1972 Mercury Comet Two Door.....1 Of 1 Car

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Ownership Satus:
Currently own it
302 - 8 cylinder
PPG black cherry metalic with ghost panels front and rear. The majority of lower chrome body trim and emblems have been removed or painted.
  • Hotrock is a 1972 Mercury Comet, an original 302 V8 car. There were 82,360 Mercury Comets built during late 1971 and 1972. Hotrock is 1 of 34 Comet V8, 2 door sedans built with paint code 2B (Bright Red), Trim Code KA (Black Vinyl Bench Seat) and (Black Vinyl Top). Having a bench seat in combination with the black vinyl roof makes Hotrock a rare Comet. Of those 34, only 3 were built with the handling suspension. Of those 3 only 1 was built with optional D70x14 belted white sidewall Firestone Wide Oval tires. Hotrock is that Comet; therefore, a very rare 1 of 1 Comet.

    Copyright - Marti Auto Works. A copy of the Marti Report is in the photo section of this post.

    The 1 of 1 status was determined long after the car had already been modified. Regardless, it probably would have had precious little impact on my decision to make the modifications. I believe these cars can be made far more interesting with tasteful changes from their stock configurations.

    Hotrock now sports a Comet GT hood with a functioning scoop, a Maverick Grabber duck tail spoiler on the rear, tinted glass, and is painted PPG black cherry metallic with ghost panels front and rear. Most of the chrome and emblems have either been removed or painted the body color.

    Powered by a modified 351W for many years, Hotrock is now motivated by a 302ci `91 roller engine. It has a stock crank and rods clamped with ARP bolts and Keith Black flat top lightweight pistons. Trick Flow Stage II roller camshaft and Crane 1.6 roller rockers. A set of Air Flow Research 165cc Competition Package heads are milled to 54cc. for a 10.1:1 scr. A Weiand Stealth dual-plane intake manifold with a 1" open spacer and one of three carburetors; either a Summit Racing 600 cfm, modified Speed Demon 650 cfm or a modified Speed Demon 750 cfm vacuum secondary handle the fueling. To make spark, a Ford Dura Spark ignition system utilizes a genuine Motorcraft module that has been in service for more than 25 years. Hooker full length headers, Flow Master mufflers with custom bent 2 1/4-inch duals passed the rear bumper complete the exhaust system. The 302 in this configuration is a full second quicker in the 1/4 mile than the 351w.

    A slightly modified C4 transmission utilizing a Summit Racing 3,500 stall convertor is manually shifted during competition at 6,500 RPM. The stock 8" differential with a 3:80 traction-lok completes the drivetrain.

    I'm of the belief that if I were to change Hotrock too much it would no longer be a 1972 Mercury Comet. Therefore, the suspension is a mostly stock configuration. There is an Addco 7/8" front sway bar, gas shocks front and rear along with stock replacement three leaf rear springs. Welded on Summit Racing sub-frame connectors reduce torque twist, while CalTracs bars keep the Mickey Thompson drag radials planted.

    The interior is as it was back in 1971 when Hotrock was built. The only things added are a B&M floor shifter, retracting seat belts and a vintage Sun tachometer. Also, an aftermarket radio but no aftermarket gauges.

    Hotrock is street and highway driven, never trailered. 1/4-mile performance: 12.50s @ 109+mph. A copy of a time slip is in the photo section of this post.

    Closed headers and full exhaust at Quaker City Raceway. Turn up your speakers.

    Heads-up racing no dial-in; Hotrock and my son's Terminator face off at Thompson Raceway Park with a winning 12.6 ET. It takes more than a super charger to get through the traps first.

    Heads-up racing no dial-in; Hotrock vs a Z28 Camaro Quaker City Raceway June 24, 2015 13.16 ET at 106.18. I had a 2500 stall convertor at that time. 3:80 gears are not the best for drag racing with this combination. You can see and hear that I'm almost through the traps when shifting into third at 6,500 RPM; about the equivalent of a two speed transmission.

    I like the photo near the end of the following group where Hotrock is staged against a Hemi Charger at Dragway 42. I was running the mild 351w at the time turning about a 13.50 ET. The Charger lost!
  • Front Tire Size:
    Front Tire Make and Model:
    BFG Radial TA
    Front Wheel Width:
    6.0 in.
    Front Wheel Backspacing:
    3.5 in.
    Front Wheel Spacer:
    0 in.
    Front Wheel Make and Model:
    Murdered 1960s Vintage Keystone Klassics - No Center Caps
    Rear Tire Size:
    Rear Tire Make and Model:
    BFG Radial TA or MT Drag Radial
    Rear Wheel Width:
    8.0 in.
    Rear Wheel Backspacing:
    4.25 in.
    Rear Wheel Spacer:
    0 in.
    Rear Wheel Make and Model:
    Murdered Steel Wheels
  • Transmission Type:
    Tire Type:
    Drag Radials
    60 ft ET:
    1/8Mile ET:
    1/8Mile MPH:
    1/4 Mile ET:
    1/4 Mile MPH:
    Race Weight:
    Track Name:
    Dragway 42 - Thompson Raceway Park - Quaker City Raceway Park
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