1965 Mercury Comet Caliente - $24,900
     
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But in a world filled with garden-variety cars in safe and ordinary colors, perhaps this cool Comet will stand out.

As popular as Mustangs have been for, oh, the last 50 years, there’s a movement afoot suggesting that Mustang alternatives are gaining in popularity. We’ve sold quite a few Falcons, Cougars, and Comets in the past three years, and they sell so quickly that it seems like more than a coincidence. That’s why we welcomed this cool and unusual 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente hardtop when it knocked on our door. It’s an original A-code 289 car, so it was built for speed from the start, and if you’re a fan of the unusual, the Ivy Gold paint job will surely look right to you. It’s also got a cackling 289 under the hood today, making it a very strong performer on the street. If you like your cars a little bit outside the norm, this Comet delivers big.

Code C Ivy Gold is this car’s original color, and we understand that it’s a love-it-or-hate-it thing. That’s OK. But in a world filled with garden-variety cars in safe and ordinary colors, perhaps this cool Comet will stand out. It’s been repainted at some point and they did their best to make it look like a factory job. It’s not perfect but it has a vintage glow that seems exactly right on the angular mid-60s bodywork. And speaking of bodywork, this sucker is CLEAN! The quarters are laser-straight, the doors fit extremely well, and there’s no sign that it was ever rusty and patched back together. It was originally delivered to Atlanta, which certainly explains it, and the result is a car that goes down the road rather well with none of the creaks and rattles you expect from an old car like this. Someone treated it well. We would guess that the paint might be 15 years old, but it shines up quite nicely and there are only two or three marks on it that are even noticeable. It’s also got nice chrome bumpers, a well-preserved original grille, and the unique finned taillights are in good order. And while it might sound odd, this car actually looks better in person than in photos, so that’s working in your favor.

Ford called the code 68 interior Ivy Gold as well, but it’s quite a bit more green than the exterior, and the contrast is extremely appealing. It looks so good that there’s just no way it’s original, and we’re guessing that it was completely restored when the rest of the car was refinished. The bench seat remains firm and comfortable with correct patterns in the vinyl upholstery, and the door panels look far more upscale than those in a Mustang. The wood-rimmed steering wheel is nicely dressed with chrome rings and an ornate horn button, and it matches the woodgraining on the dash quite well. The instruments should look familiar enough to Mustang fans, with a big speedometer in the middle flanked by auxiliary gauges, and secondary controls underneath. The woodgraining on the dash face is probably original and is showing some age, but the rest looks to be in good condition, including the carpets on the floor. The original AM radio is non-functional, but from the custom speakers on the parcel shelf, it appears that this car might have had an upgraded stereo at some point, so it would be easy to install a better unit. The trunk is considerably larger than comparable Mustang, and it’s carrying what appears to be its original mat and exactly zero signs of distress underneath.

There’s no way to know if that’s the original 289 cubic inch V8 living in there, but given the extensive upgrades and impressive performance, you probably won’t care. There’s a big Holley 4-barrel carb on top, an aluminum intake manifold, and a set of AFR aluminum heads that combine to make considerably more than the factory-rated 225 horsepower. An electronic ignition system lights the fires and a set of long-tube headers handle the exhaust and help bolster the torque curve. This is an original A-code car, so all the heavy-duty hardware needed for a V8 engine was already part of the package, so no worries about weenie brakes or undersized suspension parts. There’s a giant radiator up front, which has a transmission cooler behind it and a powerful electric pusher fan out front. At some point, it was fitted with A/C (probably an under-dash unit like those installed by dealers) and it would be easy enough to add a similar system today. The satin black inner fenders haven’t been cut and they aren’t rusty, and you can see a lot of aluminum parts that help make this Comet a lightweight where it matters. The valve covers read Power Parts & Racing out of Greenville, SC. It starts easily and idles well without any bad habits. There’s definitely an upgraded camshaft inside, so it has a performance lope to it that you’ll enjoy, and there’s plenty of power in the lightweight Comet bodywork.

Underneath, it appears to be mostly original, not shiny and perfect, but also without any signs of rust or rot. The C4 3-speed automatic transmission appears to have been recently rebuilt and sure feels snappy, while the 8-inch rear end has 3.00 gears inside, according to the door tag, making this an easy highway cruiser. The exhaust uses mellow-sounding mufflers so it doesn’t get too aggressive and there are fresh shocks all around. The brakes stop the car confidently and it sits on stock springs, so it doesn’t look nearly as modified as it is. 14-inch styled steel wheels are always the right choice and they carry right-sized 215/70/14 blackwall radials all around.

If you’re a Blue Oval fan but are tired of seeing row after row of Mustangs at shows, maybe something like this Comet will be the right choice. It’s got the same performance, awesome handling, and a slightly bigger interior that’s great for families. And given the way these cars have been selling lately, someone likes the look. This isn’t a perfect car, bit it’s a great driver with no needs that you can fire up and enjoy the minute you get it home. Pretty hard to beat that. Call today!

Vehicle: 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente
Price: $24,900
Stock Number: 114115
Mileage: 43,970
VIN: 5H23A536222
Engine: 289 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.00
Wheelbase: 114 inches
Wheels: 14-inch styled steel wheels
Tires: 215/70/14 blackwall radial
Exterior Color: Ivy Gold
Interior Color: Ivy Gold (green) vinyl
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