Mercury Comet

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The Mercury Comet was an automobile produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company.

It was introduced in 1960 and ceased production with the 1977 model. For 1962 and 1963 it shared a considerable number of body and mechanical parts with the short-lived Mercury Meteor.

Originally planned as an Edsel, the Comet was not officially a Mercury until 1962. Note both names consist of five letters, which made the transition from the failed Edsel easy, and the 1960 and 1961 models did not include the name Mercury. From 1960 to 1965 it was based on the Ford Falcon, from 1966 to 1969 it was based on the Ford Fairlane, although those models were themselves closely related under the skin.

The Comets of the mid-60's were available with Ford's highest performance muscle car engines of the day. During this era the performance version was known as the Comet Cyclone, while the luxury variant was the Comet Caliente. Station wagons and convertibles also were produced in the mid-60s; the top-line wagon was known as the Villager, and a Comet Cyclone GT convertible was the pace car for the 1966 Indianapolis 500.

In 1964, Ford produced about 50 ultra-high performance lightweight Comet Cyclones, equipped with their racing two carburetor 427 engine, similar to their cousin the Ford Thunderbolt. In order not to compete with each other, the Thunderbolts ran in Super Stock on 7 inch tires, but the Cyclones were destined to be modified to run in A/FX on 10 inch tires, where they were as dominant as the Thunderbolts were in Super Stock.

For 1968 and 1969, the name was substantially eclipsed by the new Mercury Montego, a variant of the also-new Ford Torino. The Comet name was relegated to lower-line, seldom-seen models. There was no Comet for 1970, although the Cyclone continued for several more years as a Montego model

From 1971 onwards, the Comet was based on the Ford Maverick. Coupes and sedans only were produced. This version was available briefly into the 1977 model year, and was then discontinued to make room for the new Mercury Zephyr.

The first and third generation Comets were considered compact cars, the second was a midsize.

External Links

Sources

  • Burness, Tad, American Car Spotter's Guide (Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1978 & 1981)
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