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Barn Find Driver: 1961 Comet Coupe

The Comet line’s start in life was difficult, and it didn’t last past 1977, but the Comet allowed Ford to offer an upscale compact car to compete with other domestic and foreign small cars that were coming to market during the early 1960s. Find this well preserved, low mileage 1961 Comet 2-door here on craigslist in Philadelphia.

Although originally intended as a member of the Edsel line, the demise of the Edsel forced Ford to change its plans and release the Comet as an independent line of compact cars in 1960, which were sold through Mercury dealerships. By 1962 the Comet had become integrated into the Mercury line. Early Comets were built on a slightly extended Ford Falcon platform and used the straight-six Falcon engine, but were a cut above the Falcon in both size and interior quality.

This Comet is said to have spent 24 years in a barn and is covered with the resulting layer of filth, but the car has accumulated only 77,000 miles and is claimed to be in good running order. In fact, the seller says that it runs so well that you could fly in and drive it home. He also suggests that a paint job and some light restoration using the unspecified new parts that come with the car should allow the ‘right guy’ to finish the job himself.

The interior is the base version with bench seating. It could use a good cleaning but looks to be complete and undamaged. The shift lever on the steering column is consistent with the car being a base model with a “3-on-the-tree” standard transmission. Although not the most luxurious conveyance of the ’60s, the Comet, along with the Falcon, allowed Ford to get a footing in the compact car market. Someone interested in this part of Ford’s past could do worse than consider this early, low mileage example.


  1. Dan

    That was my Mom’s car for several years. I know it was supposed to be a cut above the Falcon, but behind the wheel there was no difference.

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  2. J. Pickett

    A couple of frame connectors, a nicely built Windsor, 9inch, upgraded brakes and suspension. a beautiful sleeper. Or, just give it a good cleaning, and drive it like it is after checking all the rubber parts.

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  3. John Matras Member

    Clean it up and drive it. You won’t find many time capsules like this.

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    • Daniel G. Torres

      That is a three speed manual transmission and are more durable than the 4 speed on the floor of the six cylinders. I own a 1961 Comet S-22 (light turquoise) that I am slowly restoring after 15 years in my backyard. The S-22 full hubcaps are incredibly hard or almost impossible to find.

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  4. Craig

    I owned a 63 1/2 Comet S22 convertible in High School. 4 spd, 260 V8. Sweet car!

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  5. Justin in Indy

    I painted one of these a decade ago or so, red roof and body insert, white on the rest. They are sharp when cleaned up, But I agree with Dan above: Dont be fooled. This is a Falcon through and through. Feels like one, drives like one, rides like one…which doesnt have to be a negative thing…just hardly a cut above the Falcon.

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  6. Bob B

    I’ll take it !

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  7. Chris Junker

    Bob B., you can have it. One of these was my HS car. Imagine parking a baby blue 4 dr automatic 6 bench seat Comet in the same lot as the good stuff like the built 57 Chevy or a red 409 Chevy. Just shoot me. Now imagine driving one with 60K miles on it with cheap tires. My only kind thought is the “Vomit” led to the next family car; a white 4 spd 289 Mustang with 225 horses. Still a Falcon, but a much better Falcon. Thank you Lee Iacocca.

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  8. Jim Luke

    First rodded street car. Bought for a song in the 67, immediately installed a 260,, BW four speed, 9″ rear, chrome wheels , headers , cam, alu. intake with a Holley, dual point distributor, and blowed the doors of Road Runners, Had a blast! Beep, Beep.

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  9. David

    It looks just like the one you see on the Andy Griffith show. Every episode that shows a scene outside the courthouse always includes a Comet like this one parked in the street.

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  10. Justin

    Oh wow I just came across this article. This is my car, it was dug out of a barn in 2012 in North Jersey. It currently lives in South Jersey where it has been lowered 3 inches all new suspension/bushings, the interior has been cleaned along with new rubber floor liner and head liner, and the engine has been swapped from the 144ci to a 200ci out of a 65 Mustang. I’ve got new wheels and paint ready for it when I get the time.

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  11. De scheemaeker

    Bonjour je viens d’acquérir une comète 1961 française une merveille

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