Ford produced the Comet through its Mercury division from 1960 to 1969 and again from 1971 through 1977. Ford purchased the name "Comet" from the Comet Coach Company, a car manufacturer that produced a line of funeral coaches for Oldsmobile.
The Early Mercury Comets
Released in 1960, the Mercury Comet was based on Ford's Falcon model and was initially intended to be included in the Edsel line. When the Edsel brand failed, the Comet was a standalone vehicle for the first two years, although Ford sold the car at its Mercury dealerships. It was officially branded a Mercury model in 1962.
Although the Comet had early branding issues, the sleek car was an immediate hit and earned national notoriety by winning at the race tracks. The success of the Comet inspired Mercury to add several series to the model line.
The Comet Cyclone debuted in 1963 and the Comet Caliente was introduced in 1964. The Cyclone was the sportiest of the package offerings.
The Comet underwent significant changes when Mercury enlarged it from compact to intermediate class. This was done so the comet could accommodate a bigger engine and share the body and chassis with the Ford Fairlaine.
Mercury Comet sales reached its peak in 1966, but dropped sharply the next year once Mercury introduced its Cougar model to the general public. In 1968 and 1969, Mercury used the Comet name on its low-line car models and no Comet appeared in Mercury's 1970 production run.
When the Comet emerged again in 1971, it was based on the Ford Maverick and only came in coupe or sedan body styles. In 1978, Mercury discontinued the Comet to make room for the new Zephyr.
The 1960 Comet models included two-door sedans, four-door sedans, two-door station wagons and four-door station wagons.
The Caliente series came in all those as well as in a two-door convertible and hardtop two-door coupe styles. The Comet Caliente typically offered several upgrades over Comet's base models, including walnut trim, thick carpeting, a padded instrument cluster and full-length exterior molding.
The Cyclone series came in the same body styles as the base models and as a hardtop two-door sports car. The Cyclones usually came with even more upgraded options than the Caliente. Some upgrades included bucket seats, center consoles, three-spoke steering wheels and simulated chrome wheel covers.
Today, you can find Mercury Comets available for sale for a wide range of prices. A restored 1963 Mercury Comet will now run you as anywhere from $5,500 to $20,000. The average cost to purchase one of these cars is about $15,000.
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