1964: 3 Mercury Comets Survive Drive From Argentina to Alaska

16,247 punishing miles in a trio of '65 Comets, with only regular maintenance

The Mercury Comet of the 1960s was a spiffed-up Ford Falcon, first cousin to the Mustang of the same period. In September, 1964, the Mercury Division sent three brand-new, unmodified, regular production 1965 Mercury Comet Caliente hardtops on a maniacal journey from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Fairbanks, Alaska.

16,247 miles on mostly unpaved roads, from the southern tip of South America to the upper reaches of the North American continent is quite a car-killing drive, and these Comets accomplished the feat with only routine maintenance. As we learned a few years ago, these simple and sturdy cars held together very well over the decades. Interestingly, the Comet's near-identical Ford sibling was available new in dealerships near the starting line; it would have been interesting to have a trio of Ford Argentina Falcons leave Fairbanks at the same time the Detroit Comets were heading north.

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