for drag race starts, but it sure helps on the highway when coupled with the C4.
Because we are so enamored with this black beauty, we hope to see Walter's Comet more frequently than Halley's. Though both are fast and beautiful, the only one we'd want to ride is Walter's