By on March 30, 2012

A Maverick in a junkyard is a rare sight indeed these days, so you can imagine my surprise when I found this badge-engineered Mercury Maverick just a few rows down from yesterday’s ’75 Ford Maverick Junkyard Find. There wasn’t much difference between the Maverick and the Comet, though the Comet was marketed as being somewhat classier.
You aren’t going to see a sticky vinyl interior in this weird green color these days.
Check out these futuristic taillights!
The 1975 Ford Maverick four-door listed at $3,025 with 200-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine. The 1975 Mercury Comet four-door listed at $3,236, with the same engine. It’s hard to imagine the tiny margin of bragging rights the Comet might bestow over the Maverick, but some felt the extra $211 was worth it.
The 1992 Sci-Fi Channel button on the inside of the C pillar is a nice bit of personalization.

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45 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1975 Mercury Comet Sedan...”


  • avatar
    skor

    It’s a dirty shame what Ford did with its straight-6 in North America when compared to Ford Australia. Down in Oz, the Ford I-6 morphed from wheezy little economy engine into a fine world class performance engine. In NA, the same I-6 went from wheezy little economy engine to an embarrassing joke that had less motive force than a 30 year old Briggs & Stratton lawn mower mill.

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      Thats where Clifford made his money. Created a company (started with his own Hudson) with the motto 6=8. I think the engine he is relying on now is probably the ford 300 six. Over the years he has probably sold more intake manifolds and headers for six cylinders than anyone in the business.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        The Ford truck I-6 engines (240,300) were entirely different beasts….and one of the best engines Ford, or anyone else, every made. The Ford car I-6 engines (144,170,200,250) all came with the intake manifolds cast as part of the cylinder head…in North America. The only way to get any real performance out of a Ford North America car I-6 is to replace the entire cylinder head with an after market unit…not an inexpensive proposition.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        In the 1960s and 1970s, people buying domestic I-6s were not looking for performance. They wanted reliability and economy, and the Ford sixes delivered on both counts. People buying any domestic compact who wanted some zip ordered the V-8, whether it was a Maverick, Hornet, Nova, Dart or Valiant.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Ford made its name in North America with the V-8 since 1932, so a Ford I-6 was never going to be anything but the base economy engine.

      This is a very different market than most of the rest of the world. BMW is the only one left selling an I-6 here and it looks like they are substituting turbo I-4′s now.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m doing my best to prove what a good motor this is in 24 Hours of Lemons racing. We started with the stock motor in our 79 Fairmont, but killed it after 600 miles on the track. The replacement is out of an earlier car but rebuilt. It ran great all weekend at Sears Point, suffering from just a small fuel starvation issue. In the near future it will get a home built adapter a 2bbl carb and an extra hole in the manifold. A supercharger may be coming in the near future.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        The Ford car I-6 engines all got 7 main bearings after 1964, making them very strong little mills. Still they shouldn’t be spun higher than 5,500 rpm or so.

        Here’s a very good article on the history of Ford I-6 engines:

        http://www.classicinlines.com/history.asp

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        7 main bearings make for a smoother running engine, but a 4 main design is stronger, given adequate sized crank journals. The reason being that a 4 main crank has alot less twists and turns.

    • 0 avatar
      manuel

      Regards it wanted to say to all that I am Venezuelan and that I have a Mercury Comet Sedan that I leave myself my grandfather for a lot of time and that even I it preserve but seeing this image me gustaria to know if you podrian to help in some parts that here in venezuela it becomes impossible to obtain I wait his for my response for my mail manuel_0841@hotmail.com regards

  • avatar

    Little 6 year old me was utterly fascinated by the SciFi Channel before it started up – possibly the best pre-launch video ever.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_bJgFCnINQ

    Once it actually came on air I was just really confused by all the low-budget monster and alien movies, though..

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Even gets AM!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    For the time, these weren’t bad little middle class cruisers, especially with the 302 V-8 and A/C and cloth interior. A buddy in High School had one, nearly new, in metallic light blue and while it wasn’t a head turner, it was a decent looking ride which would get rubber. It was pretty much replaced in the Ford lineup by the completely suck-tastic Granada, which was to Ford what the Aspen was to Dodge: fast-rusting, poorly engineered, horribly assembled, inneficient, heavy, bloated and just all around horrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Yeah, funny how the Granada doesn’t get panned as badly as the Aspen…and yet, I remember more vividly how crappy the Granadas were.

      My dad had a brand new 1977 Granada as a company car…a fully loaded Ghia…we were driving back from the beach one summer day when something electrical happened to the car and both the A/C AND power windows became inoperable…you can imagine how much “fun” that trip home was.

