Garaged 18 Years: 1966 Mercury Comet Caliente

The third-generation Comet gained a stacked-headlight configuration that is very similar to AMC’s design of the same period, maybe that’s why I like them so much. This 1966 Mercury Comet Caliente convertible can be found here on eBay in South Park, Pennsylvania with a $7,300 buy-it-now price or you can make an offer. This could be a screaming bargain, let’s check it out.

I absolutely love this grille and stacked-headlight design. One of my favorite cars of all time is a 1966 AMC Ambassador which looks so similar that it makes a person wonder about corporate spying in those days. It’s also, or course, related to the 1966 Ford Fairlane that was used in Dragnet. Stacked headlights: yea or nay? They get a very, very big yea from me.

I’m surprised at the seller’s asking price for this car, frankly. It looks so nice in the photos that this could be an absolutely crazy bargain. And when I say crazy I mean with a capital-C. Hagerty is at $12,500 for a #4 fair condition car. A #3 good condition car is valued at $17,000 which about $10,000 more than the seller is asking for this one. It sure looks like a person could do whatever it needs for less than $10,000, but they do say that it needs to have the brightwork, bodywork, and paint restored. If that’s the case, maybe it would be more than $10,000. Hagerty’s #2 excellent condition value is $24,300, just for the record.

The interior looks great and this car has a three-speed manual transmission with a column shifter. Sure, a floor-shifter would probably be more desirable, or maybe an automatic, but it is what it is. They say that everything works including the power top. This car has to be worth $7,300, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t have a six-cylinder which I thought it might, but there’s a 289 cubic-inch V8 with a two-barrel carb under the hood which would have had 200 hp. It isn’t a monster 390 V8 but it’s a nice engine and there are endless upgrades that a person could do to wring some more power out of it. This car runs and drives and has a new master cylinder. It sat in a garage for 18 years so it will need to be gone through thoroughly, but what do you think about this ’66 Comet Caliente convertible? Good buy or good-bye?


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  1. On and On On and On Member

    Looks like no AC, no pb or ps and 3 on the tree. Thats why low price and low interest. Otherwise looks like a decent original ride.

    Like 5
    • On and On On and On Member

      I sent the seller an email to get a factory option list or a data plate or VIN #. Does anyone see a radio or an antenna?

      Like 1
  2. KenS

    If I had the money I’d be on this faster than a r*ped ape.
    I had a hardtop with a six in high school, and a 66 Fairlane 289 c4 xl. Loved them still do!

    Like 5
  3. MrF

    What’s not to like (except maybe those paint bubbles)? Delighted to see a basic usable vehicle with a traditional power train, especially three speed on the column!

    Like 6
  4. Crazyhawk

    Is it owned by a vampire? Roll it into the sunlight!

    Like 8
  5. KenS

    The unusual part is the console with a column shift. I thought buckets console and floor shift was only available on GT models as on the XL500 on the fairlane.
    It’s cool if it’s factory and to me just as cool if not, someone buy my Studebakers so I can get this!

    Like 4
  6. Mark Mitchell Member

    I wound up buying that red ’66 Comet Cyclone GT convertible that was featured recently on BarnFinds. What a wonderful car! It has the factory S-code 335 HP 390, Holly 4 bbl, dual exhausts, buckets, console, power top, factory tach, GT fiberglass hood, black CA plates, A/C, original “chrome reverse” style hubcaps, etc. Turned out to be very straight and rust free! Price? $8000.

    Like 15
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    I love the stacked headlights. I’d probably slap a C6 in it just to make life easier.

  8. Butchb

    I bought a 1966 Comet Caliente 2dr hdtp V8 auto, bench seat out of a tow yard in Parker AZ in the late 90’s. That thing was solid as a rock and had every piece of trim, knobs, all the hubcaps, spare and jack still in the trunk, and plastic window washer reservoir with the Comet lid still on it. I really wanted to keep that car for myself. I hated selling it but it ended up going to OH with a gentleman who planned on putting a 428 in it.

    Like 3
  9. jerry z

    Do yourself a favor and check under the car! I made this mistake 30 yrs ago. Car looked good but the floor/torque boxes were MIA!

  10. Troy s

    Stacked headlights, a big thumbs up, interior looks sharp paint oh I guess it’s not that bad of a color, 2 barrel 289 and three hanging in the tree, kinda boring but as stated there are all kinds of ways to improve that. Outside of Mustangs and a few choice mid sized cars, Ford products just don’t draw the same crowd/money that other brands do. My opinion of course, but that’s what I’ve noticed for years. That’s actually not so bad for the driving crowd.

  11. Rube Goldberg Member

    Caliente means HOT, and there were some hot Comets, just not this one. Just for gits and shiggles, I HATED stacked headlights,( except maybe Pontiac or the Chrysler slanty’s) and was glad to see them go. This car, as stated, is unusually optioned, I can just see the assembly guys, “what does this guy want now?” I too have never seen a console and column shift, no P/S or P/B, but it was the 60’s, and believe it or not, you could actually order a car the way you wanted it, not some cookie cutter, take it or leave it today. For me, I’d ditch the column shift and put a 4 speed( everybody wants a 4 speed today) or at least a floor shift, column shift was for grandpa, and some nice wheels would change this car dramatically. They were great cars.

    Like 1
  12. TimM

    What a great car at a really good price!! This won’t last long!!! Drive it just the way it is!! It would be a shame to even put the shifter on the floor and ruin the originality of the car!!!

    Like 1
  13. Mitch Ross Member

    The 3 on the tree is what makes me wish I could buy this car, How cool is a convertible with a 3 on the tree? I Knooooowwwww!

    Like 1
  14. Don

    car looks in good shape, but cuz its from Pennsylvania who uses salt on their roads, I’d give a serious look when I crawled under the ride..Oh, and that 3 on the tree wud have to go & be replaced by a floor mounted shifter

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