While not as iconic as the Falcon, the Comet remained in dealerships until 1977. It was also sold in two different sizes. A compact from 1960 to 1965, the Comet grew larger and became a midsize from 1966 to 1969. Briefly discontinued in 1970, the Comet returned as a compact in 1971.
In 1966 and 1967, the Comet also got a GT/GTA package similar to the Fairlane, which came with a 390-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8 good for 335 horsepower. Finally, the Cyclone version of the late 1960s was fitted with the mighty 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet from the first-generation Mustang.
Of course, the nameplate’s revival as a compact in 1971 was anything but spectacular. With the Malaise Era around the corner, Mercury dropped the big engines from the lineup, leaving only the 302-cubic-inch (4.9-liter) to handle V8 duty. While still satisfyingly potent at 210 horsepower in 1971, the 302 was heavily detuned to 138 horses starting in 1972.
But fortunately enough, 1970s Comets aren’t just about sad stories. The yellow example you see here is one of the very few Comets that made it into the 21st century in one piece and still sporting their factory parts. Yes, the car is not entirely original as seen in the video below, but it can be brought back to 1973 specs in no time.
Power now comes from a 365-cubic-inch V8 built around a Dart block. No, I’m not talking about a mill sourced from a Dodge Dart, but a small-block Ford crafted by Dart Machinery, a Michigan-based provider of high-performance aftermarket parts.
Fitted with a modern EFI, the engine is notably more powerful than the Comet’s stock 302 and enables the black-striped yellow coupe to run the quarter-mile in less than 13 seconds.
Granted, it’s not the most desirable Mercury classic out there, but it’s nice to see that not all 1970s Comets are spending their retirement years in backyards and barns. Hit the play button below to see this cool sleeper drag-racing a Cadillac CTS and a fourth-generation Ford Mustang.