For the model year 1960, Mercury introduced an unconventional car; some might say, an innovative car by company standards. The Comet was the first Mercury ever sold without a V8 engine. What’s in a name? The Thrift-Power 6, an inline six cylinder engine rated at 114hp with an estimated 25 miles per gallon gas economy, attracted 100,000 buyers within the first six months of its introduction.
Comet sales for 1961 nearly topped 200,000 units. As the 1960’s progressed, Mercury increased the Comet’s range of available options. Buyers could eventually glamorize their coach with a vibrant palette of interior and exterior color treatments; and made-to-order boulevard cruisers could be fitted with performance power trains, including a 3-speed manual transmission matched to a roaring high-compression V8 engine.–M.S.T.