  • avatar
    windswords

    I had the Ford Maverick, also a ’75 while in college. Two door with two-tone blue and white exterior and the same 200-cubic-inch 6 banger. The 4 doors actually had more room. It did the job, though not without some excitement, like the time I was driving all night down I-81 and the voltage regulator stopped working. Driving at night in the rain is not good for your battery. I was in the middle of “nowhere” when I realized what was happening. Just as everything was getting dim (literally) I saw an exit and a sign for a Union 76 truck stop. As I got off the exit the car died. My buddy and I had to push it into the truck stop. After getting a recharge and some food we made it to Roanoke in the morning (no lights needed) and got the regulator replaced at a Ford dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      The voltage regulator was a piece of cake to replace, four small bolts and one connector. It was a 5 minute job if one was slow.

      • 0 avatar
        another_pleb

        The problem might have been that there were a lot of electrical things under the bonnet which could have been removed with just 4 bolts. The trick is to know which thing and which bolts.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Click on the first thumbnail in the second row. The blue box is the voltage regulator. I try to give these guys a little bit of inspiration.

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    My sister-in-law had one, and the first time I drove it to work (35 miles one way in the country), I got caught on radar speeding. It really moved along quite well I must say. As for the ticket, It was dismissed as court date was set for less than a week after the day I received the ticket (in violation of the IL vehicle code).

  • avatar
    OldWingGuy

    We had a car exactly like that. Green inside and out, I6 engine.
    We referred to it as the Green Vomet.
    An apt desription.
    The worst part was the idle. It would shake something horible. The idle had to be set so high that it would diesel on after shutting off.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Then there was something wrong with it. I maintained a number of 1970s Fords of various flavors, and they would idle very smoothly if properly tuned up and there were no vacuum leaks (which is what I suspect was the problem with yours).

  • avatar
    afflo

    Mom had a Maverick as her first car. She still holds a grudge against that car, and said she will never own a Ford again in her life.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My brother bought a 75 Comet that wasn’t running. Turns out that a few of its pushrods had jumped, so after fixing that, it ran well for a 75-HP wheezer.

    I think his 250 I-6 was the weakest of all engines ever put into Maverick/Comets.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Oh, good grief. That’s the same phlegm green vinyl interior my 1974 Maverick had. Hated that car…

    Edit: actually, I just noticed that the vinyl seats’ pattern and texture on this Mercury is an upgrade compared to the ones my Maverick had, if you can believe that to be possible.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I remember grandpas 71 Comet and 76 Granada both with wheezy 6 cylinder engines. Neither would ever pull cleanly from a cold idle. If he even tried they would die repeatedly. They hesitated, idled poorly and were both dog slow. Both ate several regulators and stranded him on the side of the road and one time at the mall an hour away from home. The 85 307 Cutlass he bought in 86 was light years better in the performance/drive-ability and reliability department and gramps always praised that car up until 1994 when he could no longer drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      Did any 70s American car pull cleanly from a cold idle?

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        I never experienced a cold idle problem with either of these beaters that I owned in Wisconsin back in the mid 80′s:

        1974 Olds Cutlass
        1975 Pontiac Grand Prix

        They ran like a top in winter.

        Now, my 1979 Audi, it would not start if it went below 20 degrees fahrenheit. Would crank and crank, but never start.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Yes, they would if you kept them tuned up, knew what you were doing with the carb, and set the choke and timing correctly.

  • avatar
    JeffM

    Perfect example of a 70′s Detroit optimistic attempt at producing vehicles of interest – body-colored interior (miss those!), inelegant oversize chrome bumpers trying to meet 70′s crash test standards, high idle to try to stop incessant “dieseling” (never worked), fast-back look to imply speed & power (without a hatch, which would have made sense.) This example I think has the ‘base’ AM pushbutton radio, which was all you needed to access top-40 hits of the day, no elite FM stations needed.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    As a young man in those days, I can tell you that the Mercury label was actually worth a few hundred extra dollars, especially in the bigger cars. The bigger Mercs were qualitatively nicer than the Fords and were even unique from them in some cases.

    Not so much for the Comet and the Bobcat classes though.

    And true to form, this one even appears to have a newer voltage regulator!

  • avatar
    MarkySparky

    Those taillights have a supporting role in The Thin Blue Line…

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Back in the early eighties when I took fairly regular trips into Mexico, I had a 1972 4 Door version of this car with a 3 speed on the column. It was my $500 disposable car.

    The whole purpose of the car was to keep my Volvo wagon out of Mexico.

    It was also referred to as the Green Vomit. It gave me good service and would do 85 to 90 mph for hours on end – which made the steering very floaty.

  • avatar
    roger628

    The key to these cars was to get all the options-My parents bought a ’72 Comet 4door with the LDO package, 302-V8, AC, Power Steering etc.
    The LDO package was very comprehensive in the early years, including functional items like softer bushings for a better ride, more sound insulation, even an extra coat of paint. Plus, it included radial tires, in our case, BF Goodrich ER70-14 RS’s, which had the same tread pattern as the later first gen TAs.. I always was amazed that a 4 door Comet would come with 70 series tires from the factory.
    Anyway, I recall it was not terrible, with the exception of the non-assisted drum brakes (no discs until 1974). It was quite peppy to 60, although it couldn’t lay rubber. Top speed was was exactly 100 mph indicated, and it was quite comfortable to ride in.

