This is the second of Jack Chrisman's Comet drag racing cars, another Mercury-sponsored machine that shows how quickly the new funny car breed was evolving from its production-based roots. There was still a strong resemblance to the stock Comet in the body shell, but not a trace of stock hardware remained.
Instead of a modified stock chassis, for example, the car rides on a purpose-built tubular steel frame, fabricated by drag racing specialists Ron and Gene Logghe. Based in Fraser, Michigan, the brothers were commissioned by Ford racing honcho Fran Hernandez to build four Comet Caliente funny cars for Chrisman, Dyno Don Nicholson, Fast Eddie Schartman, and the Bill Kenz/Roy Leslie team.
The cars also featured fiberglass body shells that flipped up for access to everything underneath, a design that eventually inspired the term 'flopper' as a blanket descriptor for the class. On rare occasions, the body flopped up during a run - never a good thing. All four Comets were powered by 427 cubic-inch overhead cam V8 engines, and all were successful.
Not only was the class evolving quickly, the intense competition in this increasingly popular class meant the cars were also covering the quarter-mile quickly, shaving tenths of seconds off the best time almost every time out. Nicholson was the first funny car driver to crack into the seven-second elapsed time range with his Comet, Eliminator I, with a 7.98 second run in early 1967. Chrisman topped that at the 1967 National Hot Rod Association Indy Nationals when he smoked through the lights in 7.60 at 191 mph.