Over the past weekend, we picked up a 1963 Mercury Comet. Not just any Mercury Comet, but a custom convertible with a 170 engine. The car is mostly original, with only about 76,000 miles on the odometer. This will make a great project car. It is our hope that we can fully restore this car to original condition, yet make it completely able to be used as a daily driver.
One of the first problems I encountered when researching the car was obtaining a shop manual. You’d think Ford (Mercury) would produce a shop manual for each car, for each model year. Unfortunately, this is not true. After about five hours of research, I found that I need the following manuals to work on this car. All were found at Faxon Auto Literature.
- 1960-1962 Ford Falcon Shop Manual
- 1961 Mercury Comet Shop Manual
- 1963 Falcon & 1962/1963 Comet Shop Manual Supplement
So instead of a single $40 book, I’m buying almost $90 worth of books to diagnose problems with this car. Ouch. There are manuals available online for free, but printing them out is not possible. Using a web site in the garage isn’t the most convenient option.
7/19/09 – The car has been in the shop to have some transmission work done. Of course, there is no direct “drop-in” transmission for this vehicle. So, it will be rebuilt using a mixture of new and old replacement parts. Nobody said this was going to be easy.
11/19/12 – The car has been fully restored, and an updated photo is shown below. We found that the red paint on the car when it was purchased (used) was not an original color.