bullet June 77 - ? 78: 1965 Mercury Comet 202 two-door sedan

My first running car. A graduation present from my parents. It had a 200 cu six with a 3 speed manual, "three-on-the-tree" column shifter. It actually ran quite well and just needed a clutch.

The body was decent with only a few dings and one small dent in the right front fender. The paint actually had some gloss to it. The bright red vinyl interior was in excellent shape. After replacing the clutch and a general clean up, tune up, etc. I had my first real car.

65 Comet.JPG (45349 bytes)

Of course I had big ideas. 289 and 4 speed with all the "go fast" goodies I could use from a Mustang including suspension pieces. The biggest "meats" (tires) I could fit inside the fenders and bucket seats for the interior. When looking at what that would cost I thought maybe just hop up the six. Some pieces were available and a guy at school had six cylinder Mustang that he grafted some SU carbs onto. Strange looking but it worked.

Alas, none of that came to pass. I just drove it to school and work. It was a great utilitarian vehicle.

I did do some things to make it more MY car. I added a Pioneer Super tuner under-dash AM/FM cassette stereo and some Craig Powerplay speakers in the rear deck. It sounded great to me. My first car audio system! In addition to new tires and shocks I later added a floor shifter and a Cherry Bomb muffler for better exterior sound.

I also had my first real serious accident (well, I thought it was) in this car. I was heading to work one damp morning when I headed onto the on ramp (probably a little faster than  I should have) when the rear end just snapped around. I didn't have time to catch it. I spun around 180 and slammed into the curb so hard the car went up on two wheels. My most vivid memory is looking down the embankment and thinking I was going over. Luckily, I didn't and no other cars were involved. The damage was fairly minor with just a bent axle, drum and backing plate. The one positive thing it did was scare me into always wearing my seatbelt as I wasn't wearing one at the time AND my window was open.

My next repair was replacing the transmission. I had somehow blown up second gear! Too many speed shifts I guess. I went down and got a rebuilt tranny and decided to install it one Saturday. I enlisted the help of my friend Ken and we threw the Comet up on stands and went to it. What seemed like 10 hours later we got in installed. After that marathon I realized the importance of a clutch spline tool.

Sometime before winter of 78 I think, I decided to sell this perfectly running car to pay for my next project car, the Cortina.


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