This 1967 Mercury Comet has racing history

Pick of the Day turned 11.2-second sprints in its drag racing heyday

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Pick of the Day
This 1-of-4 Comets carried a 427cid V8 engine and was built for drag racing

It was shocking. I was going through the ClassicCars.com Marketplace website looking for potential Picks of the Day and noticed that a dealer in Holliston, Massachusetts, was asking $155,000 for a 1967 Mercury Comet.

Might that price be a typo, I wondered. Wouldn’t $15,500 be a more likely price for a mid-’60s Comet?

I clicked on the ad to learn more and discovered that this was one of only four R-Code Comets with a 427cid side-oiler V8, and actually was 1-of-1 with the options ordered up. 

OK, the Pick of the Day is, indeed, this 1967 Mercury Comet.

“One of the first R-code Caliente’s assembled in March 1967 at the Lorain, Ohio assembly plant, it was shipped directly to Stillpass Brothers Lincoln-Mercury in Cincinnati, Ohio where its eager first owner took possession of the Comet with one purpose on his mind, to go racing,” the dealer notes in the car’s advertisement. 

“This R-code Caliente was campaigned throughout the mid-west region up through the 1970 season. 

“During its active career, the owner tried several new configurations to the suspension, exhaust, transmission and other tweaks and twists to shave off a few 1/100’s of the ET’s. During its racing days, this Comet averaged times in the 11.2-second range and speeds of 120 mph in those quarter-mile contests. 

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“While the mechanics and suspension components of this Comet were modified during is racing career, the body and basic stock interior were left just as it left the factory,” the seller notes. 

According to the dealer’s ad, the car was retired from competition after the 1970 season and was put away “and properly stored” for 15 years. The car was “rediscovered” in the mid-1980s, “awakened… cleaned up and given very limited exposure.” In 1995, it underwent a full restoration to its original factory spec. 

“Today, this R-code Caliente, one of four ever produced, is likely the most attractive and authentic example in existence,” the dealer notes. “Of the four produced, 2 were white, one was red and one was blue. It is believed that a white one and a red one are gone, leaving only two. 

“Finished in its original color of Caspian Blue, a deep, rich dark metallic, the original interior is covered in two tone blue vinyl. This car has also retained its original steering wheel including the ‘flower-pot’ horn-ring center.”

The dealer adds that the side-oiler 427cid V8 carries the proper “C7AE” and shows an assembly date of 6J28, which translates to September 28, 1966.

“Further establishing the pedigree of this highly desirable machine is the car’s original broadcast form, often referred to as a built sheet, as well as the original window sticker, a copy of the title in the original owners name, and what we find to be very important, original timing slips from when it was being actively campaigned.”

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In addition to its 425-horsepower engine, the car has a 4-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission, front coil and rear leaf suspension and hydraulic drum brakes at each corner.

The car shows only 2,273 miles on its odometer (based on its racing history, that could be total actual mileage to date), and also comes with a Marti Report.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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