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We keep a variety of exciting vehicles here at Diversion Motors, but there always seems to be that one car everyone stops to look at and wants to talk about. This 1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone is that car. This B/FX lightweight replica that has a tremendous presence just standing still. But there is so much more to know about this fantastic Cyclone; fiberglass body panels, aluminum-headed solid lifter 351W, 4-speed transmission, and a ton of other features on an incredibly clean build that is an absolute blast to drive.
To begin, this is a real 5J27 Comet Cyclone built at the Los Angeles plant. This rust-free car was completely restored and converted into a lightweight replica with 3,000 miles since completion. The hood, fenders, doors, trunk lid, and front bumper were all converted to fiberglass pieces in the spirit of the old factory drag cars, while the original quarters and roof remain. The fit and finish are exceptional; rarely do fiberglass panels have such a factory look. Note the door windows are Lexan as well. The car was painted its original red and received vinyl graphics that pay tribute to the legendary “Dyno” Don Nicholson.
But there is so much more to this Cyclone than its lightweight components and dynamic appearance. Take a look at the underside and underhood pictures and you’ll see what I mean. The inner shock towers have been modified and clearanced for more engine room. There are subframe connectors to stiffen the car along with a driveshaft hoop. The rear suspension was fitted with massive traction bars along with relocated spring mounts and adjustable air shocks. Those hood scoops are not just for looking at; they are part of a functional ram-air setup. The battery has been moved to the trunk. And not to be overlooked is the high build quality throughout.
The original A-code 289ci V8 has been replaced with a more capable 351W. This engine has been warmed over with a sold lifter camshaft, Edelbrock E-Street aluminum heads, Offenhauser split single plane intake, and a Mallory distributor. It is topped by a Holley double pumper carburetor fed by an electric fuel pump and surrounded by a turkey pan for the ram-air setup. Also note the remote oil filter and Howe aluminum radiator. While there is plenty of power on tap, this setup still runs on pump gas and has reasonable street manners. It also sounds fantastic through the headers and dual exhaust. The motor is backed by a Toploader 4-speed transmission and a beefy 9” rear end with 4.11 gears.
The red interior continues the B/FX theme with a roll bar and fiberglass racing buckets. The back seat has been replaced with a fiberglass bench while the dashboard’s glove box, radio, and ash tray sections have been deleted. Everything is nicely finished including the door panels, carpet, and headliner. There is an original style gauge cluster and steering wheel along with a Stewart-Warner tachometer on the dash. The door window regulators have been removed in favor of simple (and light) adjusting straps. Note this car remains street legal with a working horn, wipers, lights, turn signals, heater/defroster, courtesy lights, backup lights, and a parking brake.
This Cyclone has a lot to offer. It is a quality build with all the lightweight pieces and stunning visuals, yet it remains a street-legal pump gas car with a great drivetrain for just 1/4 the price of a factory car. The driving experience is tremendous fun and a real throwback. Just be prepared to fight the urge to race everyone you see.