1964 Mercury A/FX 427: The Rare Gem of Factory Experimental Cars

The world of drag racing in the 1960s witnessed a surge in popularity, and automakers seized the opportunity to capitalize on the hype. One such endeavor was the creation of the 1964 Mercury A/FX 427, an iconic car that pushed the boundaries of performance and power. In this article, we delve into the history and features of this drag racing legend, exploring its place in automotive history. Join us as we uncover the secrets of the Mercury A/FX 427 and its contributions to the exhilarating world of factory experimental cars.

The Rise of Drag Racing and Super Stock

Drag racing captured the imagination of automotive enthusiasts in the 1960s, emerging as a thrilling motorsport. One of the most popular drag racing classes was super stock, an NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) category. Super stock cars were modified versions of factory models, boasting enhanced performance while maintaining a stock appearance.

Building upon the success of super stock racing, automakers ventured into the realm of factory experimental (FX) cars. These vehicles pushed the limits of performance even further. While still utilizing factory-installed parts, FX cars featured unique configurations that were not available to the general public.

The 1964 Mercury Comet, a compact car, served as the canvas for Mercury’s foray into the FX realm. The Comet shared a platform with the Ford Fairlane, enabling the integration of powerful drivetrains. The top-performing engine in the Comet lineup was the 271 horsepower Super 289, but Mercury had more ambitious plans in store.

Unleashing the Beast: The 427 Powerhouse

To establish a formidable presence in FX racing, Mercury unveiled the A/FX 427 Comet in limited numbers. This extraordinary vehicle boasted a formidable 425-horsepower dual quad 427 engine, designed solely for the intense world of racing. With such immense power under the hood, the A/FX Comet asserted its dominance on the drag strip, leaving competitors in awe of its performance.

The heart and soul of the A/FX Comet was its monstrous 427 engine, purpose-built for pure speed and acceleration. This potent power plant delivered an astonishing 425 horsepower, making it a force to be reckoned with on the drag strip. The meticulously engineered dual quad setup further enhanced the car’s capabilities, allowing it to unleash its full potential on the straightaways. With every rev of the engine and every press of the accelerator, the A/FX Comet showcased its raw power, leaving a trail of awe and admiration in its wake.

The A/FX 427 Comet was a testament to Mercury’s commitment to performance and innovation. With its limited production and unparalleled power, this mighty machine etched its name in the annals of drag racing history. Car enthusiasts and racing aficionados alike marveled at the sheer performance and dominance displayed by the A/FX Comet on the drag strip. It remains an enduring symbol of Mercury’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of automotive excellence and a thrilling reminder of the golden era of racing.

The Lightweight Wonder: Weight Reduction Techniques

To maximize performance, weight reduction was a crucial aspect of the A/FX Comet’s design. Mercury employed innovative techniques, such as replacing steel components with lightweight fiberglass alternatives. The front end of the car featured fiberglass fenders, a fiberglass hood, and a fiberglass bumper, significantly reducing overall weight.

The A/FX Comet wasn’t merely about dropping a powerful engine into a smaller car. It incorporated a range of special and unique factory experimental parts. These included a teardrop fiberglass hood, fiberglass fenders, and a fiberglass bumper. Inside, lightweight Ford van seats replaced the heavier counterparts, while sound deadening and unnecessary accessories were eliminated.

The Mercury A/FX 427: A Limited Production Run

Mercury produced a total of 21 A/FX Comets, divided into two batches. The first batch of 10 cars was built in December 1963, followed by another 10 in the spring of 1964. Only one A/FX Comet was crafted in the form of a station wagon, making it an extremely rare variant. These limited numbers contributed to the car’s desirability among drag racing enthusiasts.

The A/FX Comets attracted renowned drag racers, who piloted these powerful machines to victory. Notable names like Ronnie Sox and Dino Don Nicholson showcased the capabilities of the A/FX Comet on the drag strip. The 427 engine proved to be a force to be reckoned with, propelling these drivers to success.

Preserving History: The Rarity of Intact A/FX Cars

Given the nature of drag racing, many A/FX Comets underwent significant modifications and alterations over the years. However, a few fortunate specimens have survived with their original factory experimental components intact. The preservation of these cars allows enthusiasts to witness the magnificence of the A/FX Comet as it rolled off the production line.

While some A/FX Comets retained their factory white paint job, many found their way into the hands of Mercury dealers who personalized them with vibrant colors, sponsor decals, and other eye-catching designs. These personalized touches not only added to the visual appeal but also served as a means of advertisement for the dealerships.

Unveiling the Restored Beauty

Despite the rigors of drag racing, a few A/FX Comets have been meticulously restored to their original glory. The dedication of collectors and enthusiasts ensures that these iconic cars continue to captivate audiences at car shows and events. The sight of a fully restored A/FX Comet serves as a testament to the excellence and ingenuity of the past.

The Mercury A/FX 427 holds a special place in automotive history. It exemplifies the era of factory experimental cars and represents a time when automakers pushed the boundaries of performance and innovation. The legacy of the A/FX Comet lives on, inspiring future generations of car enthusiasts and preserving the excitement of drag racing’s golden age.


The 1964 Mercury A/FX 427 Comet stands as a testament to the spirit of innovation and performance that defined the 1960s. With its powerful 427 engine, lightweight construction, and limited production numbers, this car left an indelible mark on the drag racing scene. Today, the surviving A/FX Comets serve as a window into an era of automotive excellence, reminding us of the passion and dedication that went into creating these extraordinary machines.

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