Featured in this article is the 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente Hardtop. The Mercury Comet models came out in response to smaller and lighter automobiles being produced by GM. During the early 1960’s the Big Three automakers were all introducing compact and mid sized automobiles with each trying to one up the other.

1965 mercury comet caliente specs
1965 Mercury Comet Caliente

The Comet came out in 1960, the same time that Ford introduced the Falcon. Both midsize models used the unibody platform. Over the next fifteen years the Mercury Comet would be transformed several times. The Mercury Comet was at times a compact car and at times an intermediate vehicle.

Interestingly enough, the Comet model was originally developed to be part of the Edsel lineup. As it turned out, after the demise of the Edsel the  Comet would find a  home with Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury Division.

The Mercury Comet Models

Mercury built the second generation midsize Comet for only two years. The 1964 and 1965 cars are considered by many car collectors as the most desirable years.

The Mercury division came up with a great advertising campaign to promote their second generation Comet in 1964. They called it the durability challenge. First, they ran the cars for 40 days and 40 nights at the Daytona Motor Speedway Durability Run. They logged over 100,000 miles with an average speed of over 100 miles per hour. Out of the five cars that ran only one had any mechanical issues.

The Mercury Comet was redesigned for 1964 and as a result the engine bay was enlarged to accept the larger Ford engines. At the end of 1964 Mercury put a 427 cubic inch V-8 in a Comet where they would name the high powered model the Mercury Comet Cyclone.  Only about fifty of these Comet Cyclones were produced. The Mercury Comet Cyclones went on to  dominate the NHRA super stock category.

The top trim for the Mercury Comet was the Comet Caliente. These trims offered plush deluxe carpeting, stylish chrome body side moldings and Caliente badging. Also included with the Caliente’s was an interior lighting package, the type not seen on many automobiles at this point in history. Mercury offered a limited edition Caliente convertible in 1965. These convertible’s came standard with a power motor operated convertible top and today are very popular with many collectors.

1965 Mercury Comet Caliente Specifications

The 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente was available with a 200 cubic inch straight six producing 120 horsepower. The Caliente Cyclone model was built with a 289 cubic inch V-8 with configurations producing 200 and 225 HP.  As mentioned above, the Comet Cyclone models were fitted out with 427 cubic inch engines.

Available transmissions included a three speed manual and a three speed Merc-O-Matic automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions included a wheelbase of 114.0 inches, overall outside length 195.3 inches, width 72.9 inches and height 53.5 inches.

1965 total Mercury production was 349,200 vehicles. Total Comet Caliente production was 55,500 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles can be found on the links below…

The 1964 Mercury Comet

1964 Ford Falcon Convertible

Reference material for this article includes..The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury by author George H. Dammann…Fifty Years of Lincoln-Mercury by George H. Dammann..Mercury Comet & Cyclone Limited Edition Extra 1960-1975 by author R.M. Clarke.

1965 Mercury Comet Caliente Collector Cars

mercury comet caliente specificationsA 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible in excellent restored condition might currently be priced in the $35,000-$40,000 range.  Hardtop models in excellent condition might be found in the $19,000-$25,000 range.

The sporty and powerful Cyclone Convertibles are currently seen at about $50,000. All model valuations take into account originality, degree of restoration, general mechanical condition and mileage.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)