As odd as it seems, this automotive writer has never really had a dream car. I have enthusiasm for a variety of makes and models, but none have ever struck me as a “must-own.” Instead, I typically fancy a car for a few weeks or months and then file it away to my dream garage for when I have a few thousand-dollar bills laying around. Lately, the early 1960s Mercury Comet has been the car of my fancy; I love the Ford Falcon (its platform mate) lines blended with a vestigial 1950s fin and, for whatever reason, the crosshairs on the front fenders complete the look.
In my mind, I’d love a nice driver in teal with the original Ford 170 six-cylinder engine, but a recent CraigsList search turned up a primer gray 1962 Comet in North Carolina. I like that look just fine, actually, but the interesting part is (allegedly) under the hood: The seller—who is apparently trying to gauge interest—has swapped in the fuel-injected Ford Lima 2.3-liter engine and five-speed transmission from a Ford Ranger along with the 8-inch rear end from a Ford Maverick. The Lima is a robust and durable mill and, according to the seller who claims to daily drive it, the four-banger Comet will get gas mileage in the high 20s, making this a surprisingly practical 53-year-old car.
The ad lists the car for $7,000, which seems a bit much without showing the mechanical bits of the car, but I kind of love the idea of this car. Am I crazy? Is this automotive travesty or triumph? And here is perhaps a bigger question: What kind of cars should someone who loves the idea of this car consider a “must-own?”
Full text for posterity:
Just seeing if anyone might be interested in this. I don’t want to sell, but have found another project I want. This is a daily driven car. It has a 2.3 fuel injected engine and 5 speed manual out of a 93 ranger. Has front disk brakes and an 8 inch rear out of a 71 maverick. Gets close to 30 mpg . Body is in great shape and is primered gray. No trades unless they include a 5 speed truck and cash .