Miles Through Time Exhibits
1965 Mercury Comet
Make/Model: Mercury Comet
Owner: Donated by Cathy Robert
Original price: $2,354
About the 1965 Comet
The Comet was originally planned as an Edsel model. Ford announced the end of the Edsel program on November 19, 1959. However, production of 1960 Edsels continued until late November. The Comet was reassigned to the Lincoln-Mercury division to sell at Mercury-Comet dealerships, where it was marketed as a stand-alone product for 1960 and 1961 as the Comet without any Mercury divisional badging.
Developed concurrently with the Ford Falcon, early preproduction photographs of the sedan show a car remarkably close to the Comet that emerged, but with a split grille following the pattern established by Edsel models. Early Ford styling mules for the station wagon model carried the Edsel name, as well.
At their debut, the split grille was replaced by one more in keeping with Mercury’s design themes, but the canted elliptical taillights, first seen on the Edsel prototype, were used and carried the “E” (Edsel) part number on them. While the short-lived 1960 Edsels used elliptical-shaped taillights, the lenses used on both cars differed in length and width. Certain other parts from the 1959 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”.
The “Comet” name was trademarked to Cotner-Bevington as the Comet Coach Company, building ambulance and hearse commercial vehicles. Ford bought the name in 1959.
This 1965 Mercury Comet
This 1965 Mercury Comet rolled off the assembly line at Ford’s Lorain, Ohio plant on October 20, 1964, onto a train bound for Ford’s Jacksonville, Florida distribution center and ultimately to Stewart Lincoln-Mercury in Hollywood, Florida.
Soon after, a Hollywood-retiree purchased it. He asked the dealership to install air conditioning and rear seat belts, which weren’t standard equipment at the time. Cathy’s father, a Stewart service technician, did the installations and all maintenance and repairs while the first owner owned it.
The first owner traded in the Comet at Stewart in April 1971. Cathy’s Dad was able to purchase the car for $400 at Stewart and called Cathy to see if she wanted it. With an ecstatic “Yes,” this became Cathy’s first car, and she has many fond memories of driving it all over southeastern Florida and most of the rest of the state for 17 years. Learn more about the donated Comet here.
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