One Elderly Owner: 1971 Mercury Comet

One owner classics will always be an attractive proposition because long-term ownership usually indicates that a car has been treated with respect. That is especially true when you find an original survivor like this 1971 Mercury Comet. It is one of those classic “one owner, little old lady” vehicles, and she has decided that driving is now beyond her abilities. The lady’s son is assisting her to part with the Mercury, so he has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. The Comet is located in Carmichael, California, and the seller has set a sale price of $16,000. However, it appears that there may be some room to negotiate on that figure. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for spotting this stunning survivor for us.

Once the seller has wheeled it out into the light of day, the Comet appears to be in fantastic condition for its age. The Gray Gold paint shines extremely well, while the White vinyl top shows no evidence of deterioration. The panels are laser straight, with no noticeable dings or dents. This car has a couple of significant plus points for anyone seeking a classic to park in their driveway. The first is that it has spent its entire life in California, while a life kept in a garage has also helped it remain completely rust-free. The trim and chrome are in good condition, while the lights and lenses look bright and clear. The glass appears to be flawless, and when you look at the vehicle’s overall condition, it is a long way above average for a Comet of this vintage.

Owners had several engine choices for their 1971 Comet, but this one chose to equip her new acquisition with the 250ci 6-cylinder unit that produces a respectable 145hp. To keep driving chores to a minimum, she also ticked the boxes beside the 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. While the Comet is no muscle car, it can cover the ¼ mile in 18 seconds. That would be good enough to satisfy most owners of this type. The Mercury hasn’t had much use over the past 5-years, but the seller does take it out for the occasional drive to keep the fluids circulating. The trunk contains all of the components required for the buyer to treat the car to a complete service. This includes oil, filters, plugs, and sundry other parts. The seller says that the vehicle runs and drives well and that it has a genuine 49,500 miles on the clock. He doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify this claim, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does.

The easiest way to describe the Comet’s interior would be to call it spotless. The upholstery is all in excellent condition, and I doubt that the rear seat has ever been used. The dash looks clean and free from any deterioration, while the wheel and carpet show no apparent wear. It seems that this lady knew how to care for her car because there are none of the tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect. It isn’t loaded with luxury features, although air conditioning and a pushbutton AM radio should make life pleasant on the road.

I’m not going to pretend for one moment that this 1971 Mercury Comet is a cheap example of this model. The fact is that the asking price is well above average and is more than most people would be willing to pay for a ’71 Comet under normal circumstances. However, its condition is also a long way above average, and I suspect that you would struggle to find an original survivor that is as close to perfect as this one appears to be. Sure, it might not be a desirable muscle car, and it hasn’t got the optional V8 under the hood. But even the most “pedestrian” of older cars will attract admiring glances and comments if the condition justifies it. I believe that this car fits into that category, and I won’t be surprised if it finds its way to a new home relatively soon.


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Well, this isn’t the blue/silver, 302 3-speed on the floor, bucket seat Maverick Grabber featured recently, which went for an eye-popping $30k. But it is of the same lineage, albeit in a tamer-performing and appearing package. It looks to be in great shape. Clean, low mileage examples of once-common economy cars can bring big bucks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fetch close to the asking price.

    Like 24
    • Will Fox

      Regarding the buyer who p[aid $30K for the blue Grabber, all I can say is, PT Barnum was right all along.

      Like 27
      • Al

        What was that?
        Just a little old lady from Pasadena.

        Like 3
      • JCA

        There were 84 bids on the blue Grabber from multiple buyers who were bidding well into the mid $20k range. And 2 buyers were willing to pay $30k actually. The second guy got it for $30,100. So let’s say it was priced about 2 to 3 times the real value of this base Comet. That’s still well within reason. What’s the multiple of a ‘Cuda with a slant 6 to one with a Hemi? 5x the price? How about a 6 cyl ’68 mustang fastback to a ’68 Shelby GT500kr? 5 x the price as well?

        Like 10
  2. BW

    I hope the seller is willing to share a little bit of whatever he/she has been smoking.

    Like 15
    • Don

      Look at what it would cost to find one and get it to this level of condition. The $16000 asking price would look like a bargain.

      Like 5
  3. rustylink

    fine example..but for $16 large…that’s a stretch. Even as a beautiful survivor it is still a 6 cyl Comet at the end of the day. I know, I know, it’s an auto and has pb and ps – but it’s up there with a survivor grade Rambler 6 or Nova 6, Lark 6…

    Like 19
    • Blyndgesser

      Find another one that’s comparable?

      Like 12
      • Miguel - Mexican Spec

        “Find another one that’s comparable?”

        Who wants to?

        That is the question you have to ask.

        Like 21
      • chrlsful

        gotta ask? The one who bought it.
        All the bidders.

      • Patrick Drew Farmer

        There was a bright silver mid-1970’s Brazilian 302 GT Maverick for sale here, awhile back, that had 10 to 20 miles on it. The front end was pure 1970. The tail lights were the Brazilian update. They wanted an arm and a leg, along with your first born and the kid’s dog for it. It was straight out of the Time Tunnel.

  4. 71Boss351

    I am think $16K is a bit unrealistic for this one with a base 6 cyl. It does have A/C but does it work? The brakes are not power brakes as I do not see the power booster, thus manual drum brakes up front. No other major options noted in the pictures. Nice clean Comet for the period.

