1954 Ford Comete

In 1954 this Ford Comete Monte Carlo was the most expensive automobile built in France. Marketed by Ford but built by Facel Metallon with Ford V-8 power, a 3-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension and live rear axle. The 2-door hardtop body was developed from a 1949 Stablimenti Farina concept built by Ford in the U.S. on a Mercury chassis. The Comete was built on the Ford Vedette platform powered by the French Ford variant of the small V8-60 flathead V-8 which in 1953 was uprated to 80 horsepower. Interestingly, the Comete carried no exterior Ford identification. Finished in red with a tan leather interior, this Comete is the very complete basis for a restoration. It has, as the photos clearly show, rust in the sills and door bottoms, a dent in the left front fender and tattered old upholstery. Not so apparent is the rust in the driver's floor. The center panel of the 3-piece rear window is missing, as are two small pieces of lower body trim on the driver's side. It is, however, very complete including the original air cleaner, five wire wheels, a radio, its original Marchal headlight and fog light lenses and the correct egg crate grille, known in France as a "coupe-frites," a French fry cutter. Restoration should be straightforward and the result will be a very unusual French grand routiere with room for four and attractive and distinctive coachwork. Expensive cars in postwar France, few Cometes were built and their survival rate is low, making this example a significant addition to any collection featuring French coachwork. It is virtually certain to stand alone at Ford V-8 gatherings."

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