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Old 12-15-2016, 03:35 PM
Lance Lawson's Avatar
Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is online now
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50 Years Later And An Old Race Car is Reborn!

Back in the mid 1960's I used to frequent the drag races at Englishtown Raceway Park. I even campaigned a car one season between high school and college. There was this 1964 Comet called the Hairy Canary that was one of the more formidable cars in the B/MP class. I learned that the old Canary had actually been fitted with a 327 fuel injected engine when it became the Hairy Canary. We didn't know this at the time though. I raced a worked over Mercury in C/MP. In any event I wondered what ever became of the lithe and swift Hairy Canary but only a few photos showed up on the web until now.

The Canary began life as a white A/FX 427 Thunderbolt Comet but when it changed hands the 427 didn't go with it and it received the yellow paint and 327 by the new owners. The car changed hands again and somewhere along the line an enthusiast restorer re did the car as the correct factory A/FX 427 that it was originally. It is about to go to auction and likely will fetch a hefty sum. The photos show the car as I knew it being the Hairy Canary. The others are the new restoration. I'm glad it survived and while I would have loved to see it as the Hairy Canary of old seeing it as originally delivered is equally interesting because of my fondness for mid 60's 427 Comets, Falcons and Fairlanes. I hope it shows up on the nostalgia drag circuit.




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Last edited by Lance Lawson; 12-15-2016 at 03:47 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-15-2016, 08:49 PM
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Very cool!

Thanks for posting.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2016, 11:57 PM
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Very nice
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2016, 11:10 AM
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Thats so cool. I used to work with a guy who lived in Cecil County and he raced a Comet that had a 427 just like this one, I think his was Yellow. This was back before 2005. I haven't seen him in close to a decade now.

The Comet's, Falcon's and Galaxy cars from the 60's were really well built cars that were quite literally race cars you could buy off the showroom floor, or check off all the go-fast options you could think of.

The Galaxy 500 Thunderbolt cars were among my favorites, as were the V8 289 4 speed Falcon Sprint. The Comet's of the day received and continues to receive the attention it deserves, as an often underestimated race car, whether in show room or full race car trim.

I love to see old racers like this restored with a second chance at fame and glory.

If I could only find an old Sox & Martin E body Mopar campaign car to restore with a 426 and 4 speed, I'd be set!

Nice find there, Lance, thanks for posting it!
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2016, 12:01 PM
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Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman007 View Post
Thats so cool. I used to work with a guy who lived in Cecil County and he raced a Comet that had a 427 just like this one, I think his was Yellow. This was back before 2005. I haven't seen him in close to a decade now.

The Comet's, Falcon's and Galaxy cars from the 60's were really well built cars that were quite literally race cars you could buy off the showroom floor, or check off all the go-fast options you could think of.

The Galaxy 500 Thunderbolt cars were among my favorites, as were the V8 289 4 speed Falcon Sprint. The Comet's of the day received and continues to receive the attention it deserves, as an often underestimated race car, whether in show room or full race car trim.

I love to see old racers like this restored with a second chance at fame and glory.

If I could only find an old Sox & Martin E body Mopar campaign car to restore with a 426 and 4 speed, I'd be set!

Nice find there, Lance, thanks for posting it!

In the summer before my senior year in high school I built a hot rod 1954 Mercury I inherited from my brother when he got married. It was a mint condition 2 dr pillar less coupe. I had been saving money for a car but now I had a car. So I hot rodded the Merc. Our mechanic knew Fords and racing Fords and knew a few people. He acquired a Holman & Moody 427 Tunnel Port head engine and we fitted it to the Merc. It was wickedly fast mid 12 second 1/4 mile. I ran it a few times at Englishtown. I sold it to our mechanic as I entered college. It was impossible to deal with 7MPG even in 1969. But was great fun for the year I drove it. Car still survives I'm told with a 351 now. The 427 found it's way into a boat in the early 70's.

But the Hairy Canary Comet was a force to be reckoned with. I don't recall it ever losing. The 64 and 65 Comets are perfect drag cars.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2016, 01:11 PM
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Don't know if it's any relation, the driver name on the car is Ron Riley. I used to know a guy Don Riley, who was a fairly famous or infamous circle track driver locally.

I built my 67 Firebird motor with him, my first 383 stroked Chevy with the 202 double hump heads, steel crank, pink rods .030 over forged pistons. We picked a 292 duration .560 lift int./exh. cam with 110 degree lobe center line. The block was decked and shaved and heads were port/polished/planed as far as you could go the with iron double hump heads.

With a 4 speed and 3:55's the car was a handful, even though we had semi-tubed the rear and ran N-50's on 31 spline axles in a Ford 9" the car had major problems hooking up. we tried all sorts of suspension tricks, different springs, shocks, tires, air pressures, traction bars, you name it.

By the numbers it should have been around a 10 second @ 130mph car, as it ended up you got a great smoke show and mid 11's @ 120mph with a consistent .57 reaction time and 1.53 60' times.

I wonder if they are related?
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2016, 02:51 PM
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N50 tires brings me back to working part time for Wheel City Van Town. When the local to my work Honest Charlie Speed Shop closed the store became WCVT. Our distributor was Don's and direct competition to Van Iderstine. We used to get "blems", wheels with hard to find blemishes. I worked there for extra money and wholesale prices. Biggest tire I had on a car was L50 on aluminum slotted wheels for my 55 Chevy station wagon. Only Ford I ever had was a "winter car" a 69 Falcon.
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2016, 04:05 PM
Lance Lawson's Avatar
Lance Lawson Lance Lawson is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman007 View Post
Don't know if it's any relation, the driver name on the car is Ron Riley. I used to know a guy Don Riley, who was a fairly famous or infamous circle track driver locally.

I built my 67 Firebird motor with him, my first 383 stroked Chevy with the 202 double hump heads, steel crank, pink rods .030 over forged pistons. We picked a 292 duration .560 lift int./exh. cam with 110 degree lobe center line. The block was decked and shaved and heads were port/polished/planed as far as you could go the with iron double hump heads.

With a 4 speed and 3:55's the car was a handful, even though we had semi-tubed the rear and ran N-50's on 31 spline axles in a Ford 9" the car had major problems hooking up. we tried all sorts of suspension tricks, different springs, shocks, tires, air pressures, traction bars, you name it.

By the numbers it should have been around a 10 second @ 130mph car, as it ended up you got a great smoke show and mid 11's @ 120mph with a consistent .57 reaction time and 1.53 60' times.

I wonder if they are related?
These two photos are identical to my car. I can't locate my own at the moment. But that 427 moved a heck of a lot of steel pretty quickly. Of course brakes and steering were 54 Mercury so you couldn't toss it around and you really didn't think about stopping. But in a straight line it was unbeatable by the general Muscle Cars I knew.


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