The history of the car displayed here begins with Ford of France, which was established in 1929, then acquired by Simca in November of 1954. Another company that played a key role was the coachbuilder, Facel Metallon, which not only produced bodies for various automakers, but also produced its own car, the Facel Vega, from 1954 until the firm went into bankruptcy in 1964.
In 1949, Henry Ford II, who admired Italian styling, commissioned Stablimenti Farina to design and built a sports luxury coupe on a Mercury chassis. This Farina Mercury became a prototype for the French Comete, built by Ford of France and bodied by Facel Metallon. Only 699 Comete Monte Carlos were built. At that time they were the most expensive Ford product in the world, and the only Ford automobile with custom coachwork.
This Comete was first shown at the fashionable Holiday Resort of Biarritz. The New York Museum of Modern Art recognized the Comete as one of the ten most beautiful cars in the world in their 1950's exhibit.
The car displayed here spent its early life in the hands of Henry Ford II and others who guided the design of Ford products. The current owner purchased the car in 1967 for $800 as a young designer at Ford. It became his daily driver. A few months later he was dispatched to Vietnam and the Comete went into storage in his mother's barn in New Jersey where it remained for the next 39 years.
Having undergone a complete nut-and-bolt restoration at R&A Engineering Inc. in Manchester, MI, it debuted in 2007 and has won numerous awards including an award at Meadow Brook in its debut year.
Several body panels were re-made by hand and the Dayton wheels were supplied by Ford Styling. With its distinct bumper and trim design, this specific car is unique from all other Comete Monte Carlos.