Classic Car Archive Specs, Facts, & History
The Mercury Comet was an automobile produced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company from 1960–1969 and 1971-1977.
It was considered as either a compact or an intermediate car depending on the size that year. The 1964 Comet had a much more square shape, though it was still built on the same unibody as the 1963 model. The front grille used styling similar to that of the Lincoln Continental.
Styling changes included a switch to 14-inch tires and a wider stance, along with enough body modifications to produce a new personality. Quad headlights rested horizontally in a mesh grille, and remnants of tail fins remained out back, while body sides displayed prominent, tapered crease lines, not unlike those of the restyled Falcon.
Along with the redesign, the model designations were changed. The performance version was known as the Cyclone, replacing the previous S-22. Then in descending order of trim levels were the Caliente, 404 and 202, replacing the previous Custom and base models. The 2-door station wagon body style was discontinued.
The Comet was based on the compact Ford Falcon and later the Ford Maverick. The early Mercury Comets received better grade interior trim than it’s Ford counterpart the Falcons, and it also had a slightly longer wheelbase.
The 1964-1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone transformed Mercury’s Comet line. After putting a small-block V-8 into the last of the first-generation Comets, Mercury was ready to turn toward some real muscle
- and hoping to wind up with a reputation for machines that could move. Breathing through a four-barrel carburetor, the 1964 Mercury Comet Cyclone’s 289 came with 210horsepower and 300 pounds/feet of torque. Both three and four-speed gearboxes were offered but the Multi-Drive Merc-O-Matic replaced the former two-speed automatic on the option list.
Car Life appreciated the removal of spears and flashes from the Comet body, and though the editors didn’t care for the new fender cutout moldings, they nonetheless stated that the restyle “represents a pinnacle of restraint for [Lincoln-Mercury] stylists.” Wheel covers were designed to look like bare wheels, with holes for chromed lug nuts.
For 1964, Ford produced about 50 ultra-high performance lightweight Comet Cyclones, for racing only, equipped with their racing two-carburetor 427 engine, similar to their cousin, the Ford Thunderbolt. To avoid competing with each other, the Thunderbolts ran in Super Stock on 7-inch tires, but the Cyclones were modified to run in A/FX on 10-inch tires, where they were as dominant as the Thunderbolts were in Super Stock. Drivers included Ronnie Sox, Don Nicholson and Wild Bill Shrewsberry in conjunction with Jack Christman.
|Engine||0 to 60 MPH||Quarter Mile||Source|
|200 Six||200ci||1x1bbl||116 hp||185 lb-ft|
|260ci V8||260ci||1x4bbl||164 hp||258 lb-ft|
|289ci V8||289ci||1x4bbl||210 hp||300 lb-ft|
Ask Comet expert Richard Ehrenberg