    • 0 avatar
      CA Guy

      I bought a new 1972 Maverick two-door with the LDO option, introduced at the end of that model year. It was Medium Yellow Gold with a brown vinyl roof and matching side and bumper guard trim. The beige upgraded vinyl bucket seat and deep pile carpeted interior was very attractive and comfortable. The car was loaded for the time; in addition to the LDO option for $421, it had the 302 V8, Cruise-O-Matic, power steering, Selectaire, AM radio and tinted glass, for a total of $1148.43 worth of options and a bottom line of $3495.43 (I still have the original window sticker). Virtually all of the LDOs I saw at dealers were so equipped.

      The LDOs were special cars, very much not the simple machines the original Mavericks were meant to be. They were among the first with steel-belted radial tires, and the level of sound insulation made them as quiet as a luxury model. My family had a 1970 base model Maverick with the 200 six, Cruise-O-Matic, and radio and the two cars could not have been more different.

      The biggest negative of my car (other than the terrible gas mileage combined with a small gas tank) was the cooling system, which was inadequate for the 302 plus A/C. Not only was the radiator too small, a poorly placed bypass hose caught direct engine heat and frequently failed. The protruding color-keyed wheel covers also posed a problem as they were easily damaged by automatic carwash rails and required valve stem extensions that stuck out so far they could snap off when parking at curbs, damaging the valve stems. You quickly learned to be careful. The upper control arm bushings on the front suspension also were problematic in that they frequently needed lubrication or would squawk loudly. Nevertheless, overall the Maverick LDO was an attractive and reliable car that I drove for almost eight years until it was stolen.

      • 0 avatar
        mtymsi

        My first new car was a 73 2 door Comet with the same options & color scheme you describe. Had it for 3 years and enjoyed it. It was a very nice comfortable stylish car for its day. Optioned out this way it was a totally different vehicle from the base econo versions.

      • 0 avatar
        gsf12man

        roger628 and CA Guy are spot on. I drove a friend’s dad’s new ’73 LDO V8 with those same Goodrichs, nicer interior, et al, and it was a really nice driving car for the “smogger” era. Quite refined suspension considering the basic design. It was a huge step up from the basic Maverick/Comet.

  • avatar
    Hobie-wan

    Regardless of anything else to do with the car, so much awesome green.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    If they laid down the extra for a Comet over a Maverick, with factory AC to boot, it’s safe to assume it came with that fancy AM AND FM. I’d forgotten just how odd the Bat-Jet exhaust style lighting system looked.

  • avatar
    sokwdc

    Learned to drive on a burnt orange two-door ’74 Comet that my father got from Hertz for a sister heading to college. I liked it even though it drove so poorly (compared to the Chevelle wagon we had, burnt orange again, and then the ’78 downsided Malibu wagon in baby blue metallic). I remember that horrible hand brake to the left of the steering wheel that wrenched your arm, the mustard yellow interior, the FM converter we installed from Radio Shack and the groovy rainbow sticker in the back window that was so in vogue at the time. Bias ply tires and intermittent A/C. My father wrecked it and it returned from the tiny Ford dealer body shop covered with watery blue paint streaks that never lightened with age. The leaf springs started to spring through the rusty trunk floor and it finally succumbed by being side-swiped by a trash truck. Fitting ending ultimately after years of service, bodywork to stem off rust and gross sisterly neglect.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    I hate to see that White TownCar abandoned to the right.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I threw the $3236 sticker price into an inflation calculator using 1975 as the base year and came up with $13,693 in today’s dollars, I can’t think of many modern cars with that low of a sticker price…the Comet seems like a bargain to me or maybe cars were relatively cheaper in 1975? The 2012 Fiesta starts at $15,670, granted it is a vastly better car but $2k delta in price is surprising.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    1st new car I remember my parents buying was a 74 Comet. They paid extra for the Ginger Glamour Metallic paint.Car always looked great on the exterior, but as the car aged, the brown paint was fitting for the car. Slow, lousy mileage, crummy interior and squeaked as it went down the road.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    In my memory although the late seventies was certainly a time for odd colorful interiors it seems that Ford stuck with this particularly odd shade of green longer than anyone else .Daddy had a 1969 Pontiac Custom S with a similiar color interior but as I recall by the mid seventies GM offerred only a much softer color green I remember seeing in somebody’s Malibu . A coworker had a ’76 Montego sedan with the same color vinyl interior as did a college friend’s 1976 MustangII Ghia . Both were pale yellow with that odd olive color vinyl top, a color combo I also remember seeing only on Ford products of this era . Sure miss all those ill conceived but interesting interior/ exterior color schemes .


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