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Field Find: 1973 Mercury Comet V8

The Ford Maverick was the company’s second major success story of the 1960s (the Mustang was the first). It was introduced in April 1969, five years to the day after the famous “pony” car. Sales were so brisk that Mercury lobbied for and got its own version, the Comet, which had been the division’s named compact nearly a decade earlier. We’re told this 1973 Comet runs well, although from where the photos were taken, it appears to be rather stationary. Located near Sacramento, California, this mostly original car is available here on craigslist for $6,900. Thumbs up to Nevadahalfrack for this tip!

Mercury’s 1971-77 Comet was a rebadged Maverick. The front clip was different as were the taillights, but little else changed. And – like the Maverick – the same basic chassis was once again borrowed from the Ford Falcon. For 1973, the cars gained larger front bumpers to meet enhanced Federal safety measures (the rear bumpers would grow the following year). While a 200 cubic inch inline-6 was standard, Ford’s 302 V8 was optional and that’s what we’re told is in the seller’s car (no photo).

The Comet was fitted with a nicer level of trim than the Maverick and that’s evident in the couple of interior photos that the seller provides. The upholstery looks to be in very good condition with only a crack in the dash pad otherwise standing out. The exterior hasn’t fared quite as well, though the gold paint might make somewhat of a comeback when washed and waxed. There is a patch or two of grey primer which indicates something minor may have been amiss.

This is said to be a two-owner car with receipts going back to the beginning. The mileage is below 69,000 which could be accurate if the paperwork backs it up. With a new gas tank, timing chain, and tires, the running condition of this Merc is reported to be good though I’d have pulled it out into a driveway for photographs rather than show it amidst a sea of grass that is growing. As a plus, the car has factory air conditioning which we assume does its job. Is anyone in the market for a “Mercury Maverick”?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Like Russ notes, the success of the Maverick naturally led to Mercury getting its own version. What struck me about this example is how ‘nice’ it would have been for its day, for what is a basic Falcon underneath. It looks like this one features a packaged set of upgrades, including such items as the better-quality vinyl (on bucket seats), the bodyside moldings, the vinyl roof, and the color-keyed wheel covers. I think it sold well.

    I wonder if this gave Ford management additional confidence that even another iteration of the Falcon, dressed up even more, would be successful. Enter the Granada/Monarch.

    This one isn’t perfect but isn’t bad, and with the 302 the next buyer could go a couple directions (restore, restomod) and have some fun.

    Like 16
    • Ken

      While I think the Granada/Monarch was the best of the upscale cars of this generation. In my opinion, the Maverick/Comet was severely lacking compared to the 3rd gen Nova or even the Duster / Demon for that matter. The lines on the Maverick / Comet were just too utilitarian. You could even get the Nova with a 396.

      Like 4
      • gregb

        Always reminded me of the Henry J my dad drove

        Like 2
  2. TomP

    $6900, bahahahahaha…..

    Like 14
    • Alan Volk

      Yup, a bit high. I had one, off the lot in ’73. This looks better than mine with the bucket seats and AC. The 302 was a good, peppy engine. My cost was $3200 Canadian.

      Like 4
  3. Robert Levins

    I think we’re looking at a “ five – grander” here. Nice car and it would be worth it just for the 302ci and air conditioning. I would consider it if you could get it for around $5,000.00. But that’s it. Put maybe $1,000.00 into it and you’ll have a nice classic cruiser! Great cars – especially with a V-8 ! Great article.

    Like 9
  4. Bob S

    Russ, on your comment about the comet having a more upscale interior, this is actually the LDO package that you could also get in the Maverick. My 74 Maverick was equipped just like this, including the 302, was a very nice car considering the era.

    Like 13
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I remember a guy in one of these Comets passed me going in
    the opposite direction.I was in our ’72 Ford Cortina MKIII,which has
    rear side windows that look just like the Comet’s.
    The look on the guy’s face was priceless (at least to me).It was
    like “I know what it is,but I don’t know what it is”.

