1964-1965 Mercury Comet Makeover
New series designations of the 1964-1965 Mercury Comet covered a drastically revised lineup of 11 models. Gone were two-door station wagons (which remained available as Falcons). So were the three bucket-seats-and-console S-22 models, though they were more than compensated for by a new Cyclone hardtop.
The new base series was the 202, consisting of two- and four-door sedans plus a station wagon. Simple interiors were appointed with vinyl bolsters combined with domino-cloth inserts in a choice of five colors. Series-specific bright trim was minimal: rain gutters, a strip at the base of sedan roofs, a band around the rear-quarter tube feature, series badges, and three paint-filled dashes on the front fenders reminiscent of traditional Buick "Venti-Port" ornaments.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd
The new series of Mercury Comet sported a drastically revised lineup of 11 models.
Effectively replacing the Comet Custom was the 404 series, which featured the same three body styles as the 202. These models came standard with five different interior trim selections for sedans, or four for the wagon, in vinyl and "jet-stream" cloth, or, at a slight extra cost, in all vinyl. The two-door sedan could be ordered with bucket seats. Side trim traded the 202's fender dashes for long, narrow loops of brightwork along the bodysides. Side windows also were trimmed and sedans got small grooved chrome plaques on the C-pillars.
The Villager station wagon shared its interior design with the 404 wagon but sported imitation-wood side trim and the fender dashes from the 202. Deep-loop carpeting and a power-operated rear window were also included in the Villager's starting price.
A entirely new kind of Comet was presented in the Caliente series. Named for the Spanish word for "hot," this premium line consisted of a convertible, two-door hardtop, and four-door sedan. Calientes picked up the 404's side trim but filled the loop with brushed aluminum and added a red, white, and blue emblem on the rear-quarter panels.
The standard front seat was a full-width bench, but individual bucket seats with a fashionable center console could be had in all models. On sedans and hardtops with the bench, vinyl bolsters with harmonizing mosaic-cloth inserts were used, though "chamois-soft" vinyl trim in six different color selections was optional. All convertibles came with vinyl upholstery.
Deep beneath these restyled and renamed Comets were a number of chassis improvements. Torque boxes welded into the underbody for added rigidity, first used on 1963 V-8 Comets, were extended across the line. Rear tread was widened by 1.5 inches. The rear springs of most Comets went from five leaves to four (convertibles and wagons had six leaves), but they were longer, wider, and thicker than before to improve ride. Stronger spring towers, stouter bracing between the towers and cowl, and sturdier fender aprons tightened up the front of the car. Steering and shocks were upgraded for better handling. A 20-gallon fuel tank replaced a 14-gallon unit.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd
Besides Mercury Comets being restyled and renamed, there were a number of chassis improvements.
Between 1960 and 1963, Comets and Falcons had nearly identical powertrains. For 1964, however, the Merc pulled away a bit with a larger standard six and a mightier V-8 option. In all of the previously mentioned Comets, an ohv 170-cid 101-bhp six and three-speed manual transmission were included in the base price.
Buyers who wanted the convenience of the extra-cost Merc-O-Matic two-speed automatic transmission but still craved six-cylinder economy got a 200-cid powerplant. Sporting a 3.68-inch bore and 3.13-inch stroke, it pumped out 116 horses and would soon become the most popular engine for the series.
Read about the 1964-1965 Mercury Comet new model on the next page.
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