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“I talked to Paul (Dennison) and told him I didn’t want to copy it directly but wanted to take elements of Kay’s paint job and put it on my car,” says Botting. (Interesting side note, Dennison actually bought Ken Kay’s old house and shop in Hamilton and lives and works there today). To get started they blew up a photo of the car and had it hanging in the garage and put together a game plan. “We decided that where Kay used fish scales on the side of the Road Runner we’d use lace. Instead of faded scallops we did hard scallops in orange and purple. The duo started the paint job on a Friday night, laying down a few coats of the base Wimbleton White. On Saturday morning Dennison started laying down all the fine lines while Botting did all the back masking. That process took almost 20 hours.

If this all sounds like an insane amount of paint applied during an insanely short sequence with an insanely spectacular result then you’re sane because it is insane. It’s like Dennison, Botting and Danno were touched by the gearhead holy ghost because the end result is sublimely cool.

At this point the build was only about five months along and was almost complete. Why the hellish pace? When Botting started the build Mark Rogerson, his hot rod brother in the East London Timing Association, put a bug in his ear about having the car on display with fellow ELTA member Jamie Underwood’s ’64 Ford Falcon gasser (featured in Volume 9/Issue 5) in the basement at the 2015 Detroit Autorama. Botting told Rogerson to go ahead and register him for the event. “I was committed so I had to get it done,” says Botting. Good thing Ruth is very understanding, and a nurse which is important because it explains a few things.

Botting is a bit of a night owl who says he doesn’t watch much TV. Ruth meanwhile is in bed by 9:30 most nights. “After she goes to bed I’ve got hours to go play in the garage and every second weekend she works so I have every second weekend to work on the car as well.” Botting so relishes those weekends he has a license plate, which is on the Comet but has been on other cars in the past, that reads EVRY 2ND. “People think it’s a drag racing thing, you know like trying to shave every second off your ET,” says Botting, “but I get to work on my car every second weekend. I’ve had that plate on my Pro Street Blazer, on Scarred, I’ve had it for years.”

The paint is clearly a highlight on the car but the very nicely detailed engine is cool too thanks largely to  a vintage Edelbrock X-C8 aluminum dual quad cross ram manifold. “Roger Penske commissioned Edelbrock to build it in the late ’60s for the 302 Z/28 Camaros he was running in Trans Am,” says Botting. “I found it at a swap for $150. I call it my Newfie tunnel ram because the carbs are “side by each” instead of in front of each other,” laughs Botting. “I brought it to work because we have a metal refinishing company also and they threw it in the vibe machine with ceramics for 40 hours and then for 20 hours with corn cobs and wooden pegs and it polished it very nice on the outside but also inside on the runners and plenum.” Perched on the intake are twin Holley 650cfm chokeless carbs with vacuum secondaries. The carbs are topped with aftermarket scoops and the Mickey Thompson valve covers are a nice, vintage touch.

The engine itself is a 355-ci SBC built by a drag racer in the Grand Bend, ON area. It’s got 9.5:1 compression and had a strong pull on the dyno (406 hp with 413 ft-lbs of torque) but did have an issue. When Botting removed the Weiand intake to bolt on the Edelbrock piece he noticed the aluminum heads had the runners so massively hogged out the Edelbrock intake wouldn’t match up. He had to pull the heads, sell them and purchase a pair of SBC Chinese knockoff aluminum 2.02 heads with roller rockers, and double springs. He paid under $700US for the pair which made it a less inconvenient swap. The cam is a Crane Cam with 4-7 lobe swap which necessitates a change in firing order but reduces crankshaft vibration for smoother dampening which means a smoother running motor which in theory can create more power. Rods and crank are stock and the pistons are aftermarket flat top slugs. Headers are Hedman Hedders fenderwell exit tubes painted with 2000° High Heat white paint. MSD distributer and 6AL box update the engine’s electronics.

The front and back seats, including upholstery are in original  condtion as are the door panels. The carpet and headliner are aftermarket replacements. While repainted the dash is stock and stock gauges remain and are complimented by a Sun Tach and an Autometer under dash 3-pac (oil, water temp, amp). The radio is deleted from the dash. The clutch pedal is just for show as the car has a Turbo 350 shifted by a Hurst stick shifter commonly used in trucks.

The Comet is gone now but the cycle continues. Botting recently bought an early ’60s Falcon Sedan Delivery and it’s getting the gasser treatment. If you attend the 2016 Detroit Autorama you’ll likely see it.
Something tells me it’ll be worth the trip to see it.

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