    Like 4
  6. C Force

    Pretty decent car,not sure to the tune of $6900 though.Already having a 302 and a C4 gives you a head start.perfect for a “high performance makeover”.Plenty of parts for maverick/comet from Auto Krafters catalog are available as well.

    Like 3
    • Neil R Norris

      Not bad for $690 … wait … what? $6900 is a hard NO!

      Like 2
  7. Chris Cornetto

    More old is gold. There really needs to be a psychological evaluation for anyone shelling out the amounts of money other folks with a plug wire off are seeking for lackluster junk. Let’s face it, for this price this thing should look like it’s a year old, not some tired, dry rotted tired, busted grilled pick-a-part row warmer. We couldn’t stack and crush this stuff fast enough 8 years after it was built. A few guys had them as race cars and cheap old men that were in competition with the cheap old Rambler men that swore to their loyal brands.On the positive side some need to be preserved but at a reasonable price. This and many other vehicles are just old cars, like my Fairmont or Opel Cadet, just old cars, not gold mines on wheels, just old cars.

    Like 6
    • Big C

      Have you actually checked the prices of these “just old cars” that look like they’re one year old? You can at least double that $6900 price. And, that didn’t happen recently.

      Like 5
  8. ChasMan

    As Russ noted, how many years has that comet not moved and the seller writes that it “runs good”? $6900 is funny.

    Like 5
  9. Troy

    That odometer has rolled at least once in this thing why would you need a new timing chain on a 70k mile rig? I had a 72 bright yellow maverick with the 302 it was a ok car for what it was but it reminded me of a overgrown pinto with the tail lights and some interior finishes. This condition I think tops for it is maybe $3k but I have been out of car flipping for a few years and haven’t kept up with prices. So I’m still getting sticker shock watching auction sites and what people are paying for stuff, makes me kinda want to go offer a bunch of cash to the people in the city across the river that have a 72 Camaro sitting in the yard vinyl top peeling away.

    Like 7
    • eric22t

      troy 70k is actually pretty good with the nylon toothed cam gear that was in it originally. they were 3 things lighter cheaper and quieter. so they showed up in just about everything back then.

      oh they were one other thing… very very short lived. once the nylon wore to a certain point it would shatter off the internal steel form and jump multiple teeth or even drop the chain far enough away from the crank gear that the cam would not even turn

      Like 1
  10. Rickirick

    I know exactly what this is. A former boss had one. Not a bad car for what it is. But what always befuddles me is presentation. Why do ya list anything for sale on any platform w/o pics and a thorough bath be4 hand?

    Like 7
  11. Robert West

    The Maverick and Comet body style has become my favorite. I’ve always liked them since I started driving in 1987 but I actually bought a 1972 Maverick Sprint from my best friend in 1994. I built a decent 289 for it and it was plenty quick considering it was a zero option car weighing around 2800 lbs. I gave him $400 for it back then….now I wouldn’t be able to buy one for 10 times that.

    Like 3
  12. Dan

    I worked overnight at a Ford dealer cleaning and detailing cars at that time. The upgraded seats are a copy of the seats that were found as standard equipment in the early 70’s version of the Mercury Capri. Remember the commercial? Capri…. the sexy European… This package was known as the Luxury decor group or Luxury decor option depending upon who, or whom you spoke with. This one has the 302 which was the one to get. One would need to get it out of the weeds and do a thorough inspection of the bottom and shock towers. Lots of potential here.

    Like 3
  13. DrBob

    Maybe give you $100 for this POS , but what’s the the $6800 going to get me?? Please that car was no good then, it surely did not get better with time. It’s a Ford say no more.

    Like 1
    • Alan Volk

      Wow! The one I had was a very good car. No issues gor close to 10 years before I sold it.

      Like 1
  14. Mr C.

    My ex-brother in law had a Comet. We called it a Vomit Comet! He thought it was a Race Car with it’s 289 V8 2bbl. It was maybe a 66? He wasn’t very swift. His first hot rod was a 4dr 57 Chevy! 283 V8 2bbl. Guess he didn’t know about 4bbl carbs? 🤣🤣🤣

    Like 0

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