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Key Lime Survivor: 1971 Mercury Comet

At the moment, bidding seems downright reasonable for this clean California survivor Mercury Comet, wearing great colors and packing V8 power. It’s listed at no reserve, and the seller claims he chased the longtime owners for years in hopes of making it his. However, actual seat time has been lacking, so of course it’s now up for sale with only a set of upgraded wheels and tires as the lone changes from stock condition. The Comet is listed here on eBay with bidding at $3,500 and no reserve.

I certainly expect that number to go higher, as anything south of $7K is a bargain in my book for a clean Comet like this. The seller notes that it’s equipped with a 302 V8 from the factory, paired to an automatic transmission. While there is some paint fading, that’s a minor complaint in my book for a mostly rust-free California car. While many enthusiasts like to “upgrade” these cars with equipment from the Grabber models, I’m grateful not to see a spoiler tacked on the trunk lid.

The interior isn’t perfect, but you could certainly live with the tattered bench seat until it’s time to find an upholstery shop. While the longtime California resident may be largely rust free (the seller notes some rust in the lower rear fender wells, and it does appear to be a straightforward fix), it does suffer from sun damage with a cracked dash and the aforementioned faded paint. Swap out the dash and fix the bench and you’re in business with a nicely preserved interior.

While this Comet may eventually clear $5,000 or more by the time the auction wraps up, there’s a cheaper alternative in Georgia. I’ve got this Comet and a Ford Maverick also equipped with a 302, which you can read more about in this Barn Find Exclusive post here. Either way, these are easy to live with classics with good parts availability and lots of simple bolt-on upgrades you can perform to make them fun drivers.


  1. Rob S.

    Love the color, love the V8! This is a great car! These were great bargain cars in the day and are gaining momentum as classics. Parts are cheap and readily available. Not many on the roads today. My very first car was a 72 comet with a 6 banger. Traded it for a 73 mach1 that i still have today!

    Like 6
  2. Steve R

    This seller is running a scam. Look at the sellers completed sales, he used the same undercarriage pictures in an auction he recently ran for a Maverick Grabber. There is more rust on this car than the seller is claiming.

    He also lied about the car being a one owner, he’s the second, even if he didn’t transfer the title into his name.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Hard to fathom chasing the original owner for years to sell you a car, then having little use for it once they agree. Flippers gotta flip, and the hobby becomes increasingly unaffordable.

    Like 5
  4. Miguel

    Jeff, I am anxious to see the pictures of the clean Comet you referenced in your write up

    “I certainly expect that number to go higher, as anything south of $7K is a bargain in my book for a clean Comet like this.”

    Like 0
  5. Del

    Gonna need some new metal. But V8 and rare colour.

    Worth saving

    Like 1

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