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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remembering Dyno Don

Dyno Don Nicholson, a legend of straight-line racing if ever one lived, departed this world two years ago last week. His inspiration, though, is very much alive. One of his many, many buds was Rich La Mont, the impresario of 422 Motorsports in Oaks, Pennsylvania, which runs a brace of both authentic and tribute Ford nostalgia drag cars (and one Mopar, a Jack Werst-recreation 1964 Hemi Belvedere). Before Dyno passed away, La Mont consulted with him about building a replica of the A/FX Mercury Comet that Dyno match-raced extensively in 1964.

Here’s what resulted. La Mont managed to locate a plain 1964 Comet hardtop at a local car auction in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, back around 1997. The buildup created a four-speed car, powered by a Ford based on a Shelby FE aluminum block, with Hilborn mechanical fuel injection. More vitals include 14.5:1 (yikes!) Ross forged pistons, Bill Miller connecting rods, a Crower non-twist forged crankshaft and a Jereco transmission.

La Mont’s never dynoed the engine, but based on its quarter-mile performance - a best of 8.81 at 149 and change, in the hands of resident 422 flogger Fred Henderson - La Mont calculates the gasoline-burning race engine is consistently making 930hp. We photographed the car at 422’s display during the recent Motorsports 2008 show in Atlantic City, including its rear deck, which you can see was John Hancocked by a lot of 1960s Super Stock and F/X luminaries. You can learn more about these (mostly) Ford fanatics by visiting

Related entries:

GM Heritage Center, the displays


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