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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1972 Mercury Comet GT

Pick of the Day: 1972 Mercury Comet GT

Coming full circle

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The compact Ford Falcon was produced in the United States for 11 model years, then hopped on the mid-size platform for a half-year when it was discontinued. The Mercury Comet, on the other hand, went from compact to mid-sizer and back to compact, and the name had a longer duration than the Falcon to boot! Our Pick of the Day is the latter incarnation of this model, a 1972 Mercury Comet GT. It is listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Greene, Iowa. (Click the link to view the listing)

1960 Comet

The original 1960 Mercury Comet is said to have been planned as an Edsel, but that didn’t pan out. What did pan out was a compact with less demure styling than the Falcon, as the Comet featured what could be considered big-car styling. A two-door sedan, four-door sedan, two-door wagon, and four-door wagon were the only body styles available, and in only one trim level and with only a straight-six. But, in 1961, Mercury introduced the Comet S-22 with bucket seats and console, an early adopter of the sporty trend along with the Falcon Futura. Through 1965, the Comet matured with more models and more engines (including small-block V8s).

1966 Comet Cyclone GT

Starting in 1966, with Ford’s redesigned mid-sized Fairlane, Mercury called its version the Comet and put its compact series to rest. The Comet was eventually absorbed by the Montego, with the last of the mid-size Comets appearing in 1969.

In April of that same year, Ford introduced the 1970 Maverick, a modern, new compact to replace the Falcon. Featuring semi-fastback styling and proportions not unlike a pony car, the Maverick was better prepared to do battle with the Japanese cars that were increasing in popularity at the time. In 1971, Mercury introduced its own version of the Maverick and christened it the Comet. The Comet name now had come full circle, starting as a compact and returning as a compact. Ironically, underneath, the 1971 Comet shared the same basic structure as the 1960 Comet.

Aside of the grille, taillights and hood, the Comet was identical to the Maverick. Body style choices were a two- or four-door sedan. Several inline-sixes and a 302-2V V8 were the powerplants of choice. A GT package was available only for the two-door sedan to create the Comet GT, which included color-keyed non-functional hood scoop, black-out grille, dual racing mirrors, bright window frames, side stripes, hi-back bucket seats, trim rings, and several other tchotchkes. It was a cosmetic thing because no fancy engine options were available, nor was a four-speed.

This rust-free 1972 Mercury Comet GT nicely demonstrates the sporty nature of this decidedly un-sporty car. Equipment was quite similar to 1971 other than the compression being lowered slightly. The 302 powering this Comet GT now features a four-barrel carburetor and other tweaks (including aluminum heads) to achieve 300 horsepower, which is backed by the original three-speed manual. Other modifications include aluminum radiator, aftermarket tach and gauges, and classic styled steel wheels. “Great gaps … painted floors, frame rails, and trunk,” says the seller.

This vehicle demonstrates how both the Maverick and Comet have been embraced by hot rodders: they’re lightweight, parts are plentiful and shared with other FoMoCo products, and you can do a lot that the factory did not. So why go with a Maverick when you can have the more unique Comet GT? For $42,995, you can find out.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

14 COMMENTS

  1. No more Comets for us !! We had our first and our last , as the ’62 model was a living nightmare on 4 wheels !!!! Nearly everything went out on that car that could possibly go out ! You could not pay me to own another one no matter what year .

  2. Had a ’71 Maverick w/302 V-8. Snappy acceleration on dry pavement-a terror on anything else. Mediocre handling. Over engined under engineered. Still wish I hadn’t sold it though.

  3. I’m not too sure about the first gens, however, many moons ago in the late seventies, my friend from first grade used to “ borrow “ his tired , sleeping mother’s ‘73 4 door Comet with a 302 and let me tell you, that car took a severe beating from two crazy kids. She used to wonder why her daily commute to Boston would wear out her Michelins so quickly. Even as a kid, I was impressed with the car’s endurance.

  4. I grew up in the 70s. I never met anyone who was pining for a 70s Maverick or Comet. I can’t imagine who would pay nearly $43K for one.

  5. Bought a brand new ’73 Comet GT in Denver while stationed at Peterson’s Field in Colorado Springs, did a few upgrades motor wise and cosmetic wise, loved my car, never had an issue, drove it cross country twice, to Maine, home, and back…should have kept it when I was shipped overseas, definitely can’t afford this one, wish I could even though I’m 71 now

  6. My first car at 16 was a brown comet gt. I loved that car. It was so loud it would vibrate windows when I drove up. I was the only girl in my school to have a sporty looking car. I would ( yes, I know it’s wrong) race anyone I’d come up against . It was 70s come on.!

  7. Talking about dream cars mine was the 1955 Ford 2 Dr. Htp. Pink and White. Girl friend\Wife 62 yrs. Parents had one when we were in H.S. l have never forgot driving it once to school, for auto/mechanics classes to hand wash and hand wax, cars for $20.00 Note: I found one for sale at another classic car dealership in Harper Ferry, W.V. however now I’m too OLD 85 to enjoy it!

  8. Jack. My first new car was a 71 with 302 v8 and 3 on the floor. It was yellow with a black vinel top. Loved that car. Gave it to my daughter as her first car. Sadly my son totaled the car.

  9. I recall buying a winter beater Comet back in college. It actually was a decent car, although it was very rusty. The main things I remember is that the gas guage didn’t work right and it had automatic windshield wipers, Yes, Auto wipers! If I recall correctly, the water ran into a screen that activated the wipers. I always thought that was pretty cool for a early 70s economy car.

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