Modified Mustangs & FordsFeatured Vehicles
1967 427 Mercury Comet - Unexpected Sighting
Astronomers Wait Decades to See a Comet This Rare, We Just Had to Wait One Year
Ford and Mercury buffs are spellbound by limited-production rides. We get dizzy over Daytonacoupes, lose all control over Thunderbolt Fairlanes, and rub our eyes over rides like this '67 427 Mercury Comet two-door post sedan.
Owner Pete Robinson tells us a friend found this one while looking for a 427 Fairlane. Fairlane guys aren't always interested in their Mercury counterparts, even when decidedly rare. Pete's buddy was no exception, but he knew Pete wanted a rare big-block Mercury intermediate.
Mercury built just 60 427 Comets in 1967 and just 22 two-door post sedans. In 1967, there were a lot of Comet sedans with 289 two-barrel V-8s and C4 Select-Shift automatics running around, but few were equipped like this one. Because these were lightweight factory racers that could be purchased turnkey from Mercury dealers, a lot of people ordered these for drag racing when they were new. As a result, very few of them survived. Some were lost to racing accidents, others were lost when their 427s were used for some greater purpose, and the bodies were scrapped. Whatever the story, finding a survivor from the 22 produced is unusual.
Pete's modest Comet sedan is a 19,899-mile clad in Polar White. Although it's easy to assume this Comet is factory original, it's not. It was restored by Roger Holdaway of Orange, California, many years ago with a strong eye on keeping it authentic. You can't help but appreciate this car during a walk around. The refrigerator-white finish appears to be factory original, although it's not. Roger gave it just the right amount of orange peel to simulate the factory finish. He also did all of the right things for a showroom demeanor. Beneath the 427 Comet-specific hood is Ford's Le Mans-winning 427ci FE big-block sporting twin 652-cfm Holley carburetors on top of a medium-riser intake manifold.
Right off the assembly line, these 427s produced 425 hp at 6,000 rpm. In 1967, those numbers caused goose bumps when someone cracked the throttle and released the clutch. The 427 is a large-bore, short-stroke big-block powerhouse that behaves differently than the longer-stroke 428. As a result, the 427 pours on strong at a higher rpm range than the 428.
When it's time to take the Comet for a spin, the close-ratio Top Loader allows Pete to make the most of the 427's high-revving personality. He starts out with 2.32 gears and cruises through the cogs. A 9-inch nodular-iron chunk with 3.89 gears uses a Traction-Lok differential and 31-spline axles to get the message to F70x14 pizza-cutter bias-ply Firestone tires.
The interior is base blue vinyl and a cut above the Fairlane with full instrumentation that includes a 0-8,000-rpm tachometer. Vinyl and cloth make the interior both comfortable and inviting.
Outside, the Comet wasn't much on aesthetics, virtually devoid of any trim work. As here, it had dog dish poverty caps and steel 14x6-inch wheels clad in body color. Under the hood, its structure is specially modified to clear the 427's long-profile air cleaner. Closer inspection of the shock towers reveals holes bored through the steel to access exhaust-header bolts. Special reinforcements exclusive to the Ford and Mercury 427 intermediates can be seen behind the hood hinges.
Pete is no stranger to the Ford legacy. His Comet shares space with a variety of respected stable mates, including a '66 Comet Cyclone GT, '68 Falcon sports coupe, '85 Mustang LX 5.0, '67 Fairlane GT, '69 Cougar Eliminator, '70 428 Cobra Jet Mustang Mach 1, '70 Boss 302, and a '69 Fairlane Cobra Jet, but it was the Comet that Pete brought to the 2005 All-Ford Nationals. The annual Carlisle, Pennsylvania show is the perfect place to spot such rare Ford iron.
Pete's greatest challenge is finding time to drive these cars, but he knows which ones mean the most to him. The rare Comet sighting Pete experienced a few short years ago changed his perspective to some degree. Powerful sedans like this one don't show up every day.
1967 Comet Sedan
Owner: Pete Robinson, Reisterstown, MD
- 427ci FE big-block V-8
- 4.230-inch bore, 3.780-inch-stroke steel crank
- Forged I-beam connecting rods
- Forged pistons
- 427 medium-riser iron heads with 2.19/1.73-inch valves
- 427 medium-riser V-8 intake with twin 652-cfm Holley carburetors
- Flat-tappet mechanical camshaft with .500-inch lift and 306-degree duration
- Shaft-mounted adjustable Ford rocker arms, 1.76 ratio
- 11:1 compression
- Close-ratio Top Loader four-speed
- Hurst shifter
- 9-inch nodular iron
- 3.89 gears
- 31-spline axles
- Factory cast-iron exhaust headers
- Factory dual-exhaust system
- Front: Coil-over upper-arm suspension with sway bar, shocks, and strut rods
- Rear: Conventional leaf-spring with shocks
- Front: Four-piston Kelsey-Hayes disc
- Rear: Drum
- Front: Body-color steel wheel, 14x6-inch
- Rear: Body-color steel wheel, 14x6-inch
- Front: Goodyear F70x14 bias-ply
- Rear: Goodyear F70x14 bias-ply
- Standard Comet interior in blue vinyl and cloth, full instrumentation, and bench seat
- Polar White with base Comet trim package