VALUE PRICED, 302 V8, SOLID & CLEAN, GREAT INTERIOR, CALIENTE CLASS!!
The Ford Falcon's more sophisticated cousin was the Mercury Comet, and this 1964 2-door hardtop offers a neat alternative to the blue oval machines that were so popular in the early '60s. With a subtle color combination, an appealing black interior, and a strong V8 drivetrain, it's a hobby car you can enjoy without guilt.
The idea of the small car isn't a new one, and even upscale Mercury was getting in on the act with the Comet. It offers styling cues taken from the full-sized machines sitting next to it in the showroom, but thanks to compact proportions, it was easy to drive and remarkably quick when equipped with a V8 engine. This one shows good straight bodywork thanks to a lifetime in the south, and while the color is subtle, this one gets all its attention simply by being unusual. Dramatically carved sheetmetal topped by tiny fins that were the '50s last gasp give it a lot of visual interest, and are actually helped by the subtle paint. Chrome and trim are quite good, and even on this budget classic Comet, there's quite a bit of it, including the big bumpers and ornate grille up front. The stainless strip running the length of the body and two trios of taillight lenses give the Comet a lot of visual pizzazz that make it look more expensive.
The attractive black interior is another way in which the Comet looks like it should cost way more than it does. One look at the tasteful black vinyl with its square stitching instantly reminds you of the other more expensive cars in the Mercury lineup, and that's completely on purpose. Matching door panels are remarkably stylish for a basic car, with about only the armrest showing age after nearly 50 years of elbows resting on it. The instrument panel is a handsome and functional design that includes wood appliques for warmth and to match the woodgrained steering wheel. The 3-speed manual transmission with column shift makes the Caliente feel quick around town and feels more involving for the driver. Tidy carpets, a taut headliner, and an accessory AM/FM radio under the dash, it certainly doesn't feel like Mercury's lowest-priced car that year. Even the trunk is nicely finished and comes complete with a full-sized spare and jack assembly.
Ford's trusty 302 cubic inch V8 fits neatly with the Comet's economy-based mission. It's a 1968 engine, but thanks to the interchangeability of the small block engines, it slots right in without modifications. It transforms the lightweight Mercury and you'll recall that the 1965 Mustang was based on this same platform. Ford Blue on the engine itself makes the machinery stand out against the satin black engine bay, and while it's not yet detailed for show, it does have a factory look that helps it blend with the engine bay. It starts easily and has a bit of a muscular voice thanks to a brand new exhaust system. With highway-friendly gears out back, the stout V8 pulls the car around with aplomb and might even make it a bit of a sleeper. Original steel wheels with hubcaps and 195/75/14 whitewall radials certainly help with that impression.
Unusual yet eminently practical for today's times, this Comet is a great entry-level hobby car that won't cost you much now or down the road. Call today!
- Vinyl Interior
- AM/FM Radio
- Seatbelts (Front)
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