1954 Cramer Comet news, pictures, and information
Chassis Num: A070974
|High bid of $150,000 at 2008 RM Auctions. (did not sell)|
One of those individuals was Tom Cramer of Omaha, Nebraska. He had a vision of what a true super high performance should be. This self-taught engineer worked in the Cramer Brother towing and repair shop, where he continued to fine-tune his trade. His dream car was the Cramer Comet, and it was powered by a 12-cylinder Allison aircraft engine that provided 1,350 horsepower and 1,500 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 RPM. Putting this much power into any road-going chassis is a challenge, as the rigidity of the vehicle is tested every time the power is applied.
Parts from trucks and various cars were assembled to form the basis for the chassis. The chassis tubes were used to supply coolant tot he engine from the rear mounted radiator, mounting dual cooling blowers under the rear deck to control the heat in traffic. 12-volt batteries mounted in series, with 24-volts of cranking power, were used for starting the engine. A two-tone GMC truck clutch and four-speed manual transmission were used to manage the power.
The body design of the car took its inspiration from the GM LeSabre dream car, and is the quintessential fifties American car. Inside, there are aircraft style instrumentation on the center console, including tachometer, gauges for manifold and oil pressure, oil temperature, coolant temperature, hydraulic pressure, oil and fuel temperature, fuel reserve and ampere output and input.
When the Cramer Comet was new, it was featured in the 1954 issue of Hot Rod Magazine and the 1955 issue of Popular Science.
Within a few years of use, many of the car's mechanical components required a rebuilt. With 1,350 horsepower in a 5,200 pound vehicle, this is understandable. So in 1958, Cramer began work on updating his car, the new Comet was revealed in 1960. An article was published in the May 1, 1960 edition of the Omaha's Sunday World Herald which announced the Comet's appearance at the Nebraska Motor Sports Auto show. Many years later, in 1980, the Comet was finally registered for the road, at which time he received a Nebraska state chassis ID number.
In 1991, the current owner purchased the Cramer Comet and placed it into his vast collection of rare and important cars, mostly of the pre-war era. Today, the Comet is extremely original, still wearing its1954 paint. The interior is two-tone red and white vinyl upholstery.
In 2008, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions. It had an estimated value of $250,000 - $350,000. A high bid of $150,000 was not enough to satisfy the cars reserve. The lot remained unsold.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
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