1965 Comet Caliente: East Coaster Today
The Mercury Comet launched in 1961. The Comet was developed as an Edsel product, but Ford announced the end of the Edsel program on November 19, 1959. The Comet was destined to become Mercury Division’s entry level offering.
Based on the compact Ford Falcon, the Comet had a slightly longer wheelbase and an upgraded interior, just what Mercury was looking for. It was sold without divisional badges for the first two years so it was simply a Comet until the 1963 model arrived sporting Mercury badges.
Through the first five years of production, the Comet evolved and by 1965 was starting to show some muscle. The original base engine, a 144 cid 90-horsepower straight-six, was upgraded to a 170 cid engine. By 1964, the 260 and eventually 289 V8 engines were available.
In 1964, Ford produced 50 ultra-high-performance Comet Cyclones with dual-quad 427 V8, a first cousin to the legendary Ford Thunderbolt.
We spotted this 1965 two-door model a few times this summer at Masstown Market. It has the Caliente trim package and a few obvious modifications – like the two hood scoops and upgraded wheels.
We don’t know much about this car but it sounds like a healthy 289, the V8 option that year, with a manual transmission (see/hear video below). Of course we’d like to know more, but it’s probably tucked in for the winter. We’ll have to wait until next summer to find out.
The sculptured ‘fastback’ roofline and square body design made a handsome addition to the streetscape of the mid 1960s and it still looks good today.