CC Outtake: 1971 Mercury Comet – My Mother (And) The Car

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Social Networking can bring about some really awkward interactions with parents if they are young enough and/or technologically savvy. In my case, they center around my mother and her opinions on some of the curbside classics I find and post to Facebook from time to time. Due to her direct experience as a fashion conscious (and cautious) teenager in the mid 1970s, a number of classic cars can elicit some pretty strong memories.

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“Oh god! That is the same Comet grandma tried to buy for me my junior year”Β 
was her robust response to this Split Pea Green Comet I found in the El Cerrito hills. This was the first time I had heard that a Comet was in the runningΒ as a potential lightly used car purchase by my great grandmother for my mom. All the stories I had heard about that fraught decision placed a Plymouth Duster and a C3 Corvette at opposing ends of each other. The eventual compromise ended up being a 3rd Generation Mercury CougarΒ in a slightly less putrid seafoam turquoise shade than our feature car here (with a white vinyl top)Β .

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I jested in return about this particular Comet being long lived, seemingly ready for daily duty. However, I understand her rebuttal and admire her ability to bargain for something better than a re-badged Ford Maverick. I took it as yet another example of how automobiles are one of the most emotional consumer purchases Americans (in particular) make, whether that’s conscious or unconscious.

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It shouldn’t have surprised my great grandmother Clara when my mother had a prima donna moment when presented with the prospect of Comet ownership in 1977. She herself only accepted a line of Chrysler New Yorkers and Imperials as her automotive choices and had bred appreciation for the finer things in life in her progeny, not knock-offs of greatness . It shouldn’t surprise me either; I had to get my staunch (sometimes irrational) opinions on the subject of fine automobiles from somewhere. Thanks Mom!