In 1964 Mercury introduced the second generation Mercury Comet which featured a few front and rear end Lincoln Continental styling queues on a body that does not differ greatly from the second generation Ford Falcon also introduced in 1964.
A Cyclone performance package was offered for the Comet which included a 4,736 cc / 289 cui V8 producing 210 hp in 1964, but only 200 hp the following year despite an upgrade to a four barrel carburetor for the latter.
Bill Stroppe and partner Clay Smith got started running a manufacturer sanctioned Lincoln / Mercury west coast race shop after impressing Ford’s top brass at the 1947 Henry Ford Memorial Regatta with their Miss Art Hall a Mercury flat head six power boat.
Bill won an SCCA championship with a Mercury powered Kurtis 500S in 1952 and prepared four car teams of Lincoln Capri’s which swept their class on the Carrera Panamerica in 1952 and 1953.
After producing police packages for Mercury’s and working with Autolite during the 1957 to 1963 ban on manufacturer involvement in racing Bill Stroppe returned to the tracks with his stock car team who’s drivers included Parnelli Jones, Dave MacDonald and Darel Dieringer that found most of it’s success on the USAC circuit and at Pikes Peak.
Bill also produced a string of successful drag racers for Frank Christman and others and even convinced Parnelli – Jones to extend his career into the 1970’s to drive his successful Baja Bronco off road vehicles.
Exactly what Bill Stroppe Racing Associates involvement with Roger Wills ’65 Cyclone historic racer chassis #4T27K546286, seen in these photographs, was is not clear at this time, if you know please do not hesitate to chime in below.
Roger has shared his Comet Cyclone in historic endurance events with 2 time European GT Champion and IMSA GT Champion John Fitzpatrick, 5 times Le Mans winner Emmanuele Pirro and current works Porsche driver and fellow New Zealander Brendon Hartley.
Thanks for joining me on this “Continental Falcon” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !