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Car Profiles

Larry's 64 Cosmic Comet Is A Real Site to See!

December 09, 2011 by Chad Houghton
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Mercury couldn't let Ford have all the fun in the drag racing wars.  So, in 1964 they created their own race division and built 21 light weight Comets.  Dyno Don Nicholson showed up to the track in one of the lightened and race prepped 64 Comets.  Dyno Don ended up setting the NMRA A/FX class record and walked away with many wins.  The old phrase, win on Sunday, sell on Monday still echos of the years gone past. If I had seen this 64 Comet back in the day I would have walked in on Monday and said sold! Larry Altmeyer is the owner of this perfectly built Comet. I have to say that this is the nicest and cleanest 64 Comet that I have ever seen.  The story and history of this car is something you would like to hear while sitting around a camp fire but I'll do my best to write it for you.

This car was bought by Larry's friend who found it sitting in a school bus, yes you read that right a school bus! The story goes, a husband and wife used to cruise in the car but when his wife got sick they parked it.  Tired of having people coming around and asking if it was for sale, she told her husband to get rid of it. The husband asked "Sell it?" she said," No, I just don't want to see it anymore, just get it out of my site."  Since they owned a scrap yard the man took the car up a hill on their property and cut open the back of a school bus and parked the car inside then welded it back up. Hearing the story Larry's friend went looking for the car and found it.

 

 

  The car had been sitting for 9 years when they cut the back of the bus off to get a look at it.  There was so much dust he couldn't even tell what colour it was.  A deal was struck and a new life for the Comet began.  Larry's friend worked on it for 3 years getting the body straight and fixing up the interior. He approached Larry to build him an engine. Larry agreed and built a 331 stroker with some of Larry's old parts. Once the motor was done and running in the car Larry's friend asked if he wanted to buy it. His friend had just finished building the car and Larry already ran a Mustang in NHRA Super Stock C.  It was Larry's wife who said, "Yeah, but we can go for ice cream in that car!

When Larry brought the car home he went to work to make it into the car he wanted to drive.  "The car is basically a tribute to the 60's era," Larry said. "I tell you what it's period correct Dyno Don Nichoson, Sox and Martin and I was kinda at a loss.  I wanted to put a big block in it because they all ran big blocks but I remember when I was a kid, Nash ran a small block.  The only small block car with Weber Carburetors and he was kicking buns.  He did good, he ran as fast as the big bird cars so I said you know what I'm going to leave it in there."

We had a 4 barrel on it and my wife said, "I'm tired of everyone saying I had a 64 Comet just like this.  If we put the injection on it, it wont be just like this anymore."  So thats what we did.  It was on my bucket list so we put the injection on it.

"I put bucket seats in it because I thought that was a better tribute to all those race cars"

Larry had just finished the engine build  for his friend when he ended up buying the Comet. The foundation of the build was a Motorsport block, Bryant crank, small roller cam and some AFR 185 heads. To bang the gears on the up and down rows is a T5 with G force parts which was also selected to help with driving on the street. The car was mini tubed when Larry picked it up.  Since he had a spare Mark Williams 9 inch setup, left over from his race car, Larry threw it under the rear frame rails. With 31 spline axles and a 4.88 gears outback that 5 speed comes in handy when driving around on the street. 

 

Now you would think that a car this size with a little motor the car would fall on it's face when launched but thanks to the fiberglass hood, trunk lid and bumpers that is not the case.  The car weighs in at only 3100 pounds, lays down 1/4 mile times within the 11.50's at 119mph. Larry and his wife have built themselves a crusier, show stopper and a racer all rolled into one car. For the Altmeyer family it's race on Sunday and go get ice cream on Monday!

For more photo's of this car Click Here...