Witness a 1,300 Horsepower Muscle Car Lose its Brakes and Discover Safety Techniques

The bright red 1964 Mercury Comet was a classic car with a supercharged V8 making over 1300 horsepower when the unexpected happened. The driver, Russ Stover, lost control of the brakes, causing a terrifying collision with a black minivan. The passenger, Shawn Davis, host of Autotopia LA, suffered injuries in the crash but thankfully made a full recovery.

Stover had spent decades working on the Mercury Comet, investing time, money, and passion into the project. The car was a powerhouse with a 632 cubic-inch Chevy V8 and a 1471 BDS supercharger, delivering 1300 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque. However, the brake system on the car was not up to par for the beast it had become, as it had been in place for 17 years and was underbuilt for the vehicle’s power.

The crash served as a cautionary tale for the automotive enthusiast community, prompting discussions about the importance of maintaining and upgrading critical components like brakes. Davis, in a video after the accident, highlighted the lessons learned and shared three recommendations for classic car enthusiasts:

1. Install full harnesses or shoulder belts and wear them regularly.
2. Take your built car for routine inspections with a technician, even if you don’t race it.
3. Install an emergency brake system for added safety.

The incident underscored the importance of proper maintenance and safety measures when modifying and driving high-performance vehicles. It served as a reminder that even the most experienced enthusiasts can fall victim to oversight and negligence. As Stover and Davis recovered from the crash, they hoped their experience would educate others in the community and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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