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Restored 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone Goes Way Beyond A Stock Rebuild

As we’ve seen before, a lifetime spent around fast cars often leads to an amazing project later in life. This recreated 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone is no exception and Mike Lookner gave this one his all. It helps to start building on a platform that came with power and light weight right out of the factory.1

Growing up in a household that always had American muscle and European sports cars is a great start. A 1972 Porche 911 and a 1971 Mustang with a Cobra Jet 429 in the garage are great examples. Cementing his early love for cars were street races at Norwood, Massachusetts and track races at New England Dragway.5

This track is where he first saw the A/FX drag cars that would eventually inspire this Mercury Comet build. Before getting to this point, he ran a series of Camaros and Novas in both big and small block configurations. All of this while being a sales manager at a Porche dealership, keeping the sports car love alive as well.4

Starting from the most solid Comet Cyclone he and his brother could find, step one was frame reinforcement. This is definitely needed when you’re planning on packing enough power to twist a stock frame. This was followed by new axles, monoleaf springs, and adjustable coilover suspension. The final step in this portion was finding just the right wheels and tires for street and track purposes.2

Under the hood is a big block with 469 cubic inches making about 650 horsepower after some machining. The transmission is a complete new build from Monster Transmission that sends that power to the rear wheels. A completely modernized refresh under the hood ensures that there’s as much gain as possible.7

Lookner wasn’t happy with just having a machine built for performance though. He also wanted to be show competition ready at all times as well. To that end, there was quite a bit of work that needed to be done in the cabin and all across the exterior. This is where Competition Specialties from Walpole came in to save the day with beautiful metal work.3

The body was refinished with sheet metal on the exterior while they reset the gaps to make it perfect before paint. It sounds like a simple process but metal work gets very difficult when it involves this level of detail. They laid down several coats of Brandywine which ends up being just slightly off from some colors that we see often. This slight difference makes the car a complete eye catching tone that seems to change with the light and angle it’s seen in.6

It was straight to the task at hand with the interior design, there’s no room for creature comforts when you’ve got races to win. A Simpson Racing harness system works with the four point roll bar to ensure safety. The gauges and layout of the dash are all based on factory spec except for the Grant steering wheel.

After all the works that’s gone into it, Mike Lookner ended up with a visual showstopper and a drag race monster. His 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone hits all the right notes for fans of classic American muscle. As the final result of a lifelong passion, we’re glad that Mike chose to share his creation with the world.

Categories: Production Cars

James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to read about and research all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I always have a vehicle build happening on one side of my garage for myself and a second bay open for my friends to come and build their dreams too.