    I would see this going for no more than $10 to 11K if the miles are accurate.

    Like 13
  5. Dave

    Hum. 16k? This one is a candidate for resto-mod, but that asking price is too much

    Like 3
  6. Steve R

    It’s nice, my biggest problem is I just don’t believe sonny boy is the one selling the car. The ad is written like the typical flipper, trying to build trust (my mom bought it new), while simultaneously avoiding DMV fees (which are substantial in California). As mentioned above, $10,000 or so is a more realistic price.

    Steve R

    Like 9
  7. Mountainwoodie

    Granted it is in lovely condition. Perhaps theres a little money in its condition. Perhaps you are a Maverick iteration fanatic and belong to a secret society of Mercury Maverick people. Perhaps you like plain jane economy cars from the early Seventies. Disposable plain jane six cylinder cars. I get it. Different strokes different folks…..but 16 grand is a huge stroke. I’d like to meet the person who pays that. Perhaps they have an investment strategy I’m unaware of. :)

    Like 10
  8. Will Fox

    Regarding the buyer who p[aid $30K for the blue Grabber, all I can say is, PT Barnum was right all along.

    Like 3
    • Eric

      It was probably an emotional purchase and 9 out of 10 times we regret emotional purchases. He will probably do the same when he hears “you paid what?” one time too many.

      Sometimes our memories simply get the best of us. My father was an mechanical engineer and he had a 1963 Comet for years. He could have bought any car he wanted, but he loved the mechanical simplicity of that car.

      We pulled that car apart so many times – mostly so he could teach me how it all worked and I was probably the only kid in 10th grade that knew how to pull a motor and transmission out of a 1963 Comet.

      Once I was tempted to buy a ’63 Comet – same exact red color till I realized that I really hated that car, It was dad that made every moment washing it or working on it memorable and buying that car was sure not going to bring him back with it.

      Like 5
    • Patrick Drew Farmer

      One born every minute and two born to take em’.
      Oh and be sure to pay 10 cents extra to see the beautiful Egress.

    • Cjr

      Nice car. My piano teacher Mrs Butcher, traded in her 1960 plain jane falcon for this model with absolutely zero options other than being a Mercury.

      Like 1
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Being a Mercury was an option? Betcha a lot of orphan cars wished they were a Mercury.

  9. Daniel Wright

    This is the car we or our parents had back then, not the car we wanted. Not every old vehicle needs a Hemi.

    Like 12
  10. jerryr

    I would add curb indicators to make it complete.

    Like 2
  11. Kevin Fear

    Nice $8500 car.

    Like 11
  12. George Louis

    To: Al, The” little old lady from Pasadena “dove a 1963 Super Stock Dodge as the song says!!!!!!

  13. FOG

    This car has had a charmed life so far. If I owned it, let her stay away from any further disruptions to change her. Enjoy what she provides, and let others see to learn.

    Like 9
  14. Steve Clinton

    The only negative is the panel under the rear bumper seems to have been bent at some point.

    Like 4
  15. Dave Brown

    This was a cheap, undesirable car when new. Has something changed from then to now? I don’t think so.

    Like 11
  16. ADM

    We’ve all seen dozens of cars with “49K,” listed over the years.

    Like 1
  17. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member


  18. 1st Gear

    Not sorry to say, I’m not a fomoco guy by any means, but this is a great example of what can be accomplished when a car is respected and appreciated. A beautiful example here, and if I was still in the bay area, I would have to take a look at this.

    Like 5
  19. z28th1s

    Power brakes and disc brakes were not an option on ’71 Comets.

    Very nice car, but 16K might be a bit of a stretch without the 302 V8.

    I see it has the rare aftermarket sliding glove box door.

    Like 1
  20. Duaney

    Lots of pooh poohs but I could guarantee that at any show, this car would attract tons of attention. It’s not a Camaro, Firebird, or Corvette, but something completely different, and many memories for many people.

    Like 5
  21. chrlsful

    “Comet”? yeah, we know itsa Mav. They did back then too,
    Got that motor (outta ’69 stang) in my ’70 bronk – 4.1, 150tq
    at 1,500 RPMs. Kinda nice for off rd, no tire spin. Or R U a stop light to stop light-er?

  22. Bhowe Member

    I personally like this with the 6 cyl better than with a v8. More unique

    Like 4
  23. Patrick Drew Farmer

    Oh my GOD!! A Maverick in make up!!!! The new Ford 7.3 Godzilla will fit between it’s shock towers. It doesn’t take much for this ALL NEW pushrod, naturally aspirated LS killer powerplant to be producing over 600 hp. Supercharged it is over 1200 hp and would be popping out windshields and sagging doors worse than a V8 Vega. It would be a great amount of chassis work, but this thing would be a grocery getting, super sleeper and a very large amount of fun.

  24. Vinnie G

    Only worth what someone would pay for it. I give 10 to 12 thousand for it and enjoy it on nice weekend summer day’s.

  25. Jimmy Boy

    Just because this car, or the “blue grabber” for that matter, isn’t worth the price to you does not mean it isn’t worth that to someone else, as evidenced by someone willingly paying the amount being asked. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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