AJ's Car of the Day '65 Mercury Comet Cyclone Coupe

Car: Mercury Comet Cyclone Coupe

Year: 1965

What makes it special: Much like Ford's Falcon, with which it shared a common compact unibody platform, Mercury Comets were available as a two-door sedan, four-door sedan, four-door station wagon. Body styles remained the same for 1965, but in classic transition style, the body received another major revision. Where 1964 models came with horizontal dual headlamps, the 1965 version stacked the headlights, and further squared off the body. Trim levels included the base 202 level, upgraded 404 level, and the top of the line Caliente and Cyclone models.

What made it famous: The Comet and Cyclone were on the leading edge of the muscle car era. Engine options started with a 120 hp, 200 Inline-6 for 1965. The Cyclone engine options included the 289 cid V8 at 200, 225, or 271 hp, depending on carburetion. A very few factory-built racing Comets were produced with Ford’s 427 cid big block engine at 425 hp. Transmission options always started with a base 3-speed column-shift manual, a Merc-o-Matic automatic, or a 4-speed floor-mounted manual transmission as produced for the new Ford Mustang.

Why I would want one: These are factory built hot rods. The same body made for an inline-6 had the capability to be outfitted with a 271hp 289, to a 425hp 427 V8.

Fun fact: The Comet was initially based on the compact Ford Falcon, then on the intermediate Ford Fairlane and finally on the compact Ford Maverick. As a Mercury, early Comets received better grade interior trim than concurrent Falcons.