The trick Art Morrison Max G frame features a four-link rear suspension, coilovers at the corners, and tubular twin A-arms up front. Since this setup mounts the front springs and shocks directly to the frame instead of the body, it allows removing the factory shock towers and welding up custom inner fenders in their place. With the generous external dimensions of twin-cam Ford mod motors, the extra real estate was a welcome blessing when it came time to stuff the GT500 mill into position. Other necessary tweaks included moving the firewall back an inch, and cutting a portion of the inner hood bracing to make space for the blower snout. Granted, fitting such a large motor in a tight engine compartment is a feat in itself, but just as impressive is the fit and finish. The motor uses a stock Ford computer, wiring harness, airbox, and air-to-water intercooler assembly. Sean Hyland Motorsports tuned it all up. "Our goal was to use as much of the stock equipment as possible and make it look like a factory install. From the electronics to the air intake, everything is off of the original GT500 motor," Chris says.
Although the '65 Comet bears a striking resemblance to a 2/3-scale '65 GTO, it's never been received as a handsome package. To help it stand out from the back, Josh and Chris schemed up a plethora of custom touches inside and out. One of the most obvious tweaks is a set of custom hoodscoops that mimic the look of a Cyclone. The original Mercury logo has been removed from the front grille and replaced with a custom "GT500" badge, and the Bullitt-style side mirrors were heisted off of a Mustang. "We actually did a lot more eliminating than adding. This Comet is a Caliente model, so it had all kinds of badging on it everywhere," Chris says. "We eliminated most of the emblems and also shaved the keyholes. Our shop builds both muscle cars and street rods, so we like mixing elements of both together. There is a custom flush-mounted third brake light mounted beneath the rear windshield. It's blacked out, so unless someone's stepping on the brakes, you can't tell it's there."
Less obvious but equally impressive is the custom interior. Don't tell PETA, but a total of five cows donated their hides to cover this Comet's cocoon. Even more bizarre and facetiously satisfying are the inlays on the custom seats. It looks like suede leather, but it's actually Stingray hide. It took six of the little dudes to pull off the custom stitching. The leather-lined seats, dash, door, headliner, and center console are all custom one-offs. Air ducts have been integrated into the dash itself instead of sticking out at the bottom, and a custom shift light is hidden beneath the stereo where the cigarette lighter is supposed to be. Furthermore, the logo of the Mercury man that was originally inside the stock horn button was removed and affixed to the instrument panel between the speedometer and tach.
In an era where browsing through online classifieds is often more productive than spending the day at a swap meet, the way Josh's Comet was built is somewhat amusing, but not all that surprising. "Josh had the car shipped from California directly to our shop, and didn't actually see it until it was having the interior installed," Chris says. "When he first saw it, he had a weird look on his face like we painted it the wrong color. He then said that he'd never actually seen a '65 Comet in person before, and thought they were much bigger cars. That might be why he wanted to put the bigger 5.4L motor in it, but I guess he now has a lot more power in a much smaller can than he planned."
The Art Morrison Max G frame...
The Art Morrison Max G frame enables routing the exhaust and driveshaft inside the frame itself. Consequently, even with the Comet's killer stance, ground clearance isn't an issue.
To de-clutter the Comet's...
To de-clutter the Comet's lines, all frivolous trim bits were removed from the sheetmetal, including the original "Comet" lettering scattered across the trunk lid. Woody's laid down the PPG Black urethane paint in-house.