Crusty Convertible: 1967 Mercury Comet

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This car sure is rough, but it’s a convertible and the price isn’t crazy. This ’67 Comet convertible is for sale in Middletown, Connecticut, and advertised here on craigslist.

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This Comet is said to be complete. It’s been sitting in a garage since 1982, and was probably put away because it needed work then. After sitting for almost 35 years, the car will need a fairly complete restoration, and there is no doubt that the restorer will find rust in the body and underside once work begins. Anyone familiar with Falcons and Mustangs will know what I mean. Northeastern cars like this one, even low mileage cars better cared for than this one, will have the tin worm. Still, there is a lot to be said for this car. It’s really a Caliente version of the Comet. And did I mention, it’s a convertible and that makes this car rare! In 1967, Mercury produced only 1,539 Caliente convertibles (along with 809 of the more powerful Cyclone series).

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I have not been able to determine how many Calientes (convertibles or closed cars) were equipped with the 170 cid six cylinder engine this one features, but I bet it was far less frequently ordered than the V8. And this car is a three speed with shifter mounted on the column, which has got to make it even more unusual for its year, since by far the majority of cars sold in 1967 were automatics. So I think this car is well worth the extensive restoration effort it will need.

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According to the seller, “there is minimal rot and it has not been hit. All chrome is intact and the car has not been stripped of parts.” The seller does say there is rot in the quarters, seat areas and trunk, so maybe his definition of “minimal” and mine are different. Clearly, the interior need to be redone but it appears complete. Just remember, it’s a convertible.

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As you can see from this photo, the hood is bad, but the seller says he has one “in pretty good shape” that presumably comes with the car.  The engine likely will need a complete rebuild, and the convertible top will need to be replaced.

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The seller says this car shows 80,000 miles and he believes that to be the real mileage. With a $3,000 asking price, this looks like a terrific project for someone. I live only about 40 miles from this car, and am sorely tempted to go see it before someone else grabs it. This would be a fun car to restore, and I would resist the temptation to repower this car, even though I know many of our readers will disagree with me. I just like the idea of keeping this car original, and it’s fun to try to imagine who it was in 1967 that decided they just had to have a Comet convertible with a six and stick – that had to be someone interesting.

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Comments

  1. Jim Mc

    “Comet convertible with a six and stick” Make that a six and a three-on-the-tree.

    I like this ride. Too far away from me, though. And for the amount of work it’s going to take I’d want to talk them down a bit. But the asking price is a fair starting point.

  2. Al D

    I doubt that the engine is a 170ci. It should be a 200ci in 1967. That 170 from earlier years would have been glacial trying to drag that Comet around.

    • David Wilk Member

      Al – you are right, the standard engine for this car was the 200 cid six, but the CL ad says it’s a 170, so either the seller is wrong or it got a replacement engine at some point in its life.

  3. Chris

    It’s actually a 1966 Comet Caliente , should be a 200 . Mercury produced 3922 Caliente Convertibles , 1305 Cyclone Conv and 2158 Cyclone GT Conv in 1966

  4. george

    Looks like a decent deal but something seems off …dash steering wheel and front sheet metal all appear to be from 1966…

  5. Stan

    The 200 six is just not enough power even with the stick shift. We had a similar 68 Fairmont with the same setup, and regretted not getting the 302 V8.

  6. Woodie Man

    A charitable view would be to call this a project. Maybe I’m just old and cranky but how do you get excited by a six banger and a three on the tree? Yes it’s a convertible…yes shifting at ridiculously low r p m s will keep you busy. Yes you might feel the wind in your hair if you re going downhill . So?

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    money’s right and and it looks pretty complete…..it’s a start…..cane we just weld up some spots and enjoy ? ….think a hood would be the easy part….

  8. David Wilk Member

    I called the owner and he said he made a mistake on the listing. It is a ’66 of course and he has corrected his ad now. Also said that the engine is original to the car and that means it is a 200 cubic inch six. I’m going to go look at the car just for fun. Yes these cars are slow, but I don’t mind that anymore, especially if the price is right.

  9. George

    $3000 a “reasonable asking price” $300 would be reasonable. By the time everything was restored you would be in the thing $20K. At that point you would upside down by 50% due in major part because of straight 6, with 3 speed on the column. Anyone who buys it for fun will soon want at least a 289 with a good 4 or 5 speed. That ads $4K

    These are available in nice drive-away condition for 10K. Buy AutoTrader or one of the other sale magazines.

  10. Keruth

    Parts car, look at the front wheels, too much camber, front sub frames on these bodies rotted badly. Look else ware for better bones than the rust belt!
    @ David Wilk, take an ice pick to the subs between the trans mount and front suspension.
    Girl friend/ex wife had one, a Ford coupe, fenders wrinkled on top, her brother just made it to the junk yard when the column broke(only thing holding it together), but got the drive-in money for it.

  11. JohnnieD

    There is a collector market for these “Dorf Mobiles” with Colt action and yes sometimes leaving the 6 CYL will increase interest because they are so “rare”. They were ordered in by dealers as “price Leaders” to lure the naive in who would be “up graded” to a real car that would make money. The people who bought them usually were financial “get me dones” that a dealer would often “co sign” for” who otherwise could not get financed. These people would take any new ride you put them in. However, the “collectors” are typically looking for SS or GT variants which I have found one 6CYL auto SS 63 Impala in a bone yard that I tracked down and I know was ordered built new by a young frugal secretary, and wore it out going to work…! They tend to prefer the 3 SPD column shift and they collect them because collectors must fill the holes for their collection to be complete. The only thing this car has going for it is the top goes up and down. Will cost 30,000 to restore properly and will be worth maybe 10,000 when done. Most will want to stop at 8500.00 in perfect condition.

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