Jeff Adelsberger's only motivation to get a job in high school was to be able to afford a car. Before he could start saving, he would peek over his father's shoulder absorbing all of the knowledge he could about cars as his father worked. He watched everything from tuning a carburetor, to how wax is applied and removed. He wanted to be able do all these things himself when the time came for him to have a ride of his own. He worked hard, and had enough money to buy his first car when he was 15. It was a '73 Mustang with a poor running 351 Cleveland that caught his eye. It was for sale for $500 and he quickly handed over the cash. The heads needed to be rebuilt before he could drive it, but when that was done, the Mustang didn't captivate him as much as he thought it would. The idea of selling it came up, and a dealer wanted to show it to a couple of clients he had in mind. Jeff entertained this idea by bringing it down to the dealer. This is where he met his '66 Comet Caliente. With only 65,000 miles on the clock, the price tag shocked Jeff at $2,000. His hope faded about as quickly as his excitement had climbed. Luckily, Jeff didn't know how badly the dealer wanted his Mustang, and with some negotiating, they agreed to trade the cars straight up.
This was almost 20 years ago, and Jeff has no regrets on this swap. In that time, he's kept the red interior and all of the factory brightwork, but has made substantial changes. Thanks to Booze Brothers Racing, the factory 289 was removed, and a 347 stroker took its place. It's backed by a big-boned
C-4 automatic with a TCI converter that helps give it the skip in its step.
He plans on keeping this muscle car in the family so that when his now 9-year-old son is old enough for a car of his own, he can have the Comet. This car meant so much to Jeff over the years; he looks forward to handing it down to his son. Maybe Jeff will build himself another one to cruise alongside him.
By The Numbers
1966 Mercury Comet
Jeff Adelsberger, 37 • Hagerstown, MD
Performance: 425 hp