Who: Dan Spere
What: '64 Mercury Comet wagon
Where: Aloha, Oregon. By the way, the locals pronounce it uh-low-uh, not uh-Lo-ha, like the Hawaiian version.
Engine: Speed-O-Motive built the 351W with some tough parts. The block was clearanced to fit a 3.850-inch stroker, bringing the displacement up to 393 inches, and a 4.030-inch bore. Forged 11.0:1 SRP pistons and forged H-beam rods round out the reciprocating assembly. The big Comp hydraulic roller is rated at 232/240 degrees and 0.565/0.574-inch lift. The engine is topped with AFR 205 aluminum heads, and Dan guesses it makes about 480 hp at the flywheel.
Intake: The ubiquitous 750 Holley Double-Pumper is perched atop a Victor Jr. intake manifold. Dan added the Crites ram-air kit that draws cool air in fromwhere the high-beams used to be.
Exhaust: Crites 131/44-inch headers scavenge the cylinder heads, dumping into Dan's homemade cross-pipe exhaust system. He tucked the 3-inch tubes and DynoMax mufflers as close to the floor as possible. The cross-pipe kit came from Summit Racing.
Ignition: Dan runs an MSD large-cap billet distributor, MSD Digital-6 Plus ignition box, MSD Blaster coil, and MSD 8mm Heli-Core wires. He should get sponsorship, huh?
Transmission: Mike's Transmission in Palmdale, California, built the C4 bolted to Dan's Windsor. Dan does the shifting himself through a reverse manual valvebody. A 10-inch converter stalls at 3,500 rpm, and the whole thing is supposed to handle up to 800 hp.
Rearend: Dan dumped the old 8-inch rear for a hotter 9-inch he bought from eBay. It was sold without the centersection but with 31-spline Dutchman axles. He bought a used centersection locally that was equipped with a locking differential and 3.73:1 gears.
Suspension: Dan left things mostly stock, only adding 620-lb/in front springs and CalTracs bars to the stock rear leaf springs. Simple but effective.
Brakes: All stock here. Dan plans to convert to front disc brakes soon.
Wheels/Tires: Nothing but steel wheels would look good on a car like this. Dan employed the little-known trick of using Studebaker wheels up front. They're only 4 inches wide and are drilled with the same 5x4.5-inch bolt pattern Ford uses. The rear steelies are custom-offset 15x8-inchers. Coker bias-ply skinnies are mounted up front, while 26x9.5 Hoosier Quick Time Pro slicks are on the rear.
Interior: Dan had the interior redone by Beaverton Auto Upholstery in Beaverton, Oregon. The shop restored the wagon with the original black upholstery and carpet. He added the radio- and heater-delete plates. Race car cool.
Performance: The car is fast enough to get Dan kicked off the track, so he has to sandbag at the top end. The one time he did stay in it he ran an 11.40 e.t. With a 'cage and harnesses installed, Dan would like to get into the low 10s.