'66 Comet
Trade-Off
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
Caliente
Jeff Adelsberger, 37 • Hagerstown, MD
Performance: 425 hp

ENGINE
Type: small-block 347ci Ford Windsor
Oiling: Melling high-volume pump, Canton pan
Rotating assembly: Diamond forged pistons,
Scat forged crank and I-beam rods
Cylinder heads: ported factory iron '69 Windsor
Camshaft: COMP custom hydraulic roller
Valvetrain: COMP roller rocker arms
and pushrods, 1.90/1.60-inch valves
Induction: Edelbrock Air-Gap intake,
Quick Fuel 650-cfm carb
Ignition: MSD 6AL ignition box,
Pro-Billet distributor,
and 8.5mm Super Conductor wires
Cooling: Griffin aluminum three-core radiator
Exhaust: Hedman shorty headers,
3-inch X-pipe exhaust system
with Bassani stainless mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: TCI 10-inch, 2,500-rpm stall converter,
Performance Automatic Competition C-4
Driveshaft: Dynoteck 3½-inch 6061 aluminum
Rear axle: Strange 9-inch housing with bracing, 4.11 gears,
Detroit Locker, Strange 31-spline axles
CHASSIS
Front suspension: Santhuff springs
Rear suspension: Calvert Racing leaf springs, Cal-Trac bars
Brakes: factory
BODY/PAINT
Body: '66 Cyclone fiberglass hood, bodywork by
Dietrich's Auto Body, Hagerstown, MD
Paint: PPG Wimbledon White
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: Weld Pro-Star aluminum, 15x8 and 15x15
Tires: P205/70R15 Firestone, 275/60R15
Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials