1963 Mercury Comet Convertible: The Falcon’s step-sister
Talk about a car that was handicapped right out of the gate.
That’s pretty much the story of the Mercury Comet. Why did I pick this car? Well, for two reasons, my uncle had one and I’m partial to orphan brands hence my affection for American Motors. OK, so now here’s the first handicap. Ford had to purchase the name “Comet” from Comet Coach Company, a professional car manufacturer in which the term belonged to a line of funeral coaches, and the second is that it was originally planned as an Edsel model. It was reassigned to Mercury dealerships after the demise of the Edsel brand (Oops), where it was marketed as a standalone product for 1960 and 1961 as the Comet. And lastly, it was developed concurrently with the Ford Falcon, well duh, so which car do you think is going to get more attention? You guessed Ford Falcon, right? Just checking.
Engineers did go into the Edsel parts bin including the parking lights and dashboard knobs, were used on the first-year Comet. Keys for the 1960 and 1961 Comets were shaped like Edsel keys, with the center bar of the “E” removed to form a “C”. Wonder if they could use white out on that?
Changes for the ’63 included, the chassis and suspension to accommodate an optional 260 cid V8 engine using a 2-barrel carburetor and producing 164 hp (122 kW). Convertible and hardtop (pillarless) coupe models were added to the Comet Custom and Comet S-22 lines this year.
Mercury Comets are fairly basic as far was 1960s motoring goes, which means they are cheap to buy (except perhaps the convertible) and cheap to run. They don’t have the same following that the Ford Falcon does (remember step sister), but they still stand out on the road and are an easy entry point to the hobby at around $10K for a driver but the really good copies, especially the S-22 which now go for mid $20’s. Still a good deal. Remember what you paid for your last car? This one is probably more fun. On Hemmings.com I found this example going for $25,500. Luv the color and it comes with a 4 on the floor. This car is getting tougher and tougher to find. There were only 5,757 built and now there are just a handful left.
Soooo, if the real deal is going for decent bucks, what about the promo models? Ditto but mainly the S-22 convertible. I found this example on eBay recently. Hey, it’s in my favorite convertible color. Easy boy. Step away from the computer. This one I would say is near mint. There is a small crack on the driver’s side vent window but it’s all there. Remember this is the area which breaks easily. The only other item I could see is some minor warping back by the rear quarter, but who’s complaining? This car is 50 years old and it’s amazing it is still around and in this condition the bidding finally ended at 306 bucks. That’s a chunk of change but it’s all up to the winning bidder who thought that was worth holding a piece of history in his/her hands. Hey, I just realized as I was finishing up this post that all the images I used were red. Actually my overall favorite color is yellow.