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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
AutoWeek
Dressed up and ready to go

By JOHN MATRAS
Reprinted with the permission of the author at carbuzzard.com

Find new car reviews and more at CarBuzzard.com.


IF YOU GILD IT, THEY WILL COME. Dress up a pig, call it a chorus girl, and people will pay to see her dance. Now the 1970 Ford Maverick wasn?t a pig, but it was economical, plain and simple, and that?s how Ford marketed it. Yet within six months of its introduction, Ford released the Grabber version, made ?sportier? with paint and nostrils on its hood. Then for 1971 Mercury got a swankier Maverick and called it Comet.

The grille and taillight surround were the major differences between the Maverick and Comet, the latter?s fancier, of course.

It follows, then, that if the Maverick had the Grabber then the Comet must have an upmarket model as well. Ergo the Comet GT.

The GT, said Mercury, ?impart(ed) the appearance of performance,? with blacked-out grille and color-keyed hood scoop. In addition to that, ?the ?competition car? look? was enhanced by dual ?racing mirrors,? a tape stripe and wheel trim rings. Trim rings are, of course, the sine qua non of race cars. Bright metal window trim was also included, as were bucket seats. The GT package added $178.80 to the $2,387 price of a Comet with a V8 in 1971.

Ah, the V8. Putting V8s in compact cars was more gilding the ordinary, and the Chevy Nova, Dodge Demon and even the AMC Hornet could be loaded with eight cylinders. In the case of the Comet?and the Maverick?the V8 was Ford?s 302, with, unfortunately, just a two-barrel Autolite carburetor. Rated at 210 hp, still SAE gross and therefore inflated, and 296 lb-ft of torque, the Comet had vigorous acceleration, even if it was short of, say, a Demon 340. Contemporary tests had the Comet V8 turning the quarter-mile in the mid-16s. The Demon 340 did it 1.5 seconds quicker.

Options abounded on the Comet GT. Putting the three-speed shifter, whether manual or automatic, on the floor cost $13. A four speed was not available. White-stripe D70-14 bias-belted tires and six-inch-wide steel wheels, instead of standard 4.5-inch, added $110.10 and was well worth it. You were stuck, however, with drum brakes. And you could get a vinyl roof, even on the fastback two-door.

Even tarted up, however, the Maverick and Comet were disposable cars. Most were discarded at the end of their life with no more ceremony than a used tissue.

One that survived, a ?72, found its way to John and Lisa Orach of Palmerton, Pennsylvania. The Oraches? Comet V8 has the GT package and is original but for a redo of the Glow Mountain Gold paint, Ford?s version of the harvest gold of every 1972 refrigerator not avocado green. Even the vinyl top is the one the car was born with. An earlier owner swapped in a four-barrel carb, though John will replace the Autolite, both for originality and because the bigger carb adds no power by itself.

The GT lacked power. Using 1972 SAE net, it is rated at 138 hp. Acceleration is what you?d expect pulling almost 3000 pounds; at least the engine?s torque is solid and wide. The floor-shifted Select Shift automatic works unobtrusively, but the unboosted braking requires, as John advised, planning ahead and a strong leg. On long
downhills the drums heat up and get wobbly. The unassisted steering isn?t heavy, but it is loose on center and yields nothing but unrelenting understeer. The ride is surprisingly smooth for a live-axled sedan, however, and it is not hard to understand why Comets and Mavericks were popular.

The Comet lasted through 1976, the GT expiring a year earlier, the same year the Mercury Monarch made its debut. The Monarch, styled like a baby Marquis, had Comet underpinnings. Ah, gilded again.

(Photo by John Matras)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Heck no. It's a pic that came with the article from AutoWeek.
 

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I think that as administator of the forum that in its membership agreement makes a big deal about copyrights, you should be more concerned with the copyrights of others. I am the author and owner of the copyright to the Comet GT article published in AutoWeek and I think if you were at all interested, you could have found me to ask permission.
John Matras


(edit) Please use the contact us link located at the bottom of all pages rather than posting issuues in the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi John, This article was done in 2003. It also states that you were the aurthor and the article came from Autoweek. Also, I'm a subscriber of Autoweek. If you want , I'll delete this posting. Any other concerns you can PM me.
 

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The way the article has been posted is no violation of any copyright as all appropriate mention is in order. We would be more than happy to remove this article with a formal request. Based on statistics for this post the article is no longer read and was in the archive however I would rather not delete good information in case someone is searching for that specific information. I assume that you are representing autoweek with your request?
 

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administrator said:
The way the article has been posted is no violation of any copyright as all appropriate mention is in order. We would be more than happy to remove this article with a formal request. Based on statistics for this post the article is no longer read and was in the archive however I would rather not delete good information in case someone is searching for that specific information. I assume that you are representing autoweek with your request?
Actually, I sold AutoWeek first serial rights--that means they can use it once in a serial (periodical) publication--plus certain internet republication rights to AutoWeek. Otherwise, the copyright for any published work extends to seventy years beyond the death of the author before it comes into the public domain. So I'm representing myself.

I don't mean to quibble, but the article still retains value. I've sold second rights to articles written twenty or more years ago. Would this reduce the value of the article? Minimal effect, if any. But I have been recycling my old AutoWeek articles with another website in a way that's to my benefit.

What is allow is what's called "fair use," and that's pulling a quote from a book or article, or with permission of the copyright holder. In this case, I'll allow the use of the article with the notice, "Reprinted with the permission of the author at carbuzzard.com" with the html link to Find new car reviews and more at CarBuzzard.com.

Not to be a grump, but some people take pieces of wood and make chairs that people want to sit in. What I do for a living is take words and put them into an order that people want to read. I don't take his chairs without permission, and he shouldn't take my words. :rant:

Best regards,
John Matras
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You could take or borrow my chairs all you want. :hy: I really believed I wasn't doing anything wrong. Just sharing good info. I don't get paid to help run this site. I volunteer to do this because I enjoy doing it. I've had others still pics from me that I've taken at car shows. They didn't post where the pictures came from. But I didn't go at them for all to see. On another note, I like how you use your user name to advertise your web site.
BTW, I've added what you requested for us to keep this article. Also do you have a picture of the Comet in question ? I'd like to post a picture of it.
 

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Thanks, Stacy. Apology accepted. :fraz: You're not the first, and most folks don't know the law. I do have to "ego surf" occasionally to protect what I do.

Regarding the photos, I have some slides in one of these boxes. (I think I was still using film at that time). I have to dive into them from time to time so I'll try to combine dives.

Thanks again,
John

P.S.: I'll take the recliner, the one with the built-in massager and chilled cupholder.
 
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