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1962 Comet

Picking up Ruby, my '62 Comet

Ruby loaded - 1962 Mercury Comet It was to be the last beautiful weekend before winter set in. 60 degree late November days were unheard of in western NY. A few days before, I checked with my father to make sure he and his 2004 Chevy Avalanche were available. With him and my mother signed up for the trip I went to our local U-Haul to book an auto transport. We were to head down to Binghamton, NY to pick up a 1962 Mercury Comet. My mother-in-law had recently offered me the car after my father-in-law had passed away. He had worked on restoring "Ruby" (as he named her) over the last 10 year, never getting it back on the road. The car was acquired from a friend who had stored it since the mid 70's. I remembered it had "low" mileage, but I was in for a surprise.

Read more: Picking up Ruby, my '62 Comet

Taking Inventory

TrunkOnce I got home I was anxious to assess what I had and what I didn't. Now the car had very few miles on it and was in great original shape for its age, but you never know what got lost or misplaced in the 49 years since it was built. I also didn't know the extent of the restoration my father-in-law had accomplished since he purchased it.


In the trunk I found a box of miscellaneous small parts and a bunch of receipts. I was glad to see the receipts as that would give me a idea of what was replaced on the car. Also in the trunk were the original hub caps, a spare tire, the jack and a rubber piece that appeared new. But I had no idea where it went. The trunk lining looked in great shape and would need just a little cleaning and vacuuming.

Also in the trunk were several mud covered rubber pieces. They seemed to fit together to make two approximately 3 foot long mirror image parts. Not sure what these were at the time.


padding

sound deadeningI also noticed, on both sides of the trunk, tucked in the space between the outer fender wall and the inner wheel well, a long clear plastic bag with what appeared to be cloth matting of some kind. I had never seen anything like it, but then again I never had an early 1960's vehicle before.

UPDATE: I've been told the two long rubber pieces are a stone guard that is supposed to be installed between the rear bumper and rear of the car. It prevents stones from flying up in the space behind the bumper. The plastic bags with the cloth material inside are sound dampeners meant to quiet the rattle the fenders would make, so I put them back.

What's Old, What's New?

box of parts

Going through the receipts, I found that many parts had been purchased over the years.  Some small and some large.  I had a box full of smaller parts still in their packaging, including spark plugs, wires, points and a condenser.  So I know not everything was put on the car and a much needed tune-up was planned. 

I had receipts for 5 new 175x80R13 radial white wall tires. I had heard that my father-in-law had searched far and wide for original size/style tires and eventually found them at a local tire dealer.  I also found a receipt for a replacement carpet.  Now, the interior had no carpet at all. 

rubber floor

 

The floor was a black rubberized vinyl material with a red pattern printed on it.  I believe this was supposed to appear as carpet. A little research was needed to determine if this car ever came with carpet.

More to come................

Winter is Coming!

I started making a mental list of things I could do on the '62 Comet over the winter. I didn't see myself standing in the garage in 8 degree weather, working on it so I wanted some smaller indoor tasks that could be done in the warmth of my basement. So I needed to get my act together soon and take a few things off the car and get them inside.

Last winter I rebuilt the heater box and I stripped and repainted the air cleaner. But the biggest task last year was rebuilding the carburetor. That was both fun and educational. Now I had only ever seen the inside of a lawn mower carburetor and those are pretty simple compared to one that goes on an automobile. I was amazed as the different ports and jets and things. I could only imagine what a more modern carb would look like inside. This year for Christmas I received a generator rebuild kit, so that will be first on my list of things to get done. Winter is also a great time to gather additional documentation, repair manuals, comb the Internet and amass as much Comet information as I can. I've visited a few Comet related forums in the past year but have yet to find one in my area (North East), that I like. I'm looking for one with many active participants and one that uses some of the neat forum software available. My search continues.

On Comet, on Cupid...

 Christmas 2011 full of Ruby Stuff...on Donder and Blitzen.  Yes, one of the reindeer was actually named "Donder" in the original poem.  Well, Christmas 2011 was pretty good to me and my Comet.  Having a car named after one of the reindeer must count for something with Santa, though I'm sure glad it wasn't named the Mercury Donder!  I had just gotten the car in November, but there was enough time to make a quick list of some things I wanted for Christmas, as I'm told I'm hard to shop for.  Not having any real ideas, parts wise, what might be needed, I made a list that included some car accessories.  On Christmas morning I opened several of the items I asked for and a few others.  Shown here are most of them.  Starting with the nice car cover, a much needed item as the car is taking up a great deal of space in the garage and people are walking by it everyday.  This will provide some great protection.  More protection will be provided by the blue (rolled up) fender protectors.  It's quite long and some folks on Amazon who purchased the same one have cut it it half to create two fender protectors.  We'll see if that's the route I go.

Mercury Sales & ServiceMy brother gave me a reproduction Mercury Sales & Service sign that I can hang up in the garage.  He also gave me a original 1962 Comet sales brochure.  It's in near-mint condition and shows all the Comet models available that year.  Very cool.

Other gifts included the 1960-64 Mercury Master Parts Catalog.  An invaluable tool for identifying what parts you need, what their part numbers are and how everything goes together.  It's on a CD and the neat thing is you can print out any page for reference, get it greasy and wrinkled while you are using it and then throw it away.  I'm pretty particular about books and I don't like writing in them or getting them dirty.  Probably has something to do with the 3000+ comic books I still have stashed throughout my house.  All in plastic bags and boxed.

Read more: On Comet, on Cupid...