1,300HP Mercury Comet has brake failure causing the car to slam into the back of a minivan causing injuries to the driver and passenger. Everyone has healed from the accident and the car will be back on the road one day.

His message about having things teched is good as well as good belts.

How can we add shoulder belts to our convertibles?

That was an expensive almost tragic lesson.
Wonder what caused the brakes to fail.
Had that happen on a 63 galaxy doing my first break job.
But I was going real slow when the pedal went to the floor, and the parking brake worked.
I put a spring on wrong or something I don’t remember exactly what happened.

I sure hope they had at least upgraded from the single piston master it was built with, but looking at the rest of the build you would sure hope so…

I think the brakes failed because he was riding them the whole time because the throttle was sticking. The brakes can only handle so much continuous heat before they become compromised. I guess he continued driving with the throttle stuck because the cameras were rolling? The driver is getting severely criticized on the YouTube comments.

It’s called turning off the ignition switch….

From the article I read the brakes where installed(rebuilt) 17years ago, undersized for the amount of power the car had and he was riding them because the idle was too high from a sticking throttle. Sounds like the dude knew the brakes had an issue or had been compromised but decided to take it out on the road anyway. No sympathy with that stupid decision.

Ouch, that was hard to watch but may in fact save someone’s lives due to how many views there are. I have jumped into SO many old cars that have sat over the years and have been very lucky. My most vivid memory was turning right at a stop sign (on a lonely country road) dumping the clutch on my 70 SCJ Mach and having the steering wheel come off the column as my rear end pitched sideways. Everything goes in slow motion at that point, I can still to this day see the look of absolute terror in my buddies eyes who I was taking out on a spirted joy ride. All ended well…

I’ve looked at this clip a number of times, and there appears to be a 3 to 5 second window of time ( 5:36-5:39 , 5:48-5:51 , 6:30-6:35 and 6:42-6:46 ) where the driver could have made a decision to pull to the RIGHT instead of to the left. He states that he hoped to move to the left / turning lane(s) where he might ( as he slowed ) be able to move into those lanes as they emptied to make their turns. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. If he had made the decision to move to the RIGHT, just after he passed the white Viper / Nissan 300Z ( ? ) he had a 3 to 5 second period of time where he could have gone onto the grassy median and maybe grazed a few trees ( there appears to be grassed area between the curb and the trees ) or a couple of signs - but that damage would have been MUCH less than what actually transpired, and with no other vehicle involved. I know it’s always easy to analyze and criticize when you aren’t the one making the split second decisions, but it seems to me he was talking through his options even before he passed ( on his right ) the white vehicle. The comments on the YouTube video feedback are certainly more ‘restrained’ than on this Forum - but Cougar owners / restorers would seem to me to possess a lot more caution when taking their rides out after making repairs ( esp. to brakes / suspension ) or after a long periods of time in storage.

Long story short, he ignored all the warning signs: undersized brakes that were burning and a sticking throttle, yet he chose to continue on.

The Youtuber, Uncle Tony’s Garage, did a video on this and points out the multiple warning signs that they ignored. When the collisison was imminent, the driver tried to put the trans in park. He said the best option at that late point is to turn off the ignition.

I didn’t watch the video…I don’t get a thrill out of seeing that stuff.
However, I can say back in the day a friend had a Camaro that he put a 425hp 383 small block Chevy into. We were cruising along and came to a red light. It was late and there wasn’t any other traffic around us. I’m in the passenger seat, he is driving. This guy is normally drives like there is an egg under the gas pedal…but, this time when the light turned green he floored it. The car had a 4.10 gear and launched good. He shifted to second, then to third. We were doing about 115 mph. It seemed like he was just holding it wide open instead of letting off and he shifted to neutral then back to drive. We blasted through another intersection—luckily the light was green in our favor. I said “What are you doing???” He said the throttle is stuck and he was hanging on the steering wheel white knuckled. I reached down by his foot to pull the pedal up, but being a cable, it didn’t push back. I turned off key. My friend was frozen and couldn’t process a remedy to the problem. Luckily I was able to act as we were running out of road. We stopped about a half block before the end of the road. A half block goes by quick at 115 mph. We opened the hood and the throttle was stuck wide open. Touched it with one finger and it popped back. I don’t remember what it got caught on.
Since then, I try to foresee and ponder how to handle the “what-if’s”.

Not to be too preachy, but we all drive OLD cars. The take away is, if something feels or sounds wonky, STOP.

Funny you should say “STOP”…….

Funny you should say “STOP”…….


Yes, in this case if you smell burning anything and the throttle is sticking, I believe the best course of action would be to cease forward motion immediately. In other words, STOP.

cause stopping is the one thing the guy couldn’t do.

But yes, he should have turned the key.

Racing on road course sooner or later your going to boil your brake fluid and experience brake failure. That’s why you have a plan B which is the mechanical parking brake. I don’t think it would have prevented this accident. But, it would have slowed them down and made the impact less severe. Cameras rolling or not it was a very poor decision to keep driving with a stuck throttle. The outcome could have been much worst.

He did put it in natural. But leaving it is drive(or other gear) and killing the engine may have given him some compression braking that would have lessened the impact.
But we are just “bench racing” the incident here and who knows what we would have done. I did have a total brake failure in a 66 Galixie when I was about 20, I didn’t hit any thing but came close, good thing there was a wide shoulder.

If your brakes don’t stop you, something else will!