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1973 Mercury Comet Garage Find

After twenty-three years in storage, this 1973 Mercury Comet recently emerged blinking into the light of day. It is a solid classic needing a cosmetic refresh. The seller returned it to a roadworthy state, and with its needs appearing relatively minor, it could be driven and enjoyed immediately. Located in Auburn, Kentucky, you will find the Comet listed for sale here on eBay. The seller has set a BIN of $12,500, although the option is there to make an offer. I want to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this classic for us.

The 1973 Comet represented a badge-engineered version of Ford’s Maverick, and it is impossible to mistake the family likeness. I’m not sure if I’m in the minority, but I find the styling, especially in two-door form, quite sharp in an early-1970s context. Some vehicles from this era haven’t aged well, but the Comet/Maverick doesn’t seem to fall into that category. The original owner ordered the car in Tan, and it appears that it retains most of its original paint. It shines well for its age, but it’s worth noting that there are a few issues for the next owner to address. This shot reveals a panel repair below the rear side glass, the result of a fender-bender in this classic’s early days. It appears repairable, but there may be some Bondo that the buyer will be grinding away first. The driver’s side rocker sports a bend that is believed to result from careless jack use, but once again, it’s repairable. The best news is the Comet’s apparent lack of rust. There is nothing visible in the supplied photos, with the seller claiming it is rust-free. The trim looks acceptable for a survivor-grade car, and there are no issues with the glass. The panel damage is an inconvenience, but the buyer could drive the Comet untouched in the short term, tackling repairs as time and finances allow.

The Comet’s interior presents well for a survivor-grade car, but as with the exterior, there are some issues. The driver’s seat upholstery is ripped, and it appears beyond repair. The buyer could choose a couple of approaches. Working on the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy, a set of good slipcovers could hide the evidence and cost relatively little. If the buyer seeks perfection, a complete set of replacement seat upholstery will lighten their wallet to the tune of $600. The carpet looks tired, so we can add a further $220 to the tally for a new carpet set. Before replacing anything else, I would treat the interior to a deep clean. I feel the results should be worth the effort. This interior isn’t loaded with luxury appointments, although ice-cold air conditioning and a radio are welcome inclusions.

This Comet’s trump card may emerge when we lift the hood. The company offered a couple of engine choices in 1973, and the owner of this classic selected the 302ci V8 backed by a three-speed automatic transmission. That V8 should produce 138hp, which is enough to blast the Mercury through the ¼ mile in 17.6 seconds. That may not sound dazzling, but it’s worth placing it into some perspective. The acknowledged high-performance offering in the 1973 Mercury range was the Cougar. Buyers could secure an entry-level Cougar with a 351ci V8 under the hood that placed 168hp at the driver’s disposal. That sounds like an improvement compared to the Comet, and you would think it would be a no-brainer if the pair were placed head-to-head over the ¼-mile. However, thanks to the additional 360lbs that the Cougar has to drag, they would break the beam in an identical time. Aiding the Comet’s cause, it would achieve the feat while consuming 10% less fuel. When the seller located this Comet, it had been in storage since 1999. They replaced the brakes and tires, and performed other essential maintenance work. The Comet now runs and drives perfectly, making it ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel. The seller claims an odometer reading of 92,500 genuine miles but doesn’t mention supporting evidence.

To be brutally honest, the 1973 Mercury Comet doesn’t rate anywhere near the Top 10 most desirable American classics. In fact, it doesn’t even fit into the Top 20. However, that doesn’t make it a vehicle less worthy of careful consideration for a different reason. The reality is that cars like the 1973 Cougar have hit their straps within the classic market, and values continue climbing steadily. They are fast reaching the point where they will be beyond the means of many enthusiasts. That poses the question of what alternatives are available for a buyer seeking an affordable Mercury with a V8 under the hood. That’s where this Comet could fit into the equation. It offers comparable performance to a 351-equipped Cougar, better fuel consumption, and will cost its next owner a fraction of the price. Maybe it isn’t the most desirable car on the block, but those factors make it worth a closer look.


  1. RJ

    $12,500 for a big front bumper 73 Comet in less than desirable color needing paint and interior work? No ma’am.

    Like 10
  2. Jonathan A. Green

    I’ve really come around to the Maverick/Comets of this era, and in particular the 2 doors. When I was a kid, these were the cheap cars. But I never really took the time to look at them as a whole, but what did I know.

    I think they have a wonderful early 70’s sporty vibe to them.

    However, the price is waaaaaay out of whack here…

    Like 10
  3. Steve Clinton

    Stick a fancy grille on a Ford, and voila, it’s a Mercury.

    Like 3
  4. Rixx56 Member

    Clean, V8 and a/c… not at all bad. Had the
    Maverick version with a 6 way back when.
    One year only bumpers were difficult to
    source 35yrs ago. Like it but not the 12.5k.

    Like 2
  5. ChiTownJeff

    For less than half the price I’d purchase the 2 Buick Skylarks.

    Like 9
  6. Lance Platt

    The Comet looks good as it nears the half century mark. It is a sensible compact size about as big as a newer intermediate or standard size model that would make fitting into a parking spot today a lot easier than the behemoths of 1973. Automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, 5.0 engine,
    bucket seats and the ad says the air conditioning “works” so it checks all the boxes. Might not be everybody’s dream collectible car but it allows beginners to the car hobby to relive their youth without breaking the bank on that Chevelle SS 396 or 454.

    Like 5
  7. Pleease

    No offense to Comet lovers, but it’s hard to think of a more boring car. If not for the 302 I don’t know of a single redeeming quality, except that it’s alive ~50 years later.

    Like 3
    • Gary


      Like 2
  8. Sam Shive

    Make it a 1/2 price sale and I’m there

    Like 1
  9. Big C

    My wife had a ’73 Comet, that I bought for her, 20 odd years ago. 302 with the halo roof, no rust, 40k miles. Sold it a couple of years later. Tripled my money! ‘Course I paid $500 for it…

    Like 2
  10. joenywf64

    Not the best looking body side molding – would rather see traditional style
    like shown on the ’74 below – or none.
    That is a slimmer ’73 5 mph front bumper than the inSANE one used on ’74s & later …
    Not sure why this ’73 style was not RETAINED for ’74.

    Like 0
  11. DON

    ” The original owner ordered the car in tan ” ? Come on, no one ordered any Comet ,tan or otherwise. You wanted a cheap compact ,you went to a dealership and picked one off the lot .

    Like 4

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